A PAIR of housing bodies are set to call strikes over rent payments by tenants struggling to pay rent during the Covid-19 crisis.

The tenants associations in Catalunya and Madrid insist that rents for families, small business owners and self-employed workers should be suspended during the crisis.

“The economic costs should not fall on the State or small landlords but on companies and financial entities,” insisted a spokesman.

In the case of small landlords, who depend on the income they make from rent to pay their bills, the State should be forced to step in to help them.

The news comes as Barcelona mayor, Ada Colau also asks for a suspension of rent payments for flats and commercial properties in the city during the pandemic.

Colau has sent a letter to the presidents of the College of Real Estate Agents, the College of Property Administrators and the Chamber of Urban Property asking for this.

In it she insists that action must be taken to ‘protect the most vulnerable and to prevent the spread of Covid-19.’

The mayor added that small business owners and self-employed workers have suffered a significant reduction in income and that rent is the most ‘significant expense they face’.

“The council has approved the suspension of the rent of more than 8,000 subsidised council houses and almost 400 commercial properties,” said the 46-year-old.

This comes after last week the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, called for the Government to suspend the payment of rent for flats and commercial properties during the coronavirus crisis, with the State compensating landlords.

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