Rent cap to come into force in 140 Catalan towns and cities on Saturday 

Tenants' Union urges government to introduce sanctions for non-compliance 

An apartment block in the Sants neighborhood of Barcelona
An apartment block in the Sants neighborhood of Barcelona / Laura Rodríguez
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

March 15, 2024 02:10 PM

March 15, 2024 06:49 PM

A rent cap in 140 towns and cities in Catalonia will officially come into force from Saturday, after Spain's Housing Ministry published the reference index for rent prices in the Official State Gazette (BOE) on Friday. 

Around 80% of the Catalan population live in the 140 municipalities deemed 'tense housing areas', where the rent cap can apply. 

So far, Catalonia is the only Autonomous Community in Spain where the rent cap will be brought in, as no other regional governments have requested it. 

According to the new regulation, rent prices – whether for new contracts or the renewal of existing contracts – cannot exceed the price of the last contract in force for the property in the last five years, after applying the annual update, which is 3% for 2024

For so-called 'big property owners', if the index gives a lower amount, the rental price cannot exceed that. 

'Big property owners' are those who own five or more properties in tense housing areas, or ten or more properties in other areas. 

Flats that have not been rented in the last five years will have to go on the market in accordance with the price determined by the index in the area. 

The declaration of a tense housing area will apply for three years.  


The Tenants' Union has demanded that the Catalan government "urgently" deploy a system of sanctions in order to make sure the rent cap is applied. 

Spokesperson Carme Arcarazo asked the executive to "leave the job done" before the May 12 election. 

"It cannot be that when someone jumps a traffic light they receive a fine, or that when there is noise in a square, but that with something as basic as the right to housing there is no kind of inspection or penalty," Arcarazo said. 

The group welcomed the new index coming into force and has said that it will be a "turning point in the wildness" of recent years. 

"We got used to living under extortion. When contracts ended, real estate companies would say: pay €300 more or leave. This scam is over," the Tenants' Union spokesperson said.