The Cataluñan Government has approved legislation that will force investors to give up their properties for social housing if squatters have been living there for 6 months or more. Previously, the expropriation of a property could be stopped if the owner had denounced the squatters in court, but now judges cannot interfere in this transfer of ownership to the government.
The aim of the new legislation is to increase the volume of social housing and moderate the recent rises in rental prices, in particular in Barcelona. Indeed, banks and investment funds with dozens of properties across the region will now have to give up their properties to squatters.
However, the measure will inevitably have a negative impact on the real estate sector by deterring investment. It is the second time that the sector has rejected such a law on the grounds that it represents an infringement on the right to private property.