When approved, Spain’s new housing law is likely to see some property owners being charged extra for keeping their homes empty. But will the average foreign second homeowner in Spain be affected?
After months of negotiations, Spain’s housing law or Ley de Vivienda is likely to be approved sometime within the next few months, bringing about several changes to help vulnerable people, such as the young or those with low incomes to access housing.
The law includes several points such as freezing rental prices in certain areas and prohibiting the free sale of Officially Protected Housing.
One point that has caught the attention of foreign property owners is the increase in Property Tax (IBI) for homes that remain empty.
In a bid to tackle Spain’s social housing shortage and fill some of the reported 3 million empty homes in Spain, local councils will have the power to implement a surcharge of up to 150 percent on the Property Tax (IBI) quota under the new legislation.
The answer is no, the surcharge will only be levied on homes that have been empty for more than two years without good reason, as well as for property owners with a minimum of four homes in the same municipality.
If the property has been empty for three years, the surcharge could reach 100 percent, and there could also be an additional 50 percent rise in the case of properties whose owners have two or more flats in the same municipality.
The idea is that more landlords will start renting out their empty homes to avoid the extra charges, creating more properties for rent on the market and hopefully reducing the prices.
The amount you could pay will depend on each different ayuntamiento or town hall.
IBI is a local tax which has to be paid once a year by all property owners in Spain, and it serves as a benchmark to calculate all other Spanish property-related taxes.
According to data from the General Council of Economists, in Spain the average amount of the IBI bill is €315 per year.
With this extra surcharge however, the average would rise to €788 for each empty property.
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