The General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) will hold an extraordinary plenary session next Friday to study the Proposed report to the Draft Law for the Right to Housing, which was taken into consideration in first reading by the Council of Ministers on October 26 and sent to the governing body of the judges on December 1.
The draft, which has fallen to the member and former PSOE deputy Álvaro Cuesta, considers that The preliminary draft constitutes an adequate normative instrument to give content to the right to housing and also values that it is intended to guarantee compliance of this right in conditions of equality without prejudice to the competences that the autonomous communities have on the matter.
Among other measures, this “star” law – which the Government wanted to have approved before the end of last year – includes those relating to information and transparency in housing and land and those relating to the containment of rental prices and the modification of eviction procedures, contained in the final provisions.
Among other considerations, The proposed report warns of the inconsistency and imprecision that affects some statements and contents of the preliminary draft, which makes it difficult to precisely define the right that is intended to be guaranteed. As an example of this, and without prejudice to the autonomic competences in the matter, it indicates the absence of a minimum degree of specificity in the definition of concepts such as substandard housing, decent housing and adequate and affordable conditions in accordance with the financial effort or in the establishment of the duties of the citizen in relation to the actions of conservation, repair or improvement of the home.
He also misses that the draft specifies the means that will be used to enforce the protection of the right to housing. Despite its basic nature, the report proposal points out, the preliminary draft requires a greater degree of clarity, for example, in identifying the owner of the right and the obligated subject and regarding the way in which compliance with said right can be demanded.
This lack of specificity is especially appreciated in the precepts that determine the rules of price intervention in the housing rental market. At that point, the pre-legislator seems to have renounced, he says, to regulate specific pre or extra-procedural mechanisms to ensure compliance with the limitations that are introduced in the first final provision of the text, leaving their enforceability and compliance in the hands of the judicial bodies. This solution, the opinion proposal warns, will have an impact on the workload borne by the courts, already high.
The report proposal indicates, on the other hand, that the design contained in the preliminary draft to intervene in the housing rental market is compatible with the right to property in art. 33 of the Constitution. The regulation adopted does not make said right unrecognizable nor does it deny the economic utility of the property, so it operates within the control parameters established by the Constitutional Court and by the European Court of Human Rights.
Likewise, the draft report a sufficient justification for the need for housing rental price containment measures, based on an empirical analysis, is lacking of the result of these measures. Therefore, the advisability of establishing a temporary period of application of the restrictive measures is suggested, so that their result and impact can be evaluated both in the residential rental market and from a social and economic point of view.
The fact that these price containment measures are aimed at rents in stressed residential market areas – a declaration valid for three years, extendable – does not in itself entail an empirical analysis of the result of their application, recalls the report proposal.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism