The Government will adjust taxes to curb the rental price

The increase in rental rental prices is an already recognized problem, especially in Barcelona and the metropolitan area. This is how the administrations have already assumed it, and the Minister of Interior, Public Service and Housing, Meritxell Borràs, has announced a concrete measure. The Generalitat has already launched the so-called reference index of rental prices and now prepares tax credits for those owners who rent the apartments at the price that marks this index, or a lower one. As of 2018, who meets this requirement may benefit from a reduction in the autonomous income tax line (IRPF).

The counselor has presented the computer tool that calculates the reference index of rental prices, which can be consulted on the website agenciahabitatge.gencat.cat/indexdelloguer, which allows calculating the reference price of the square meter of rent for each specific floor. The tool looks for contracts in concentric circles of 50 in 50 meters of each concrete floor until it finds a sample sufficient to mark the average price and a fork with the highest and lowest prices.

According to the counselor, the index will be "a tool of transparency" in the rental market, for renters, as well as for the owners and the administrations. To prepare the tool, which will work for 27 Catalan municipalities that comprise 60% of the population, the rental bonds deposited in the Incasòl for contracts for the last three years, which relate to 200,000 homes . According to Carles Sala, this sample, which includes 64,000 apartments in the city of Barcelona, is much higher than that of other European cities, such as Berlin or Paris, which also have rental price indexes.

So far, counselor Borràs had announced that the index would be a tool for local councils to take fiscal measures, such as incentives for real estate tax (IBI). But now it has announced that the Generalitat will also take measures, by means of a decree, to exclude the owners who rent above the reference price of the Aval-Rent programs (which guarantees the payment of rent in the event of a non-payment of the tenant) or Of rehabilitation aids.

But in addition, he also said that there will be the mentioned reduction in personal income tax, in the section that is the competence of the Generalitat, for those who rent at the same level or below the fixed the index. As the index will be a single price for each specific floor, the tool will allow you to generate a PDF document that the owner can use to justify that the price meets the requirements when requesting financial aid or tax incentives.

Owners may place the reference price on rental contracts but, when there are tax incentives, they must oblige it, if they want it, because the tenant knows that they are paying below this reference index. These helps will not arrive, therefore, until after the summer. The counselor pointed out that in a period of two months he will meet with the representatives of the municipalities to check the operation of the tool. "We have to test it and see that it works well," says Borràs, who indicates that once the operation is proven it will be when tax incentives and other measures are approved.

The tool, to fine-tune the index, does not only take into account the floor space of the floor, but also the state of conservation, the year of construction, if it has an elevator, energy certificate and other aspects, which allow to improve The price calculation. The tool is available for Badalona, Barcelona, Castelldefels, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Cornellà de Llobregat, Granollers, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Igualada, Manresa, Mataró, Mollet del Vallès, Rubí, Sabadell, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Sant Cugat Del Vallès, Santa Colona de Gramenet, Terrassa, Vic, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Girona, Figueres, Olot, Blanes, Tarragona, Reus, Tortosa and Lleida.

Barcelona wants more

Apart from the incentives that may be regulated by the Generalitat, the council employs the councils that benefit the IBI for owners who rent below the reference price. The measure is well received by most city councils, although some still want more measures to reduce rents, or at least curb price escalation.

This is the case of the Barcelona City Council. The Councilor for Housing, Josep Maria Montaner, describes the tool as "the first essential step to regulate prices", but considers that it is not enough, because it is very quantitative and that more layers of information are needed to make it more qualitative, and In this will work the Metropolitan Housing Observatory.

But in addition, the councilor requests legislative changes, both in the State and the Generalitat, to regulate the rental price. In his opinion, the index "can not be a cold number", but must introduce new parameters, such as the investment pressure in certain areas of the city, or the average income of families in each neighborhood to also check which It is the effort they make to pay housing.