Catalan Housing Law: no longer limits rental prices

The Catalan Housing Law has been partially annulled, as the Constitutional Court considered it invaded the competences of the State, meaning, eliminating the limit on the rental prices. However, the annulment does not affect current rental contracts.

We tell you how this new judicial pronouncement may affect you, and we advise you to contact specialists if you want to know its effects on your specific case. At OBN& we have lawyers who specialize in leasing matters, so we can help you protect your interests with maximum legal certainty.

The limit on rental prices in the Catalan Housing Law

The Catalan Housing Law, passed in September 2020, established a limit on housing rental prices in areas with residential tension. These affected the 60 Catalan cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants.

We discussed in our blog the declaration of Barcelona as a tense market area, in an attempt to curb the rise in rental prices that affected more than 30% of Barcelona’s citizens.

The considerations of the Constitutional Court

Article 149.1.8 of the Constitution establishes that the State has exclusive competence over civil legislation, without prejudice to the autonomous development of this legislation. It also expressly establishes that the bases of contractual obligations are exclusively competence of the State.

The Constitution aims to establish unity throughout the territory, as well as to guarantee the unity of the market. It provides equality and legal certainty by binding all citizens to the same rules on contracts and obligations.

Therefore, the regulation of contractual obligations (such as leasing) by an Autonomous Community invades the competences of the State. This argument has been used by the Constitutional Court to invalidate part of the Catalan Housing Law.

The effects of the partial abolition of the Catalan Housing Law

As a consequence, articles 1, 6 to 13, 15 and 16.2 of the Law of Catalonia 11/2020, as well as some of its additional, final and transitory provisions have been annulled. Eliminating the limits to the rental price.

The effects of the pronouncement, however, will not affect the contracts in force, as a matter of legal certainty.

This ruling is the one that took place on February 24, which annulled the Decree of the Generalitat that tried to moderate the effects of evictions of vulnerable people. Two judicial setbacks to the regional regulations on renting that coincide with the processing of the Housing Law in the Congress of Deputies.


Contact us if you need the assistance of lawyers specialized in leases to manage your assets or to know, in detail, how these regulatory changes particularly affect you.