Thursday, December 1

A neighbor takes a real estate fund to court for the “abusive clauses” of her rental contract

Silvia Torres, a neighbor of Granollers, has taken the Azora real estate fund to court to denounce the “abusive clauses” that, in her opinion, contain the rental contract for the apartment where she lives. In a procedure that has started this Friday in the City of Justice, the plaintiff demands that the increases to which she is obliged to face be canceled through a “bonus” that meant a 30% increase in rent from January.

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“I want to highlight two concepts: injustice and impotence,” he lamented in statements to the press before entering the trial. According to Torres, it is not “fair” that he found out through a burofax that his income would multiply “for no reason.”

“Now is the time, and that is why this trial can be pioneering and is important”, highlighted the lawyer for the Colectiu Ronda Montse Serrano, who also added that in recent years many contracts have been made with “abusive” clauses ” quite “generalized”. “It is relevant to transfer these trials of abuses that we have seen in other areas such as banking or leasing,” she added. In Silvia’s case, she asks that she not have to deal with the unlawful increase in her rent and that the payment protection insurance installments that she had to sign and pay be returned to her.

According to the lawyer, the Azora trial is expected to have two sessions. “The nullity of ten clauses incorporated into a lease agreement signed by Silvia and her father with the Lazora vulture fund (Azora subsidiary) will have to be determined. The judge will have to determine if they are abusive because they violate the urban lease law or the consumer regulations, ”she added.

Among the clauses denounced there is one that, according to the Colectiu Ronda, seeks to “evade” the prohibition to increase income above the CPI by establishing what they consider a “fiction” increase. How? Through a bonus that was applied to the first three years of Silvia’s contract, but that the fourth year had to mean a significant increase in rent.

On the part of the Tenants Union, the organization that channeled the case to the Justice, denounce that it is “common” that many leases incorporate these abusive conditions. “It happens in many situations and contracts, which is why it is important to find out, organize, get advice and deal with it,” said the entity’s spokesman, Enric Aragonès. In this sense, he has recommended that all tenants read and negotiate the conditions even when their contracts are already signed.

“We also consider it relevant that the future lease law incorporates the list of clauses that cannot be incorporated into the contracts and that, therefore, we do not have to go case by case,” he claimed. Even so, he recalled that abuses do not only occur in leases with large holders or investment funds, but also in contracts between individuals. In this sense, Aragonès has added that he hopes to meet soon with the Minister of Justice, Rights and Memory, Gemma Ubasart, to discuss this matter.

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