Ten companies or institutions, such as the Sant Pau Foundation, own entire buildings totaling almost 3,000 flats for rent in Barcelona. This was revealed on Tuesday by the Tenants’ Union, which seeks to demonstrate two issues: First, that 80% of the neighbors who come to the union because they can not stay in their apartments are tenants of vertically owned properties. And second, “to dismantle the idea that in Barcelona the owners of the rental flats are small owners”.
The tenant organization currently has more than a thousand members and has also presented the campaigns #EnsQuedem (“we are staying”) and #LloguersJustos (“fair rent”). One of the possibilities suggested to make this resistance effective is by continuing to pay the rent before the court, but according to the current contract, or what each family considers a fair rent.
Among the companies are ones that bought properties that have been in the news because of the problems their tenants have revealed, or because of the intervention of the Barcelona City Council, either buying real estate or stopping works that did not conform to the legality. Elix, MK Premium, Norvet or Vauras are some of these signatures. “We make this data public because they do it every time we want to rent an apartment: they know our name, our payroll, who is our partner …”, said Marta Ill, one of the spokespersons for the event. She has also denounced the complicity of local owners in these practices: “They need partners here, homeowners who play with the lives of the tenants, they also have their share of responsibility.”