Government decrees freezing of rental rates

October 2011 Author: Sergio Casinelli

Contacts

The People’s Ministries of Housing and Habitat and of Trade published a Joint Resolution (the “Resolution”) in Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela N° 39.783 on October 21, 2011, declaring housing rental a staple service, and establishing as follows:

1. Regulation of rents 

The Resolution freezes housing rentals at the rate charged on October 15, 2011, throughout the national territory.

2. Scope of application

Rentals charged for the leasing of property used for housing and for mixed usage are subject to the Resolution. The Resolution expressly applies to rental rates established in leasing agreements for property used as housing that is not subject to regulation under Article 4 of the Real estate Leasing Law, including property used as housing whose Habitability Certification or similar instrument is dated later than January 2, 1987. The Resolution is also binding on all competent authorities with administrative functions in rental matters.

3. Exchange rate

Leasing agreements that use the exchange rate as a monetary reference for the sale and purchase of foreign currency shall be governed by the provisions established by the Central Bank of Venezuela in accordance with Article 6 of Exchange Agreement N°1, which provides that the Central Bank and the National Government will fix the official exchange rate for the purchase and sale of foreign currency.

4. Penalties

Lessors who infringe the Resolution or incur in speculation, usury and other related crimes will be penalized in accordance with the provisions of the Law for the Defence of People’s Access to Goods and Services, and of the Real Estate Leasing Law.

5. Entry into force

The Resolution entered into force as of the date of its publication in the Official Gazette of the Bolivar Republic of Venezuela, that is, October 21, 2011, and will remain in force for at least six (6) months, extendable for a similar term if the National Executive so decides.