Liberalization of commercial rents, Scoppa (Confedilizia Calabria): request filed with the Court of Cassation


By John

«It is necessary, and can no longer be postponed, to actively work for the repeal of that residual part that still survives of the fair rent law, which continues to block the leasing of properties for use other than residential, i.e. commercial, artisanal, professional, hotel, which are vital in an open and free society, which has chosen the market economy. In essence, it is necessary to restore full freedom to the parties, enhancing their contractual autonomy and enhancing true spontaneous cooperation between subjects who recognize and respect each other, and restore market dynamics, which is a dynamic process of rivalry and competition that takes place in time”. This was stated in a note by the president of Confedilizia Calabria, Sandro Scoppa.

«This is the objective – highlighted Scoppa – set by the popular initiative law proposal promoted by L'Opinione delle Libertà, the oldest political newspaper in Italy, whose process began with the publication in the Official Gazette of the request filed with the Court of Cassation. This is an initiative of fundamental importance, to which all those who care about freedom of choice and private property, economic and social progress, and who are at the same time aware that, as has Ludwig von Mises wrote: “Private property (…) is the planting and cultivation ground of freedom, of the autonomy of the individual, and ultimately of any development of spiritual and material life”.

Scoppa also recalled that «the fair rent law, passed in the years of the so-called “National Solidarity” governments, led by the Hon. Giulio Andreotti, which still regulates commercial rents today. The other part of the same provision, which concerned rentals for housing needs, remained in force until the Amato government's decree of 1992 and was then definitively repealed with the Zagatti law of 1998″.

According to Scoppa «it is a law which, in hindsight, should not even have been adopted, given that already at the time it had behind it 60 years of failures of that restrictive regime, born near the end of the Great War and continued uninterruptedly up to the present day, which included it. Nor can it be today lightened from the encrustations of time, reformed and kept in force, but must be promptly repealed and removed. In fact, it reflects an experiment that has achieved none of the objectives that its proponents intended to pursue and has produced many more problems than it has been able to solve, suffocating the vitality of the real estate market and reducing the value created by exchanges and competition, making the solutions and incentives that this determines are impracticable. The damage caused is there for all to see and largely includes the commercial desertification of the urban centers of cities, their degradation, the rarefaction of the supply of properties for non-residential use and of entrepreneurial initiatives, and security problems”.

«After all, what objectives could a legislative measure like the one in question achieve, which was and is in stark contrast with the principles of economics, which, unlike the proclamations of politics, are timeless and are not subject to reversals? They have in fact taught that the real estate rental market works exactly like all other markets for goods and services, and is competitive, i.e. it is a dynamic process of rivalry and competition that takes place over time. Which means that the owners have no “market power” and are forced to satisfy the tenants or lose them to other owners, who can enter the market and respond to the demand for properties. Competition between owners also produces an ever-increasing flow of goods, of better quality and at ever-lower prices, which makes it possible to increase the standard of living for everyone from both a qualitative and quantitative point of view. In turn, tenants can move towards other properties, due to worse conditions, more restrictive clauses or higher rents”.