What is it and how does it affect homeowners?
The IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing is a tax that is applied in some cities in Spain with the aim of encouraging the rental of housing and reducing the number of empty flats on the market. Although it is a controversial measure, its application is spreading to more municipalities in the country, so it is advisable to be informed about its implications and how it can affect homeowners.
The Law of Local Treasuries establishes that having an empty property for more than two consecutive years entails a 50% penalty in the Real Estate Tax (IBI). This measure, which is applied in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, has been implemented to encourage the supply of rental housing and combat property speculation.
The rate is applied to the cadastral value of the property, and the owner must pay it annually until the property has a tenant. It is important to note that there are exceptions, such as in the case of homes that are being refurbished or where occupation is not possible for reasons beyond the owner’s control. In any case, the penalty aims to encourage the supply of rental housing and contribute to solving the problem of homelessness in cities.
What does the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing consist of?
The IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing is a tax that is applied to dwellings that are empty for a certain period of time, which varies according to each municipality. This tax is included as a surcharge on the Property Tax (IBI) paid by homeowners in Spain.
The aim of this surcharge is to encourage owners of empty properties to rent them out, as the property market in many cities in the country is saturated and the supply of housing does not meet the existing demand.
Which municipalities apply the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing?
Currently, there are several Spanish cities that apply the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing. Some of them are Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Seville, Zaragoza, Bilbao or San Sebastian. Each municipality establishes its own rules and criteria for applying this tax, so it is advisable to find out the conditions in each case.
What is the amount of the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing?
The amount of the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing varies according to each municipality and can range from 50% to 150% of the amount of the IBI corresponding to the property in question. For example, if the IBI for an unoccupied property is 500 euros per year and the surcharge is 100%, the owner will have to pay 1,000 euros per year for this tax.
How is it determined whether a property is unoccupied?
Each municipality has its own criteria for determining whether a property is unoccupied and must pay the corresponding IBI surcharge. In general, a dwelling is considered to be unoccupied when it has not been lived in for a certain period of time, usually between 6 and 12 months. In addition, in some cases it is required that the property is fully furnished and in other cases a property is considered to be unoccupied even if it is used sporadically, as a second home.
What are the exceptions to the IBI surcharge for unoccupied dwellings?
There are some exceptions to the IBI surcharge for unoccupied dwellings that may vary from municipality to municipality. In general, homes that are for sale or for rent, those that are being refurbished or those that are in a situation of force majeure, have certain exceptions when it comes to applying this tax. There are also some cases in which exemptions or reductions in the surcharge can be applied for, such as in the case of the elderly or disabled, or in the case of social housing.
How does the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing affect homeowners?
The IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing can affect homeowners in different ways. On the one hand, it means an increase in the tax burden they have to assume, as they will have to pay more tax on their property. On the other hand, this tax can serve as an incentive for homeowners to rent out their properties and earn an income from them, which can be beneficial both for them and for the property market in general.
In addition, the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing can also have a deterrent effect on the purchase of housing as an investment, as owners will have to pay this tax even if they do not earn rent for their property.
How to avoid the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing?
The easiest way to avoid the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing is to rent or sell the property. If you are looking for a tenant, it is a good idea to find out about market conditions in each area and set a competitive price to attract potential tenants.
Another option is to use the property as a permanent residence or second home, to avoid it being considered unoccupied according to the municipality’s criteria. In this case, it is important to make sure that you comply with all the relevant tax obligations.
Is the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing legal?
Yes, the IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing is legal and is contemplated in the Law of Local Treasuries. However, its application may vary according to each municipality and in some cases it may be the subject of controversy on the part of the affected owners.
As of the new housing law, a surcharge is established on the IBI of unoccupied dwellings. This regulation establishes that local councils will be able to demand a surcharge of up to 50% of the property tax from those owners who have an unoccupied property without a justified cause for a certain period of time. The Ministry of Finance has established that, from now on, tax ordinances will include this surcharge.
The aim of this measure is to encourage uninhabited dwellings to be rented or put to social use, thus facilitating access to housing for those who need it. The law on the right to housing defines an empty dwelling as a property that has not been occupied for more than two years, except for the reason of a change of address. The entry into force of this regulation has sparked debate about aspects related to rental prices and the need to establish incentives for social renting instead of penalising owners of unoccupied dwellings.
The IBI surcharge for unoccupied housing is a tax that is applied in some municipalities in Spain with the aim of incentivising rental housing and reducing the number of empty flats on the market. Although its application can be controversial, this measure can have a positive effect on the real estate market and benefit both owners and tenants.