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Spain extends rent and evictions moratorium until August

The Spanish government has announced it will give Spaniards who are struggling to pay their rents another grace period of three months during which tenants cannot be evicted and they can apply for a rent reduction.

Spain extends rent and evictions moratorium until August
Photo: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP

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.

Q&A: What can I do if I’m struggling to pay my rent in Spain?

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.

READ MORE: Why is Spain making it harder to evict squatters?

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. 

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COVID-19

New Covid-19 wave in Sweden ‘to peak at end of September’

Sweden's Public Health Agency has warned of a new autumn wave of Covid-19 which it expects to peak at the end of September.

New Covid-19 wave in Sweden 'to peak at end of September'

According to both of the two new scenarios published by the agency on Monday, infection rates are set to rise steadily over the next month, something the agency said was due to a falling immunity in the population and greater contact between people as they return to schools and workplaces after the summer. 

“It is difficult to say how high the peak will be, but it is unlikely that it will reach the same levels as in January and February,” the agency’s unit chief Sara Byfors said in a press release. “The most important thing is that people in risk groups and those who are 65 years old and above get vaccinated with a booster dose in the autumn to reduce the risk of serious illness and death.” 

Under Scenario 0, the amount of contact between people stays at current levels, leading to a peak in reported Covid-19 cases at around 5,000 a day. In Scenario 1, contact between people increases by about 10 percent from the middle of August, leading to a higher peak of about 7,000 reported cases a day. 

The agency said that employers should be prepared for many staff to be off sick simultaneously at points over the next month, but said in its release that it did not judge the situation to be sufficiently serious to require either it or the government to impose additional infection control measures. 

It was important, however, it said, that those managing health and elderly care continued to test those with symptoms and to track the chain of infections, that people go and get the booster doses when they are supposed to have under the vaccination programme, and that those who have symptoms of Covid-19 stay home. 

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