According to figures published by the Youth Council (Consejo de la Juventud) last year, 64 percent of people aged between 18 and 34 in Spain still live with their parents because they can not afford to buy a house and because property available for long-term rent is both scarce and relatively expensive. In an attempt to make more rented accommodation available, the Spanish government proposes to set up an agency to encourage property owners to rent out empty flats and to persuade young people to see renting a property as an economically viable alternative to buying a house.
Details of this new government agency have been released today. It will be called the State Renting Company (La Sociedad Publica de Alquiler) and will rent out privately-owned property on behalf of the property owners. The idea is for owners of empty homes (usually people who have bought property as a medium or long-term investment) to use the company as a kind of renting agency, handing over the right to rent to the agency, and to receive a monthly rent from the agency for a given period, say five years.
This means that owners will not have to look for and interview tenants or chase after any unpaid rent. And they may even be able to claim the five years rent in one lump sum, which is bound to attract lots of people who would otherwise be reluctant to rent out their second or third properties, but seems a bit excessive. Until the Agency finds tenants, the monthly rent paid to owners will be public money. The policy may prove very attractive to non-resident owners of Spanish property who often find it very difficult to rent out property they buy in Spain to long-term tenants, and even more difficult to keep up with monthly rent payments.
The government aims to create a pool of 25,500 properties to rent in Spain over the next four years, and to offer them at a lower monthly rent than the current average so that more young people and low-income families can afford to take this option.