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The closing of businesses forces the commercial premises to be converted into rental housing


Many businesses have had to lower the blind permanently due to the coronavirus crisis, leaving an empty place that right now is almost impossible to rent again. For this reason, the owners are open to any proposal to find a new tenant. The last idea is convert them into homes for rent, although it is necessary to make an important investment that adapts the property for its habitability.

One of the main advantages is the high profitability index, which in many cases it exceeds 10%, as pointed out by Alfa Inmobiliaria. In addition, several homes can be extracted from a commercial premises and the square meter of tertiary land, the one intended for the provision of services to the public, is between 10% and 20% below compared to other properties located in similar locations .

However, it is not allowed to live in a commercial premises, so it is necessary to carry out various bureaucratic procedures that they can last up to 15 months. For example, it is essential to obtain the habitability certificate, a document that confirms that a house meets the basic conditions to enter to live. It is also necessary to take into account the statutes of the community of owners, which in some cases prohibits converting a premises into housing.

"Compliance with these requirements is what sometimes complicates and slows down these operations, because what you cannot do is live in a commercial premises and, unless you have the certificate of habitability, it will not be possible to use it as a residence or sell it. as a house ", he explains the vice president of Alfa Inmobiliaria, Jesús Duque. Still, he argues that this practice "is spreading widely."

Alfa Inmobiliaria highlights that real estate investors are the main interested in acquiring this type of property. But also people looking for larger spaces at more reasonable prices or professionals who need to incorporate an environment in their home to carry out their work.

Commercial premises are not the only ones that are turning towards residential rental. At the beginning of the pandemic, economic stagnation affected tourism, forcing many owners of tourist apartments to reinvent themselves and allocate these homes to traditional leasing. Rent is cheaper, but it was the only way to obtain a monthly return on properties that would surely be empty if they were still focused on tourism.


All these reconversions are helping increase the rental housing stock and gradually meet existing demand. It is the only way to reduce the prices of leases, which have remained practically stable despite the Covid-19 crisis. "As long as supply and demand are not more balanced, we will continue registering increases in the rental price," said the director of Communication for Fotocasa, Anaïs López this week.

In the Government they try to tackle this problem with building more housing. The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda will resume its plan to increase the park of public flats for rent by granting the right to use public land. The forecast of the portfolio led by José Luis Ábalos is that this public-private collaboration project will generate 148,000 jobs over the next two years.


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