06 Apr New package of urgent measures Royal Decree-law 11/2020, of 31 March – a brief critical review.
On 1 April, the Spanish government published a new Royal Decree-law 11/2020, which aimed to introduce a new package of measures to help citizens, self-employed workers and entrepreneurs to alleviate the havoc that the COVID-19 crisis is causing in the economy.
This Royal Decree-law 11/2020, of 31 March, which adopts urgent complementary measures in the social and economic field to deal with the COVID-19, although very ambitious in terms of the extent of the matters it intended to cover, has fallen very short of regulating many of them, which are also left unresolved.
Therefore, for example, in the area of rental housing for people in vulnerable situations, a moratorium or reduction in rental payments has been provided for when the landlord is a public entity, company or large asset holder, although the solution does not appear so simple in the case of the owner being a natural person with a house for rent – which is the majority of cases in our country – nor has any solution been provided for these small owners who have their eviction proceedings halted for up to six months as from 2 April 2020.
We also miss a regulation for so many businesses premises of self-employed workers and SMEs that are now closed, whose tenants, in the absence of measures, have no choice but to negotiate with their landlords and, in the absence of agreement, continue to pay – for the time being – the full rent to avoid eviction.
The measures envisaged for the self-employed go little further than a moratorium – not a waiver – on the payment of social security contributions when certain requirements are met that have yet to be determined and the possibility of suspending contracts for the supply of electricity, natural gas or fuel or temporarily reducing the power contracted.
Finally, the Royal Decree-law also regulates the service provision agreements and the sale and purchase of goods by consumers, granting them a right of withdrawal of 14 days from the date on which it becomes apparent that the contract cannot be fulfilled, and stops the collection of fees for services that cannot be provided normally (e.g. gyms, extracurricular activities, etc.).
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