Spain | The Constitutional Court rules as unconstitutional the Catalan act on rent control

The Spanish Constitutional Court has handed down a judgment that will significantly affect the housing sector in Catalonia
Spain | The Constitutional Court rules as unconstitutional the Catalan act on rent control
March 14, 2022

> In a judgment of March 10, 2022, the Plenary session of the Constitutional Court unanimously upheld in part the appeal on the grounds of unconstitutionality filed by over 50 members of parliament of the Popular Party group in the Congress of Deputies against several articles of Act 11/2020, of September 18 (the Catalan Act on Rent Control). Under this act, in lease agreements for housing located in strained market areas, the agreed rent amount could not exceed the lower of the following amounts: the adjusted rent amount established in the previous agreement or the reference price set for the lease of similar housing properties.

> The judgment, which will come into force upon publication in the Official Gazette of the Spanish State, states that the following provisions of the Catalan Act on Rent Control are null and unconstitutional: articles 1, 6-13, 15 and 16.2; the first to fourth additional provisions; the first transitory provision; the third final provision, and the fourth final provision (letter b), thus practically annulling the entire contents of the act, except the requirements imposed for a specific district to be declared a strained residential market area and the procedure to seek this declaration.

> The Constitutional Court considers that, in approving these provisions, the autonomous region of Catalonia has encroached the national competences because under article 149.1. 8 CE, the state is entitled to lay down the criteria regarding the general legislation regulating the private procurement sector in regions that apply their own laws. This judgment aims to ensure that the principles governing contractual obligations are bound by a common denominator throughout Spanish territory.

> Finally, we highlight that, to avoid legal uncertainty, the judgment states that the effects of the declaration of unconstitutionality will extend “into the future, maintaining the terms of any housing leases entered into before the date of this resolution.”

March 14, 2022