The Basque Country has imposed a tax of 10 euros per square meter on empty apartments for more than two years

Posted: Wed Jun 09 2021 11:22 AM

The Basque government has approved a decree which imposes a fee of 10 euros per square meter per year for apartments uninhabited for more than 2 years, and which also includes “forced rent” in areas with “proven demand” for housing as well as as “expropriation” in “extreme cases”.

Housing Minister Iñaki Arriola stressed that the regulations are “very guaranteeing” and seek the mobilization of apartments which, “continuously and unjustifiably”, remain empty to meet the existing social demand.

Arriola explained that there are 15,134 houses in Euskadi that could be affected by the decree, although they must be submitted for analysis to verify that “there is no justification for being empty”.

The decree excludes from the penalty to second homes, cases of temporary transfer due to work, health, dependency or social emergency and housing offered for sale or rental at market price for a minimum period. three months.

Also exempt are apartments that are handed over to the administration for protected rental, those of non-profit entities to accommodate migrants, people with disabilities or victims of gender violence and those that are being rehabilitated or not. do not have the minimum conditions of habitability.

The persons responsible for proving that a dwelling is empty and for carrying out checks on the register and the identification of abnormally low consumption of electricity, water and gas, will be the municipalities, “although the Basque Government may also do so in the alternative “. .

The procedure will include a “hearing procedure” during which the declaration of uninhabited housing can be stopped by demonstrating the assumptions made, by integrating it into public social rental programs or by putting it up for sale or renting at the price. of the market.

Once registered in the Autonomous Register of Uninhabited Homes, the municipalities will impose the annual fee of 10 euros per useful square meter, which will be increased by 10% for each year of unemployment, with a maximum of three times the initial amount.

It will be an additional tax canon, the proceeds of which will go to the municipality’s housing policies. The decree provides for the possibility of obliging owners to rent the apartment in the event that it is located in areas that have been previously declared as “accredited housing demand and need area”.

Para ello debe de haber “al menos 100 asking” de alquiler inscribed in Etxebide “cuyas peticiones no hayan sido atendidas en los dos años anteriores y que los precios medios de alquiler sean” al menos un 10% superiores “a la renta media de la locality.

These areas will be declared by means of a decree of the Minister of Housing at the request of the municipalities themselves “or automatically. Forced rental may be made in dwellings which remain empty one year after their declaration of uninhabited. will require to have “for a maximum of five years – extendable for five others – housing in public rental”.

The owners will receive income in the form of rental or, failing agreement, compensation. For “the most extreme cases”, the decree institutes “forced expropriation”, which will apply to apartments empty for more than a year in areas of approved demand when this possibility “is sufficient to guarantee their use” or in case of “risk of ruin” or non-compliance with conservation standards which leads to insecurity for people.

In these situations, priority will be given to rehabilitation and making it available to non-profit associations. If the house is no longer empty, the owners must inform the administration so that the declaration is revoked and it ceases to be entered in the register of uninhabited dwellings.

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