Barcelona Court Rules For 50% Rent Cut On 26 Tourist Apartments Due To Covid Restrictions.
A local court in Barcelona has ruled that a company renting 26 tourist apartments in the city should allow a 50% rent reduction, even after the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent mobility restrictions shattered its profits.
The company, Venpre SL, reported an 82.7% fall in earnings from the leased flats, mirroring the dramatic collapse of the tourism industry in Catalonia and across Spain since the first statewide lockdown came into force on March 15, 2020.
Attracting over 12 million visitors every year, the number of foreign tourists arriving in Barcelona fell by more than 80% since March, costing the Catalan economy around 25 billion euros, a GDP reduction between 1.5 and 2.9%, and the loss of approximately 90,000 jobs.
The renter repeatedly asked the landowner for substantial discounts on the 40,877 euros owed every month to lease the apartments, the contract of which states they can only be used for tourism-related activities. The landowner declined all requests, suggesting a moratorium instead. Venpre SL took the apartment holder to court on July 1, and this week the judge ruled in favour of the requested 50% rent reduction.
‘Unpredictable change in circumstances’
The ruling acknowledged that there had been “an unpredictable change in circumstances” from when the rental agreement was reached that should affect the fees paid by the renter. The discount will have retroactive effects, applying to the period from April 1, 2020, to Marcy 31, 2021. The landlord still has time to appeal the decision.
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