Will the “rent shield” and the revaluation of APL really protect tenants?

Will the “rent shield” and the revaluation of APL really protect tenants?

” In front of price increase, we protect the French. » On Monday, June 27, Bruno the MayorMinister of Economy and Finance, announced two measures to fight against inflation which also affects rentsand so, tenants.

First a ” rent shield which will limit the increase to 3.5%, while the Rent Reference Index (IRL), which sets the ceilings for the annual rent increases that landlords can demand based on the prices at the consumption could happily exceed this threshold as of July 13.

The second measure consists of a 3.5% revaluation of personal housing assistance (APL) which affect some of the poorest households for housing. Concrete decisions… which are struggling to convince professionals in the sector.

Measures too timid

“It’s a measure, reacts David Rodrigues, lawyer of the consumer defense association CLCV, we are very far from the rent freeze proposed by Bruno Le Maire himself recently. According to the lawyer, this ceiling is not really one since the latest forecasts for INSEE established the next IRL around this 3.5%: “If the forecasts had said 4, they would have put it at 4.”

Already challenged on this subject on social networks, the Minister of Ecological Transition, Amélie de Montchalin defended herself by explaining that the IRL could reach 5% in the fourth quarter of the year. Predictions confirmed by the French Observatory of Economic Conditions. In this case, the 3.5% shield represents protection.

“Disproportionate” measures between them

But it needs to be put into perspective according to David Rodrigues, with supporting figures: “For a rent of 600 euros (the average rent in France), the 5% increase represents 252 euros per year. This is insurmountable for many households. Whereas it is a shortfall that is easier for owners to absorb, by definition in more affluent situations. »

To cash in on this increase, tenants can count on a revaluation of APLs, “disproportionate” to the increases. “The same household that paid 600 euros in rent and receives 100 euros from APL will only see the latter increase by 3.5 euros, or 42 euros over the year. Subtracted from the 252 euros of rent increase, it is a dead loss of 210 euros. »

An observation shared by Pierre Marec, an economist at the OFCE who highlights it on a national scale: “ The 3.5% increase (in rents) would weigh for 2.6 billion euros on the remainder of tenant households’ living. This decrease in the remainder to live is only partially offset by the State through the increase of 810 million euros in APL. In total, this therefore makes an additional 1.7 billion euros to be paid for tenants over one year.

Not all tenants benefit from APL

This protection for tenants is also limited in scope since not all tenants have access to APLs. Of the 10.6 million tenant households in France, just over half benefit from it. End of 2019, 6.5 million households benefited from one of the personal housing aids (APL, ALS or ALF), but this figure has since decreased according to Michel Fréchet, national president of the General Confederation of Housing (CGL): “Many have lost their rights to APL with the 2021 reform. And others stagnate just above the ceiling. ” According a report from the Senatethis reform excluded 285,000 people from the right to APL.

In general, all the experts contacted by 20 minutes agree on the assessment of these measures. To sum up: “It’s better than nothing but there was a lot better to do. »

Rent freeze acclaimed

According to them, a rent freeze was the best solution to put in place. “It was the first thing to do. The most popular solution at the National Housing Council,” explains Michel Fréchet. According to him, housing, both private and public, brings in several tens of billions of euros per year to the State, compensation for owners is therefore possible.

The CLCV offers two additional solutions. A first which would consist in removing food and energy from the calculation of the IRL to limit the effects since these are two sectors already strongly affected by inflation : “ To include it in the calculation of the IRL is to make them pay twice. »

Amélie de Montchalin defends the “modest owners”

Faced with criticism regretting a rent freeze, the minister defended the “modest landlord who lives from the rental of his property” against the “well-to-do tenant”. An argument that does not hold for David Rodrigues: “A rent freeze does not mean a loss for a landlord, it is a loss of earnings. Whereas for a tenant, the increase in his rent is a loss of purchasing power. »

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