Tenancy Law and Housing Policy in Europe
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Tenancy Law and Housing Policy in Europe

Towards Regulatory Equilibrium

Edited by Christoph U. Schmid

Tenancy law has developed in all EU member states for decades, or even centuries, but constitutes a widely blank space in comparative and European law. This book fills an important gap in the literature by considering the diverse and complex panorama of housing policies, markets and their legal regulation across Europe. Expert contributors argue that that while unification is neither politically desired nor opportune, a European recommendation of best practices including draft rules and default contracts implementing a regulatory equilibrium would be a rewarding step forward.
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Chapter 3: Tenancies as an alternative to homeownership in Spain, Portugal and Malta? The legal drivers in a European context

Sergio Nasarre Aznar, Maria Olinda Garcia, Héctor Simón Moreno, Kurt Xerri and Elga Molina Roig


Authors and social sectors promote tenancies as an effective alternative to homeownership, especially as a result of the 2007 mortgage crisis. However, ownership entails a range of values; among others, stability, which makes it particularly attractive. Quite often, urban leases do not offer the advantages or sufficient guarantees, for either landlords or tenants, to make them an attractive type of housing tenure. This chapter analyses legal tenancy frameworks in Spain, Portugal and Malta, including the most recent shifts towards the liberalization of the contractual relationship, in order to discuss whether urban leases in these countries constitute, in their legal configuration, a true alternative to homeownership. The German, Austrian and Swiss legal systems are also analysed briefly in order to draw parallels between the respective regimes as far as these are the European countries with the highest rates of rented dwellings.

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