1677399975 My tenant hasnt paid me for three years this is

My tenant hasn’t paid me for three years: this is the maze of landlords

My tenant hasnt paid me for three years this is

When Yolanda Florín, 42, was pregnant with her third child, she decided to move. It was 2016 and she lived with her husband and two children in a 50 square meter apartment in Villaverde (Madrid) that they bought in 2002 and whose mortgage she continues to pay off. They asked for a second loan to buy a larger apartment in the same district, and they thought it would be a good idea to rent the first house to cover the monthly bills. After a reform, they leased it to a woman for 520 euros a month.

In May 2019, the tenant stopped paying. The eviction was scheduled for May 2020, but the pandemic “stopped everything” because it demanded that reports be declared vulnerable and not vacated. “She’s not vulnerable, she works as a tarot reader and she hasn’t written since 2007, she calculates in flats,” Yolanda denounces. “Since then, my struggle with the Eduardo Minguito social service center began to show that it is not vulnerable.” Finally, this condition was withdrawn in April 2022 because he also “rejected all offers of housing that were offered to him”. The case has been in court of first instance number 83 since November, pending the judge’s consideration of the allegations. “It’s an economic complaint, I have two mortgages, three jobs plus my husband’s, and my kids are on welfare for the school canteen.” Failures amount to 25,000 euros.

The Autonomous Community of Madrid has granted Yolanda the economic compensation to which she is entitled for delaying the suspension of the evictions due to vulnerability situations. He recognized 9,000 euros for the period from June 2021 to December 2022. “I haven’t received it yet,” he says.

Non-payment of rent has always existed, but first the pandemic and later the war have increased the tension in an extremely complex matter in which all parties are losing. Those affected by rent losses have christened this phenomenon worries, a term that does not legally exist. There are no official figures on how many owners are in this situation. The platform for those affected by the occupation, which consists of 2,200 members, expects around 80,000 people to be affected in Spain and estimates the economic damage caused by non-payment of rent at around 2,400 million euros (with an average administrative procedure of around 3 years). If one takes into account that many floors were “destroyed” after the eviction, the bill would rise to 4.8 billion, according to those affected.

These owners are not big owners. In most cases they own one or two rented houses. “We only defend small owners,” said Ricardo Bravo, spokesman for the platform. There are two parties to this pressure cooker: tenants who don’t pay their rent for months because they’re vulnerable, and landlords who say they’ve been smothered and denounce using violence to become the social shield.

The positions are incompatible. The tenants’ associations reject the reservation clause on the grounds that vulnerable people who cannot afford the rent will be criminalized and see the lawsuit as political bias. “The economic damage to the landlord cannot be greater than the damage done to these homeless people. Also, the debts are piling up and they are being confiscated for the rest of their lives,” says Carlos Castillo of the Madrid Tenants Union. Carme Arcarazo from the Barcelona tenants’ union reminds that there are no vulnerable landlords. “People default on payments because they can’t afford the high rents, not because they want to. They experience it as failure, especially single mothers, which is the profile of a vulnerable person.”

On March 31, 2020, the Government approved Royal Decree-Law 11/2020 adopting urgent measures to combat Covid. One of them is the suspension of evictions and the release of vulnerable tenants. This decree has been successively extended and is generally valid until June 30th. This means that since 2020 it is not possible to evict a tenant who does not pay rent if he can prove that he is vulnerable (under the conditions are proof of unemployment, family unit income, three times the IPREM does not exceed …). . “Vulnerable people creep in by mistake, it’s very easy to be declared as such because they work in Bo, the husband registers with the mother…” denounced those affected who were consulted.

They recognize that there are families who have really been through difficulties and that they have the right to a housing solution, but that it should be the state that makes this possible, not them. They say they neither want nor can be the pillar that supports them. “We are collateral damage and we don’t understand that violating contracts with voluntary crime and strategies of staying in a house without paying for it have no consequences,” says the owners’ spokesman, a high school teacher in Madrid. In addition, “there are vulnerable families among the landlords. Some had to hand over the house as a means of payment,” he says. However, Eduardo Fernández-Fígares, a lawyer specializing in evictions for non-payment of rent, has noted that “there are more and more cases where the judge does not suspend the start because they consider that the owner is equal or more vulnerable than the tenant.”

Ricardo Bravo explains the situation they are experiencing: “There are those who have taken advantage of this government measure to voluntarily stop paying until a verdict is reached. They later request a vulnerability report from community social services and halt the eviction.” Social services have full decision-making authority, although the final word rests with the judge. “In the event that the need for protection is denied, they have extended the stay in the house (up to a year or more),” the spokesman for those affected continued. If the tenant is declared a vulnerable person, another problem arises: the social welfare office has to offer a housing resource, but there are no public housing for everyone. “They stay in our homes because there is a legal limbo,” he says.

The ordeal of Marina, a 38-year-old woman living in Torrevieja (Alicante), ended two months ago when she recovered a house in Almería after three years without paying rent. “We rented the house for 600 euros. It was newly renovated, everything was new. It was premiered by a married couple and their two children”. You only paid for the first month. Then came the pandemic. Marina filed an eviction notice for non-payment plus rent claim, but her tenants demanded the vulnerability report. He insists social services never compiled the data. His debtors eventually left the house, owing €22,000 plus €10,000 for repairs.

saturated services

How many vulnerable people are in these circumstances? The Autonomous Communities must report monthly to the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 on the communications received, the reports issued, the period of issue and the actions taken by the social services. From this ministry they say that there is not enough data because not all municipalities have communicated it. There is no x-ray of the problem.

Those affected denounce the oversaturation of the social services. “They don’t check the information, they don’t check the data,” says Elina Villegas, 28. Elina’s parents, aged 61 and 62, rented their lifelong home in Torrelavega (Cantabria) when her grandfather began showing symptoms of Parkinson’s. The floor has not been adjusted. They rented the house to a family of seven in 2018 and moved to the Cantabrian town of Los Corrales de Buelna. The rent was 500 euros a month. In October 2019, the tenants announced their intention to stop paying. “We denounced it in December 2019 and the launch was planned for May 2020, but it was put on hold due to the pandemic decree,” says Elina. The defaulters (three now live in her home) achieved vulnerability, although it was a mistake by social services. “They copied a foreclosure report, it wasn’t even my case. It has no truth content because I have evidence that they work and have money. In the meantime Elina has to live with her parents and the only solution they offer is the settlement of a financial compensation. The debts already amount to more than 21,000 euros. “From here until the eviction, the debt will be around 30,000 euros,” he adds.

Department of Social Rights sources say there may be specific saturation issues but rule out it is a general one. The tenants’ associations insist that the solution includes regulation of rents and that there is a public housing park that offers a real alternative for people in vulnerable situations.

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