Legal briefing

Urgent measures for the control of rent prices in lease agreements for property in Catalonia

23/05/2019

On Thursday 23 May 2019, the Autonomous Government of Catalonia published in its Official Journal, Decree-law 9/2019, of 21 May, on urgent measures for the control of rent prices in lease agreements for property, and for the amendment of book five of the Civil Code of Catalonia in relation to the pledge ("Decree-law 9/2019")

1. Introduction
On Thursday 23 May 2019, the Autonomous Government of Catalonia published in its Official Journal (Diari Oficial de la Generalitat de Catalunya) Decree-law 9/2019, of 21 May, on urgent measures for the control of rent prices in lease agreements for property, and for the amendment of book five of the Civil Code of Catalonia in relation to the pledge (“Decree-law 9/2019”), which authorises public administrations to categorise certain areas of the territory as “areas with a strained housing market” (áreas con mercado tenso de vivienda), and to subject lease agreements that are signed to a provisional rent control regime, which will only apply to areas categorised as such. Decree-law 9/2019 also serves as a mandate to the Autonomous Government of Catalonia to present a bill to the Parliament of Catalonia in six months’ time for the comprehensive regulation of urban property lease agreements, so that Catalonia may have its own regulation on this matter.
Decree-law 9/2019 is pioneering in Spain. However, rent control measures similar to the provisions of Decree-law 9/2019 are already in place in neighbouring countries such as France and Germany.

2. Structure and content of Decree-Law 9/2019
The structure of Decree-Law 9/2019 consists of 24 articles distributed among three chapters, three additional provisions, two transitional provisions, one repeal provision and one final provision.
Below are the most important components of the text of Decree-Law 9/2019.

Chapter 1: General provision

Scope of application of the rent control regime

The regime will apply to lease agreements for property:

  • That is intended to be the lessee’s permanent place of residence;
  • that is located in an area declared an “area with a strained housing market” (área con mercado tenso de vivienda); and
  • that is not subject to an official protection regime.

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