PRESENTATION OF THE LAW PROPOSAL IN THE PARLIAMENT OF CATALONIA AGAINST THE ILLEGAL OCCUPANCY OF HOMES
If definitively approved, the new law would give city councils and homeowners' associations instruments to act against the illegal occupation of homes in those cases in which these actions generate dangerous situations for the building or alterations in neighborhood coexistence.
Good news comes with the announcement made today about the presentation of a bill in the Parliament of Catalonia that gives instruments to town halls and communities of owners for acting against the illegal occupation of real estate in those cases in which these actions generate dangerous situations for the building or alterations of the neighborhood coexistence.
“On different occasions we have already expressed ourselves around the problems that usually surround illegal occupations, from which coexistence problems are generated not only in the property but also in its surroundings. Different pieces of information that have appeared in the media these weeks highlight the use of any type of strategy, including the use of minors by mafia-like organizations, which increasingly generate more alarm and social rejection," says Carlos Sala, spokesman and manager. Legal API Catalunya.
As recalled by the organization, the groups of real estate property professionals (COAPI-AIC) promote and ensure that the owners maintain the social function of the home, so that it is used for the purpose for which it was intended and to avoid these anomalous uses that end up having a negative impact on the quality of the welfare state. "In fact, it is often certain large holders, linked to financial institutions, investment funds or even the SAREB who ignore these illegal jobs, because their ownership of the property is circumstantial," says the expert.
"Despite supporting this proposal, we understand that it is complementary and that it must be accompanied by those other initiatives that have been announced these weeks in the field of the State legislature to build a regulatory corpus that provides legal certainty as soon as possible to put an end to this problem that has not stopped growing in the last decade”, affirms Carles Sala.
THE DEBATE ON THE REGULATION OF THE ILLEGAL OCCUPANCY OF HOUSES CONTINUES
The recent agreement of the Council of Ministers on December 5 on the recommendation to file an appeal against a specific section of article 12 of Law 1/2022 is consistent with the set of legislative initiatives that have been announced to fight against a scourge that it creates social alarm and is taken advantage of by mafia organizations”.
The appealed article favored the occupation of homes, since since the approval of Decree Law 17/2019 the term from which the law protects and normalizes illegal occupations of residential properties has been extended.
The API reiterates the need to quickly resolve the legitimacy of this rule due to the legal uncertainty generated by these laws. They also express their surprise at the fact that the appeal does not address aspects declared unconstitutional after the approval of Law 1/2022, such as the mandatory social rental prior to filing a lawsuit.
Given the information that appeared on the agreement of the Council of Ministers on December 5 on the recommendation to file an appeal by the President of the State Government against a specific section of article 12 of law 1/2022, we want to make our positioning.
a. Squats: The reviewed article favored the occupation of homes, since since the approval of Decree Law 17/2019, the term from which the law protects and normalizes illegal occupations of residential properties has been extended. For this reason, we value favorably that, with the announcement of this resource by the President of the State Government, the consensus is extended to put a stop to the illegal occupations of houses.
That the State Government intends to put a stop to the current regulations that give legal coverage to squatting without qualifying title, we understand that it is consistent with the set of legislative initiatives that have been announced in recent months, aimed at fighting this scourge that creates social alarm and that is taken advantage of by mafia organizations that, among other things, take advantage of people in vulnerable situations.
b. Legal uncertainty: The appeal of the President of the State Government is the third that is accumulated against this law that is presented before the Constitutional Court and, therefore, we reiterate the need to quickly resolve the legitimacy of this norm, given the legal uncertainty that They generate these laws that, as the Court declared, contain “coercive, non-voluntary measures, limiting the right to property. Limitations of the maximum intensity, (...) that closely pressure the owner" (STC 16/2021).
c. The unconstitutionality of the procedural obligations of the forced rent: While waiting to know the possible agreements of the State-Generalitat Bilateral Commission for having limited the recourse of the President of the State Government to only one article of the law, we express our surprise for the fact that the appeal does not attend to aspects declared unconstitutional after the approval of law 1/2022.
We would like to remind you that recent decisions of the Constitutional Court leave certain obligations prior to the presentation of executive actions in the judicial sphere out of the compulsory rent due to their incidence on procedural law. Remember that STC 28/2022, on Decree Law 37/2020, already declared the lack of competence of our legislator regarding the procedural requirement of having to offer a mandatory social rental prior to filing the lawsuit. In addition, it determined the impossibility of interrupting procedures initiated and also declared the incompetence to regulate from Catalonia the suspension of launches for any reason. Similar arguments reiterated after STC 57/2022, of April 7, precisely to an appeal by the Government of the President of the State Government, to (among others) arts. 17 and 18 of the Catalan Law 11/2020, which treated these issues identically.
d. Vulnerability: From the API collective we have always expressed ourselves in favor of protecting vulnerable situations of people in a situation of difficulties to stay in a home, but this is a welfare policy that cannot be charged exclusively to the owner, and it should not be legitimized and regularize the illegal occupation of real estate as a way of accessing a house.