The Spanish government approved a decree on Tuesday which will extend social measures such as the rent moratorium and the suspension of evictions for vulnerable groups for another three months, until August 9th.
Utilities companies will not be allowed to cut off the gas, electricity and water supplies for affected families.
The rental measures, which were due to expire on May 9th with the end of Spain’s state of alarm, allow people who’ve been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis to request a full or partial rent reduction if their landlords own ten or more properties, or if their homes belong to a public entity.
These landlords have to offer these vulnerable tenants either a 50 percent rent reduction or the option of paying back the rent owed over a three-year period.
Evictions are also suspended for a further three months “for families in a situation of vulnerability without a housing alternative” and the possibility of requesting a 6-month extension of the lease has also been prolonged until August 9th.
The evictions clause is particularly controversial in Spain as some argue it gives squatters a legal loophole they can exploit, even though the government’s criteria for housing protection applies to those who can prove financial or social vulnerability.
Spanish Rent Negotiating Agency (ANA) has said that suspending evictions without consideration “will be the ruin of the small property owner” and that the compensation promised by the government to these affected landlords is yet to be paid.