Hiked property rent impacts all social groups

Increased property taxes lead owners to rent houses to tourists for short periods evicting teachers

The trend of Greek property owners leasing their houses to tourists for the short holiday periods in an effort to cover rising property taxes (ENFIA), with the subsequent hike in rent, has had a domino effect on other professional and social groups in Greece.

University students looking to ensure accommodation for the new season were faced with higher rent rates of up to 20%, according to market experts. Now public school teachers, who would be transferred to touristy locations, such as islands will also have to fork out more cash to cover their rental costs, while property owners compel them to agree to contractual stipulations that they (teachers) would leave their properties in the summer period to make way for the more lucrative foreign tourist-occupants.

The new trend had resulted in a spike in ads by house owners who might accept leasing their property to educators, but require them to depart during holiday periods to accommodate the increased demand by tourists.

Indicative of the trend is the fact that there is an increase in property owners, who despite having signed long-term leasing contracts with educators, are simply reneging on their agreements and evicting the teachers.

Real estate agents have noticed a rise, after a long time in property investment, with purchases of houses (between 30,000-35,000 euros), by families in Athens and Thessaloniki for their children studying outside their home cities.

According to data from popular home side ads spitogatos,gr, the town of Chania in Crete is the most expensive in Greece regarding university student rents, with rates approaching 7 euros per square metre, with the average size of apartments being leased standing at 61 square metres.

The problem of excessive rent prices recently led the local authorities of the island of Santorini to urge locals to put up teachers in their own homes in order to deal with the problem.

Stefania Souki