Andalusian anti-eviction law suspended by Constitutional Court

The CC has suspended the daft anti-eviction law of Andalucia.

See, the Junta de Andalucia came up with a mad idea to boost popularity by pretending to help the unemployed who were about to have their homes repossessed.  (See Junta will repossess people’s homes to save them from the banks).

The idea, forced through by the communist wing of the IU, coalition partners in the Andalucian government with the PSOE, is that if you have lost your job and are about to lose the family home to the banks, you can ask the Junta to forcibly expropriate your home before the bank does. The Junta will then take it over for three years “in the national good”, meaning the banks can’t touch it during that period, and let you live in it.

Rather cunningly, the Junta has found a way around the need to pay “a fair price” for the expropriated properties. It will “fine” the homeowner the exact amount that it is obliged to pay them in expropriation recompense.  However, up to 25% of this expropriation recompense will have to be paid by the family, over time.

Nobody knows what would happen after the three years are up, but legal experts assume the home returns to the previous owners. Who still face legal action from the banks for their previous debt, and now owe a further three years debt plus interest plus everything the banks can throw at them.

IMHO, it’s a stupid law that preys on the vulnerable for short term political gain, but still.

The same law, the “Decreto-Ley 6/2013, de 9 de abril, de medidas para asegurar el cumplimiento de la Función Social de la Vivienda”, attempts to use the empty housing stock of Andalucia for the social good by forcing large property owners to rent out empty properties as social housing.

The idea is to first create a registrar of empty properties, then force the landlords to rent out their properties, either via private rentals or via the Andalucian Social Housing Fund. Landlords who fail to rent out their properties will face a 9,000€ annual fine per property. Although the Junta denies this will ever be applied to individuals, only companies, the opposition points out that the law just says “any landlord” with an empty property.

The central government appealed against this law in the courts, and the Constitutional Court has accepted the appeal. Madrid says the law is breaking constitutional rights (I suspect they mean those of the banks, not the poor fools who sign up to the law) and the CC has agreed to have a look into it. And have suspended the law in the meantime.

Only a handful of families have been duped, I mean have taken advantage of, this new law, and so I suppose they’ll be out on their ears tomorrow morning, or as soon as the banks get a friendly judge to rule on the eviction process.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: introduce a proper personal bankruptcy law (a person can’t declare bankruptcy in Spain, the debts follow you for life) and we’re sorted. If it all goes to pot, let the person wipe the slate clean and start afresh. Not all this “prop them up until they die” nonsense.

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