The Guardian reports that Barcelona city council is fining banks that own empty properties, charging several banks €60,000 in total over 12 homes that have been empty for more than two years. City officials are investigating another 62 properties to decide whether more fines are appropriate.
The law allowing Barcelona to crack down on banks with empty homes was passed by the previous city council in 2014, but was never applied. Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, has announced these measures and stresses the urgency of housing emergency in Barcelona. Speculation investments drive up property prices and put pressure on an already difficult housing market. Other measures are in place to aid tenants who are behind on rent or are facing eviction.
Read The Guardian’s article about Barcelona’s legislation on speculation investments here.