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Latino Daily News

Monday June 16, 2014

Tough Eviction Laws in Venezuela Dries Up Rental Market

Venezuela’s rental market has dried up, with owners reluctant to rent properties three years after enactment of a law that makes it extremely difficult to evict tenants.

Thousands of would-be renters are finding it nearly impossible to rent an apartment, Venezuelan Real Estate Association president Aquiles Martini Pietri told Efe.

“Today, it’s practically impossible to rent” in Venezuela, Martini said.

“Once you rent your property, it becomes practically impossible to get it back,” Martini said.

The Law for the Regulation and Control of Rental Housing was one of a series of measures enacted by the government in 2011 to protect tenants.

The government enacted the law in response to a study that found that Venezuela had a shortage of 3 million rental units.

The law, among other provisions, gave tenants the right to acquire a dwelling after paying rent for 20 years and expanded government control over landlord-tenant relations.

“Ten years ago, renting accounted for 30 percent of housing options and 10 years later ... the rental market accounts for just 1 percent of the real estate market,” Urban Property Owners Association, or Apiur, president Roberto Orta told Efe.

The National Rental Housing Administration, or Sunavi, is currently handling about 20,000 eviction cases and has resolved just two cases, Apiur figures show.

Leftist lawmaker Claudio Farias disputed the figures, saying that just 20,000 eviction cases were in Sunavi’s pipeline and 15 had been resolved.

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