Sindicat de Llogateres de Barcelona (Barcelona Tenants' Union, 2017-present)

  • The Sindicat de Llogateres de Barcelona (Barcelona Tenants' Union) was created in 2017 to mobilise tenants in a context of fast and big rental prices increases in the city.

  • Manifest (through Google Translate):

    • In Barcelona, 30% of residents live in rented accommodation. This figure, which is well above the Spanish average, is still far from other European cities such as Berlin, Amsterdam or Paris where rent represents more than 60% of homes, and is much more protected by law.

    • The Tenants' Union understands that the problem of rent is not just the result of a law that violates the rights of tenants. We also want to fight this new real estate bubble that is attacking our city, based on the speculative and abusive increase in rental prices (of 9% last year). We also denounce that the general precariousness of working conditions multiplies the risk of residential exclusion: we are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the disproportionate scarcity of life. 83% of evictions in Barcelona in 2015 were for non-payment of rent. While the average price of flats in Barcelona is 801€, 1 in 3 workers is paid less than 843€. We will also work to ensure a tax regime in the possession and use of housing to prevent fraud and comparative grievance between tax benefits between landlords and tenants.

    • We understand that it is vital to guarantee the social function of housing through the firm protection of residential use over economic or speculative use of any kind. For this reason, we demand the fight against the processes of tourist pressure and gentrification that expel us from our neighborhoods. There is also an urgent need to mobilize empty homes and increase the public social rental stock.

    • Through the organization and mobilization we want to respond to the growing demands around rent through advisory services that take over our rights and duties and the contractual conditions of our rents (temporary, bail, works, conditions of habitability, maintenance, clauses, etc.). We also want to have an impact on more general issues such as the Urban Leases Act (LAU) or the development of legislative measures to control and limit rental prices.

  • Keywords: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, corporate landlords, social movements, citizen movements, civic movements

Listen to Jaime Palomera, co-founder and spokesperson of the Sindicat de Llogateres, doctor in Anthropology and researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, speaking to former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, Leiliani Farha, and film director Fredrik Gertten, in the November 2020 episode of the Pushback Talks podcast: https://pushbacktalks.buzzsprout.com/1189295/6354952-the-spanish-tenants-movement-from-resistance-to-rewriting-the-law-a-conversation-with-jaime-palomera-zaidel