Rent controls considered by city council; Prices paid by foreign residents will be studied

Mar 17, 2018 | 7 comments

Three members of Cuenca’s municipal council are preparing a proposed ordinance that would control the amount property owners can charge for rent. The ordinance would also have provisions to make discrimination in rentals illegal.

What’s the fair price for rentals in Cuenca?

“The new rules will ensure that that those who do not own a home have a decent place to live,” says councilor Xavier Barrera. He and fellow council members Carlos Orellana and Carolina Martínez say that the ordinance is necessary to stop “rent gouging” and to prevent the practice of denying rentals to some potential renters.

Of special interest, says Barrera, is examining the rents paid by foreign residents, particularly Europeans and North Americans, to make sure they are not being overcharged. In preparing the ordinance, he also said the amounts that foreign property owners charge tenants will be examined.

He said that prices for short-term rentals, such as Aribnbs, may also be studied.

Barrera said that those supporting the ordinance will hold a series of public workshops to review its objectives beginning next week.

“We are still in the study stage of preparing an ordinance,” Barrera said. “We will propose a thorough review of property values based on tax records to determine a fair value of rentals. Our plan is to present a draft of our proposal to the full council in about a month.”

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