The Constitutional Court has unanimously partly accepted the unconstitutionality appeal filed by the Popular Party (PP) against the Law 11/2020 of Catalonia, which limited the prices of housing leasing contracts, considering that the power of the government of Catalonia has been overran -and that it is the central administration that has the power to enact laws in this field.
It is expected that the Constitutional Court decision, which declares the unconstitutionality of the “Llei de Contenció de Rendes”, could be published in the BOE during the next month, at which time it would become effective.
In particular, the judgment declares null and void Articles 1 (purpose and scope of the rule), 6 to 13 (determination of the rent, reference price, updating of the rent, rental of new apartments, works, or the obligation for the price to be stated in the advertisements), 15 and 16.2; the first, second and third additional provisions; the first transitory provision and the fourth additional provision and the third final one.
According to the Constitutional Court, these precepts represent an invasion of the autonomous community in the powers of the State in civil matters to regulate the contractual bases, since article 149.1.8 of the Spanish Constitution attributes to the State the competence to establish the criteria for the regulation of the private contracting sector in those autonomous territories that have their own legislation.
In its decision, the Court does not go into the constitutionality of setting limits on rental prices, but it does deny that an autonomous community, in this case Catalonia, which has its own regional (“foral”) law, can regulate this matter.
The Catalan legislation forced to freeze or reduce the price of rents in areas with residential tension in the 60 Catalan cities with more than 20,000 residents, although vulnerable renters who ear less than 2,000 euros per month were exempted. The appeal was filed by te PP parliamentary group in 2020.
The judgement’s effects will be effective in the future and not retroactive, so that rental contracts prior to this resolution will keep the same conditions.