After a 17-hour session concluding at 5am on Wednesday morning, the Chamber of Deputies approved the reform of the rent law complete with its Senate amendments.
The final law ended up similar to the original government bill after the Senate amendments basically unpicked those introduced during lower house passage. The duration of contracts reverts to three years but rents may now be updated every six months instead of annually.
The bill was approved by 128 votes to 114 with solid support from Frente de Todos and Frente de Izquierda deputies while the parties between the two main coalitions went both ways. Vice-presidential candidate Florencio Randazzo (Identidad Bonaerense) was one of those voting against. Allthe deputies present voted.
The lower house version passed seven weeks ago had reduced the duration of contracts to two years with quarterly rent reviews but these amendments were overturned in the upper chamber by Peronist senators. The final text also specifies that rent contracts can only be made in pesos. The net result was thus a parliamentary triumph for Frente de Todos.
The law further exempts all property rented out for residential purposes from personal assets taxation and the cheque tax, as well as offering an income tax deduction for 10 percent of the value of the contract.
During the debate Pablo Tonelli (PRO-Buenos Aires Province) argued that the infrequency of reviews in times of high inflation had left rents so far behind that landlords were discouraged from letting out. The current Law 27,551 had reduced the number of units on offer to three digits so that legislation aimed at protecting tenants ended up hurting them, he pointed out.
In reply Itai Hagman and Paula Penacca (both Frente de Todos City deputies) denied that the problems of the real-estate market stemmed from the rent legislation but rather inflation. Penacca further argued that there was a "manifest” inequality between landlord and tenant which made protective legislation indispensable.