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Fri Jun 12, 2020, 06:15 PM

Updated tenants law passed in Argentina

Argentina's Senate passed legislation yesterday establishing new laws governing rental agreements nationwide, replacing existing legislation signed in 1984.

The bill, known simply as the Tenants Law, was widely supported by tenants rights groups in Argentina - where over half the nation's 15 million households pay rent.

"Today, housing is closer to being a right - and to cease being a business deal," the National Federation of Tenants stated in a press release.

President Alberto Fernández's center-left Front for All coalition introduced the bill - which passed overwhelmingly in the Lower House on November 20, and in the Senate with 41 yeas to 29 abstentions.

No nays were registered because the right-wing Together for Change coalition - which supported the bill in the House - walked out of the Senate chamber in protest once its passage was assured.

Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Fernández on March 29 suspended rent hikes or evictions for six months.

The keys

Argentina's new Tenants Law addresses numerous longstanding obstacles faced by many of its estimated 8-9 million tenants.

Tenants may now seek contracts of up to three years, rather than the current two year term. Landlords agreeing to renew contracts after three years, moreover, would be limited as to new rental rates by an inflation and wage index-linked formula.

Landlords often force tenants out by doubling rents for those requesting a renewal, in the expectation that a new tenant might agree to higher rates.

The power to rescind a contract with only three months' notice, without being subject to a fine, will likewise now shift from the landlord to the tenant - a change Ricardo Botana of the Argentine Tenants' Union supports because "between moving expenses and the fine, rescinding a contract had often been too costly for tenants."

Other benefits to tenants include a one month's security deposit limit, and added flexibility as to co-signatories - which are often required by Argentine landlords.

A National Social Rental Program to assist senior and low-income tenants will also be established, as well as federal tenants' rights ombudsmen in each province and metro area.

Landlords, in turn, won a longstanding demand: a codified and expedited eviction process, which would now take as little as ten days from notification.

Rental properties, however, must be registered at the Federal Revenue Agency (AFIP); fewer than half are now estimated to be registered.

A real estate survey by polling firm Market Analytics revealed that 80% of landlords, developers, agents and brokers were opposed to the Tenants Law - with a group of auctioneers and brokers warning in a recent ad that "with less supply, prices will rise."

"We are 9 million tenants who expect to rent fairly," Gervasio Muñoz of Tenants Group, responded. "It's been 36 years that Congress hadn't debated rental law. We are achieving a historic bill."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&tab=wT&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldestapeweb.com%2Fsociedad%2Fcongreso%2Fnueva-ley-de-alquileres-las-diez-claves-que-hay-que-saber-202061120320



Apartment buildings crowd the Buenos Aires cityscape, where the nation's highest property values and a severe shortage of mortgage credit force most residents to rent.

The Tenants Law passed yesterday by Argentina's Congress seeks to limit costs for tenants, while guaranteeing a minimum three-year contract for those who need it.

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Response to sandensea (Original post)

Mon Jun 15, 2020, 06:57 AM

1. Such an important move, always, and especially NOW. Thank goodness, so many people will be helped.

It's unfortunate so many people seem to be able to respect their tenants once they own property they can rent, they so frequently decide they are simply going to wring them dry with rent increases and move on to the next victims.

There are sectors in business which cry out for actual rules of conduct by the people who engage in them, and nowhere more than property rental.

There are a whole lot MORE tenants than landlords, by golly! This is another great opening move by a new administration trying to restore order and humanity to a badly exploited and betrayed population.

Great news for a new week, sandensea! Thank you.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 15, 2020, 01:04 PM

2. You're welcome, Judi. They're also bringing back the PROCREAR subsidized housing program.

Under PROCREAR, introduced by Cristina Kirchner in 2012, new homeowners could access 10% mortgages (in a country with 30% mortgage rates) - and choose between either an apartment/townhouse in a state-built development, or, if they could buy a small lot, their own single home designed by PROCREAR architects.

Like in most 3rd world countries, poorer Argentines who won't rent have to settle with build-it-yourself housing (some nicer than others) - and forget about architect's fees. The poorer suburbs in Buenos Aires, in particular, are full of these unsightly - and often unsafe - cinder-block hovels.

PROCREAR sought to give them an alternative - and around 100,000 were built (25,000 in the developments, the rest as single homes) before Macri basically defunded the program in 2018.

Here's a good selection of the developments (the single homes basically followed the same, modernist style):

https://www.argentina.gob.ar/habitat/procrear/desarrollosurbanisticos

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Response to sandensea (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 15, 2020, 11:28 PM

3. When Macri defunded this program, did all those many people have to move out?

Have been pouring over the images tonight, they are amazing. Love all the balconies on the multi-story buildings. Loved the architecture, could only compare a lot of them to buildings in the U.S. Southwest, which originated with indigenous people in the desert. Perfectly insulated. Noticed two different complexes in Tierra de Fuego. Got totally caught up in looking for images, information, bumbled around in there like a ball in a pinball machine! Only just jumped free a moment ago!

Went from this site:

https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/544583779939120083/

looked at the Parque Nacional in Tierra del Fuego, had to look up the temperature there, then became trapped by these images,



trying to understand how they worked, and ended up here:

https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&hl=en&authuser=0&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=&bih=&ei=WRPoXtLYJ9u4tAb_zZjAAw&q=Zaha+Hadid%27s+version+of+the+infinite+stairs

If you ever fall into the "vast system of tubes" you could end up wandering around without sleep for days!

If President Alberto Fernández restored the totally vital housing for all these people, he is a godsend. There's one complex in Buenos Aires which has 2396 homes, another one near 2000 homes, and other very large housing groups, all the way down to around 14. I got stuck trying to grasp how large apartments are around 42 square meters up to 100, just couldn't quite visualize any of that.

Only a monster would dream of uprooting these people.

It takes a very decent democratic person to try to make things right for them. It's so important that Macri lost the first re-election in decades, at least, in Argentina and that he lost to a progressive.

Former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner should be so glad her administration's giant project has been restored, because it is so needed by so many.

Thanks for the information, again!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 16, 2020, 12:20 AM

4. They didn't have to move out (thank goodness) - but many move-in dates were delayed.

When Fernández took office, some 14,000 PROCREAR homes sat finished - but waiting for their owners to move in.

His goal, I understand, is to have them all in their new homes by the end of the year - though this Covid calamity has slowed all relocations down considerably.

Here's a tour of the biggest PROCREAR development, the 'Buenos Aires Station' neighborhood. It's 2,400 apartments that would normally cost $200-300,000 each, despite being in one of the worst areas of the city (here's a listing for a similar unit in a privately-developed building nearby: https://www.argenprop.com/departamento-en-venta-en-barracas-3-ambientes--7620212).

They're not much by U.S. standards certainly - but being a homeowner for an average young couple in Argentina (in Buenos Aires especially), is a real privilege these days.



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