• Catalonia housing, the Spanish experiment of the rent limit

The Government will appeal to the Constitutional Court the Catalan law that regulates rental prices in 60 municipalities in the region but will not request, for the moment, the automatic suspension of the norm in a movement that is

very symbolic

and that could seek to save the future national housing law and protect the negotiations still underway.

The norm came into force last September and is already being appealed by the PP, covered by a report from the

Statutory Guarantees Commission of Catalonia

in which it was already warned, even before its approval, of the violation of competences in some parts of the rule and that the Parliament did not have powers to regulate the rental price.

"It was the chronicle of an announced death

. We already knew about this conflict of powers," said

Alícia Romero

, PSC spokesperson in Parliament, in statements collected by

Europa Press on



The last date on which the presentation of the appeal by the Government could be approved is in the Council of Ministers on Tuesday the 15th, because the nine-month period from the entry into force ends on June 21.

So the Executive of Pedro Sánchez has rushed until the last moment to carry it out.

"Impossible not to appeal"

From the Ministry of

Territorial Policy and Public Function

led by Miquel Iceta, in fact, they insist that nothing has been decided yet and that they continue to negotiate with the Catalan representatives to agree on modifications to the rule that would avoid going to the TC.

His version, however, contrasts with that of other sources familiar with the process, who take almost for granted that the challenge of the rule will be one of the issues that the Council of Ministers will discuss tomorrow, Tuesday.

And it also contrasts with the version of the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda,

José Luis Ábalos

, whose department depends on housing policy and whose words have been clear.

Ábalos has justified the appeal before the TC in that it is "very difficult" not to register it in view of the "so negative" report issued by the Statutory Guarantees Commission of Catalonia.

"With that report, it is impossible not to appeal. The unconstitutionality is so evident that it cannot be ignored," he emphasized.

In this line, Iceta already ruled in Congress last week, when the

Tenants Union

asked, through Bildu, if the Government had planned to suspend the law.

"If a regional law violates the competence framework, I have the obligation to present that appeal," the minister responded then.

Legal security

Among the measures contained in the Catalan regulation is the obligation to freeze or lower the price of rents if areas with residential "tension" are detected in the 60 Catalan cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants.

The head of Transportation has argued that guaranteeing the right to housing "involves doing it in accordance with the law, not on the sidelines."

"Everything we can do in favor of housing must have legal solidity,"

Ábalos pointed out when referring to the rental law that the central Executive is studying.

It must be a rule that "guarantees legal certainty, that is not questionable and that is not exposed to being appealed by anyone."

"An important gesture"

Therefore, Ábalos has supported the decision to file an appeal against the rule, although he has also highlighted the intention not to suspend it for the time being, which in his opinion

"is still an important gesture."

Important above all for the future of the National Housing Law that his ministry negotiates with the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 led by

Ione Belarra

and whose approval is months late precisely due to the impossibility of agreeing on the limit of rents .


United We can

demand that this be one of the key points of the future rule, that is, they want a direct intervention in the rental market to be established by law to stop increases in stressed areas.

The PSOE promised to carry it out in its Government agreement and also in that of General Budgets, but now it resists because it believes that it generates legal insecurity and instead proposes a system of bonuses for owners.

According to the original calendar, the law should have been approved last February and if the situation was already complicated until now, the appeal for unconstitutionality on the Catalan rule adds another point of tension.

Both Unidos Podemos and the rest of the formations that supported price control in Catalonia hoped that the national Housing Law would serve as a legal umbrella to maintain the Catalan standard.

His appeal now removes this alternative and that could put an end to the dialogue between Ábalos' team and Belarra's.

Therefore, to try to avoid it, the Executive does not request its suspension, hence Ábalos speaks of an "important gesture", because it depends largely on him to save the future housing law.

"There will not be an automatic suspension to try that the solution of the rents does not arrive by this way, because Catalonia does not have powers, but that it arrives by the new Law of House", has said Alícia Romero.


From the Tenants Union, which gave the warning voice about the Executive's intentions to resort to the TC, they trust that the appeal will not take place and defend the effectiveness of the limitation of prices in the region.

"The law that regulates rentals in Barcelona and 60 other municipalities is working to date, as shown by official and rigorous data. First, the rental market has not come to a standstill as some predicted: on the contrary, according to the registry of surety (INCASOL), the number of new rental contracts has skyrocketed. Secondly, prices drop globally by 4.8% in regulated Catalan municipalities, and increase by 1.2% in non-regulated Catalan municipalities ", they respond to this newspaper from the organization.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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