Tag Archives: Landlords

How Spain Became a Squatter’s Paradise, by Nick Corbishley

“Squatter”—that’s a word we’re going to hear a lot in the near future. From Nick Corbishley at wolfstreet.com:

For many, squatting is a desperate last resort. For others, it’s a lifestyle choice or political statement. Barcelona, ground zero of the phenomenon, attracts squatters from all over Europe.

Since the burst of Spain’s madcap housing bubble in 2009, squatting — the unlawful occupancy of uninhabited buildings or unused land — has become a major problem. By 2019, following a 58% surge in cases in five years, close to 100,000 properties were occupied by okupas (squatters), according to estimates by the Insititut Cerdá. The number does not include dwellings occupied by tenants who have simply stopped paying their rent, since this does not count as squatting.

But Spain’s squatting problem could be about to explode as more and more non-paying tenants lose their homes, and take to squatting. For the past six months tenants of apartments owned by large private landlords or public companies have been protected from eviction by a government ban, but that ban is scheduled to expire at the end of September.

Once that happens, evictions are likely to surge. As in many other countries, it’s not clear how many tenants are not paying their rents since reliable sources of data do not exist. But what data does exist suggest that by late May around 17% of tenants were not paying their rent. If that number is even half accurate, it means Spain will soon see “an alarming spike in evictions”, as the advocacy group Platform for Mortgage Victims (PAH) has warned. Many of those who are evicted may end up squatting somewhere.

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The War on Landlords Has Begun, by Zachary Yost

Stiffing landlords is fast becoming a legalized theft that’s even more pernicious that rent control. From Zachary Yost at mises.org:

As the widening gyre that that is 2020 continues to turn, it seems that every day some new disastrous and ill-thought-out proposal is made or policy implemented. Among the chaos, the chorus to cancel rent in particular has stuck out for its sheer insolence and the ease with which it has entered the discourse as a sensible policy solution.

The idea of abolishing rent is not new, but until now it has never really been considered anything but a nutty pipe dream. But with the economic carnage wreaked by the virus and ensuing government lockdown still ongoing it has disturbingly come to be viewed as a conceivable policy option. With tens of millions out of work, the ability to pay for basic necessities like housing is obviously a valid concern, but the callousness of the idea of simply expropriating housing from property owners is disturbing and indicative of darker trends coursing through the body politic in these turbulent times.

One of the most high-profile leaders of the cancel rent movement is Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who introduced legislation in April that basically amounts to nothing other than government extortion of landlords. Christian Britschgi reports that the bill would simply cancel all rent and mortgage payments for primary residencies across the entire country until a month after the federal state of emergency has ended. Attempting to collect rent or reporting the nonpayment of rent to credit agencies results in increasing fines, including the seizure of one’s property.

After Omar had taken a baseball bat to landlords’ knees everywhere, she generously extended a government crutch, with strings attached, of course. Landlords who accepted federal aid in compensation would be required to not raise the rent for five years, and they would not be able to take into consideration someone’s credit or criminal history when taking rental applications. Additionally, landlords would be required to provide tenants with 10 percent equity in the property. The mafia would be proud of such a blatant shakedown.

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“We’re Screwed”: The Worst Months For Both Renters And Landlords Still Lie Ahead, by Tyler Durden

Where are rents going to come from when individuals have lost their jobs and business owners have lost their businesses. The coronavirus commissars either didn’t think of that or don’t care. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Rent has barely trickled in across the U.S. over the last couple months as the country continues to grapple with a decimated economy as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The only reason that many landlords have not gone belly-up alongside of their respective tenants has been due to the emergency “relief” provided by the government in the form of relentlessly printing, handing out and destroying the U.S. dollar.

Now, with further emergency funding still up in the air and eviction moratoriums about to expire, an ugly picture is starting to emerge for both renters and their landlords. In fact, Bloomberg predicts that the “worst is yet to come”. 

33% of renters didn’t make their full payment in the first week of July, a recent survey showed. This means that 12 million renters could face eviction over the next four months. In places like New York and Houston, more than 20% of renters say they have “no confidence” in their ability to pay rent next month. 

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