Rent control Europe: Czech Republic

Population: 10,553,443 GDP: $189,982,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €198.25 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €3,384.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre Avg. Monthly Rent: €475.73

Any analysis of rent control in Europe must take careful note of the example that is the Czech Republic, where an estimated 90% of households lived in rent-controlled housing as of 2006. Since then, the country has begun the slow transition to a market-based system, although this has not been without pitfalls; there is a general consensus in favour of readdressing housing regulation legislation, but this has been met with considerable resistance by the citizens.

The prospect of citizens being responsible for their own housing is a new, and alien idea for Czechs, many of whom believe that the provision and maintenance of housing is the responsibility of the government. What has resulted is a split system: older Czechs live in rent controlled housing governed by the Price Regulation of the Ministry of Finance, whereas new renters, foreigners, and any property built after 1993 exists in the free market, with freely negotiated rental rates.

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Rent Control in Europe: Cyprus

Population: 1,165,000 GDP: $23,263,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €393.50 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €1,790.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre Avg. Monthly Rent: €441.82

In this post we will be analysing the current housing market in the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus. According to the RICS Cyprus Property Price Index, published on July 4th, prices of both residential apartments and homes increased during the first quarter of 2016, 1.2% and 1.5% respectively.[1]

This comes on the heels of a dramatic price collapse for the Cypriot housing market; while the entire world felt the effects of the economic downturn of 2008, there was a disproportional decline in housing prices in Cyprus. There were two readily identifiable causes for the increased susceptibility of the Cypriot market: the reliance on injections of foreign investment capital, primarily from the U.K. and Russia, which all but evaporated when conditions took a turn for the worse back at home, and the title deed logjam that plagued Cypriot housing.

The title deed debacle characterised Cyprus’s real estate development up until its collapse in 2008. The …

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Rent control in Europe: Austria

Population: 8,662,588 GDP: $386,227,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €531.00 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €10,807.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre Avg. Monthly Rent: €872.58

The next stop on our trip across Europe, analysing rent control policies and their effects on property markets, takes us to Austria. The Austrian housing market is complicated, even amongst European Union nations which boasts a number of improperly functioning housing markets. However, where many states in the EU began a comprehensive re-evaluation of their housing policy, Austria has failed to do so effectively.

Austrian tenancy protection laws and rent controls stem from the First World War, and despite the changing situation and the decreased shortage of housing, these rules are still in effect. As a result, there exists in Austria a two class society among tenants and landlords, of those whose tenancy is determined by ABGB (General Civil Code) or the newer MRG (Tenancy Statute).

Austrian tenancy laws are plagued by exceptions and counter-exceptions, and as a result, are quite complicated for the average tenant to understand and apply to their situation. Furthermore, …

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Rent control in Europe: Sweden

Population: 9,884,285 GDP: $570,591,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €842.29 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €687.51 Avg. Monthly Rent: €1,252.83

To begin our series profiling the rent control situation in EU countries, we will take a look at the impact of rent control on the private rental market of Sweden, with a focus on the capital city of Stockholm where the city limits are home to 900,000 of Sweden’s 9.9 million citizens. The rental market there is a relevant reflection of the country’s conditions as a whole given the importance of the city to the economy in general.

Sweden has perhaps the most pro-tenant laws in the world, and has been held up as an example for other EU nations investigating rent control legislation. The reasons for the attractiveness of the example are largely because people look at the terms tenants in an existing tenancy face. The issue that arises, however, is that in creating such a tenant-friendly environment, the Swedes have subsequently alienated landlords and generated a dramatic shortage of rental properties, that aspect of their market is rarely raised …

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