Act 4/2013, of June 4, on measures to increase the flexibility of and promote the housing rental market ("the Act") (BOE 134, June 5, 2013)

Royal Decree 233/2013, of April 5, regulating the National Plan for the promotion of rental housing, building refurbishment, and urban regeneration and renewal 2013-2016 ("the RD") (BOE 86, April 10, 2013)

A high rate of home-ownership and a weak rental market define the current housing market in Spain. This negatively impacts the Spanish economy and society, affecting worker mobility and resulting in a large number of empty and unused homes.

The Act and the RD introduce several measures to correct this and to promote the rental market.

  • Housing rental contracts now:
    • Reduce the mandatory extension of the lease from five to three years and the implied extension from three years to one year.
    • Allow the lessor to recover the property to use as a permanent residence, if at least the first year of the contract has elapsed.
    • Establish a break clause that benefits the lessee, after the initial six months of the agreement have elapsed and at least 30 days’ notice is given to the lessor. The parties have the option to agree on compensation in case of withdrawal if the lessee ends the contract.
    • Also, a record has been created of rent default final rulings, to inform lessors of the risk of leasing property to people with a record of breaching rental obligations.
  • The National Plan for the promotion of rental housing, building refurbishment, and urban regeneration and renewal 2013-2016, has been approved. It includes eight programs:
  1. Subsidized loans program
  2. Housing rental aid program
  3. Rented public housing stock program
  4. Building refurbishment program
  5. Urban regeneration and renewal program
  6. Support program to introduce the building assessment report
  7. Sustainable and competitive cities program
  8. Support program to introduce and administer the National Plan

These programs:

  • Promote a public housing stock of rental homes (with up to 90 m2 living space) on publicly owned land or in publicly owned buildings, for which housing developers will receive subsidies as direct aid, proportional to the total area of each home, and up to €50 per square meter of living space.
  • Grant subsidies of up to 30% of the eligible cost, to a limit of €2,500 per home, regardless of funding from other public authorities.
  • Grant aid to refurbish buildings built before 1981, when at least 70% of the floor area is for residential use, and at least 70% of the homes are the owners’ or lessors’ habitual residence, or, if these conditions are not met, when there is serious structural damage.
  • Include buildings eligible for conservation, and improvement of quality and sustainability (thermal insulation, heating and cooling, with renewable sources of energy and other sustainable energy technologies), and reasonable adjustments to accessibility (including elevators and ramps).
  • Grant subsidies to develop and redevelop public areas, such as paving; landscaping; infrastructures; facilities; water supply and sanitation services; power supply; lighting; waste collection, separation and management; telecommunications and use of subsoil; accessibility to public areas and environmental efficiency concerning water, energy, the use of materials, waste management and biodiversity preservation.