Amid complaints from the real estate sector and strong opposition criticism, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Sergio Massa, said on Wednesday that the rental law “failed” and called for discussion of a new project that provides “certainties” to the owner and “guarantees and tranquility” to the tenant.
“In the previous government, Congress approved, not in bad faith, but seeking a solution to a problem, a law that failed, and that sought to insure tenants and owners and ended up reducing the offer, reducing the possibility of developing the business and generating uncertainty and difficulties for the tenant ”, he stated.
Massa referred to this issue when participating in the event for Construction Day in the building of the Confitería del Molino, in front of the Congress. The head of the Lower House said that the new project to be discussed must serve so that the sector can “freely develop that noble undertaking that it has throughout the country.”
The rent law was approved by the Senate in June 2020, but had the endorsement of the Chamber of Deputies since November of the previous year, during the administration of Mauricio Macri.
Before the legislative elections in November of this year, the candidate for national deputy (was elected) María Eugenia Vidal had expressed the need to repeal the initiative. His rival from the Frente de Todos, Leandro Santoro, spoke in a similar vein.
According to the figures of the sector, since the sanctioned regulation came into force on June 11, 2020, 45% of the owners have decided to stop renting their property. Which means that in the City of Buenos Aires more than 200,000 properties went up for sale.
Although he avoided talking about repeal, Leandro Santoro was one of the first government officials to recognize shortcomings of the norm. “I do not know what I will find when I go to my block but my personal position, from my personal experience, is that this law must be reviewed because it has not fulfilled the function we expected. It is fundamentally a problem for the tenants. You have to review it, correct it and listen to all parties, “he said at the beginning of the month.
The term and the updating of the rental contracts are the main questions that are made to the standard. From the real estate sector they had initially requested partial changes, but recently voices were added in favor of a repeal.
The Federal Council of Real Estate Associations (Cofeci) proposed modifying article 1198 of the Civil and Commercial Code, which establishes a minimum rental period of three years to take it to two years. In addition, they seek the repeal of article 14 of the Rentals Law, which introduces the obligation of an annual update of the contracts according to the Index of Rental Contracts (ICL) carried out by the Central Bank.
From the tenant associations, which promoted the legislative debate of the norm, they oppose a repeal, although they recognize that it is necessary to review the law. “Before, rents increased above inflation due to semi-annual adjustments. Today, with a 3-year contract, the level of increase is less than with a 2-year contract with semi-annual variations of 15% ”, Gervasio Muños, from Inquilinos Agrupados, told Radio Rivadavia weeks ago.
The reference of the association pointed out against those who ask to repeal the law because they want to return to the two-year contract “in which they can increase what they want when they want.”
With the passing of 2021, the voices against the rent law began to grow. Even the former PRO national deputy Daniel Lipovetzky, former head of the General Legislation Commission and one of the promoters of the initiative, considered long ago that he had been wrong, said that the project had errors and agreed with the position of Juntos by Change to revise the standard.
In September, the Minister of Territorial Development and Habitat, Jorge Ferraresi, tried an explanation of the application problems encountered by the rental law. “It was approved and regulated last year with a lot of participation from tenant associations, so it has good points. What happens is that Argentina is very heterogeneous, so it is difficult to generate laws that regulate the entire market ”.
Then Ferraresi said that the Government did not have a project to modify the norm and considered, instead, the need to advance in local changes. “We believe that they do not have to be laws, but that the issue is something that must be resolved at the local level.”
For its part, the real estate sector always held high criticism of the initiative. Enrique Abatti, president of the Chamber of Property Owners of the Argentine Republic, pointed out that the initiative generated greater damage. “The rents went up even more. The owner at the prospect of an ironed rent for one year, and as it is mandatory to use the Central Bank Index but everyone is suspicious, just in case they increase more ”, he said.
Source: “La Nación”