Empty homes to be 'temporarily expropriated'

13th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 December 2006, BARCELONA — Homes which have been empty for more than two years could be 'temporarily expropriated' in Catalonia.

13 December 2006

BARCELONA — Homes which have been empty for more than two years could be 'temporarily expropriated' in Catalonia.

The regional government announced a bill to encourage the rental of unoccupied houses in a bid to relieve Spain's chronic housing crisis.

Despite a huge number of homes being built every year, prices have risen by 150 percent in the past eight years, putting them out of the reach of many Spaniards.

Fransesc Baltasar, Catalan environment minister, said property would be considered 'unoccupied' if it had been without tenants for two years. 

The Spanish daily El Pais reported the landlord would also have had to have refused repeated offers to rent it out.

Baltasar said the regional government would then offer funds to refurbish the property and act as a "guarantor" to put the property on the market.

If the authorities decide the owner wanted to let the home decay and exploit its value "for property speculation reasons", it could temporarily expropriate it and put it on the rental market.

The landlord would be reimbursed by the regional government less the amount the authorities spent refurbishing the property to make it habitable.

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Subject: Spanish news

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