The Generalitat will start sanctioning homes that are rented at prices above those set by the Reference Index
The Generalitat de Catalunya is culminating the first phase of detecting rental contracts that do not comply with Law 11/2020 , on income restraint, to begin sanctioning homeowners who make leases with prices for above those stipulated by the Rental Price Reference Index . In this first phase alone, 30 contracts with irregularities have been detected.
Most possible infringements are failure to include the Reference Index in the contracts, which prevents it from being verified that the requested income is in accordance with the Index; not having individualized the expenses included in the income, and not detailing the specific characteristics that would justify exceeding the income established by the Index.
That is why the Catalan Housing Agency, under the Secretariat of the Urban and Territorial Agenda of the Department of Territory and Sustainability, will contact the councils of the municipalities where these contracts have been signed. These are Manresa, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Sabadell, Barcelona, Badalona, Terrassa, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Adrià de Besòs, Vic, Rubí, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Lleida, El Vendrell, Reus and Tarragona.
They will be given a period of 10 days to state whether or not they will exercise the sanctioning power that corresponds to them in matters of income restraint. In the event that they do not do so, the Generalitat will act by sanctioning in a subsidiary and optional manner.
It should be borne in mind that the control of non-compliance with the rules on contracts is the responsibility of the municipalities. However, in accordance with Law 18/2007, on the right to housing , if the councils do not exercise or renounce this sanctioning function, the Catalan Housing Agency, attached to the Secretariat of the Agenda Urbana i Territori, of the Department of Territory and Sustainability, may initiate the procedure in a subsidiary manner.
Exhaustive review of contracts
The Institut Català del Sòl (INCASÒL), also dependent on the TES Department, has at its disposal the data relating to the bonds of the contracts, which specify the rental prices of all formalized leases. INCASÒL, through a protocol established in recent months, transfers this data to the Housing Agency to monitor the correct application of the Law.
Thus, the Housing Agency has been able to carry out in recent months an intense task of reviewing the contracts awarded by INCASÒL which has allowed to detect, for now, the first 30 that could contain irregularities.
Fines to landlords can range from 3,000 to 90,000 euros, depending on the seriousness of the offense, as established by Law 18/2007 on the right to housing . It is considered a serious infraction, punishable by a fine of between 9,000 and 90,000 euros, the fact of establishing a rental income 20% higher than that set by the Index. It is considered minor infractions, punishable by a fine of 3,000 to 9,000 euros, that the income exceeds the price established by the Index by a certain percentage less than 20%, as well as the fact of not attaching to the contract or not providing the the lessee is the document generated by the rental price indexation system, with information on the value of the index corresponding to a similar home.
Tools available to the public
Finally, the necessary tools have also been made available to the public to ensure that when they sign a rental agreement, the rent price is in accordance with the law.
Therefore, you can consult the Rental Price Reference Index online and if a home has a certificate of habitability using the search engine for addresses on the website of the Catalan Housing Agency.
This information is especially useful to be able to consult it online, because the certificate contains the information relating to the useful square meters of the home, which are those that must be taken into account when applying the Index.