Rigidity in the contracts, protection against occupation in some communities, threats to veto price increases that they would like to apply to their rented homes or the shadow of a suspension of rent payments for those affected by the Covid-19, these are some of the obstacles owners of rental apartments must face at this time. Furthermore, despite a growing list of problems, there is still no body that gives a voice to these owners in Spain.
Beatriz Toribio, a real estate expert, has been preparing for months to launch Asval, the first Association of Homeowners for Rent, from which she will be the general secretary. Joan Clos, former Minister of Industry and Tourism and former Mayor of Barcelona, will chair this association.
Asval was created with the aim of representing all the agents that participate as owners in the rental market in order to defend their rights as well as to increase the supply of rental housing in Spain. This association already represents almost 30,000 properties, among which are private owners and companies such as Testa Home, Aedas Homes, Ares, Tectum, Albirana, Blackstone’s society in Spain or La Llave de Oro.
96% of the rental housing stock is in the hands of small owners, with 4% in the hands of large companies, corporations and funds. This is a market that highlights the lack of professionalism in the sector and its weakness when it comes to asserting its interests in the face of new policies.
According to Beatriz Toribio, the association “aspires to be the main interlocutor with the Government, proposing measures to defend the rights of private owners and to achieve regulatory stability that will allow the development of the rental offer with agreed solutions”. To this end, she adds, “we want to join more individuals”. This association is now more important with everything that is happening with the covid-19 whose impact will be evident, in this sense Beatriz Toribio asks the Government for dialogue to achieve measures and regulatory stability.
She also points out that the moratorium or suspension of rent payments for tenants affected by covid-19 may have detrimental consequences for the supply of rent, since housing is a source of income for many families.
Out of 25 million homes in Spain, only 1.2%, or 313,500 homes, are for rent, of which 218,317 are rented, according to UrbanData Analytics. This is a residual offer if compared to the segment for sale. The only solution to the problem of supply, according to Asval’s general secretary, is public-private collaboration.
Asval aspires for Spain to reach the supply and demand levels of countries such as Germany or the United Kingdom. There, this associations have wide experience. Currently, 22% of people in Spain live on rent, far from the 30% of the European average. “Our goal is to reach thar percentage”.