Thanks to inane economic policies enacted by former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, and kept in place by current president Nicolás Maduro, it’s impossible to find an apartment to rent in Venezuela.

Mish-modified translation from Libre Mercado

Renting an apartment in Venezuela is impossible mission. Supply is tight and prices exorbitant, quite inaccessible to the vast majority of the population thanks to the 2011 Law Against Eviction and Arbitrary Unemployment.

Venezuela made numerous mistakes over the years, with each mistake reduced the supply of rental units.

  • A rent freeze in 2003, led to a 25% decline of rental units.
  • An expropriation ordinance in 2006 caused an extra drop of 51% of rental units.
  • Rental restrictions applied between 2007 and 2008 caused a similar contraction.
  • The 2011 law led to the virtual disappearance of housing for rent.

Regulation has resulted in massive unpaid rent. While thousands of homeowners have favorable eviction judgments, execution is suspended until the Ministry of Housing finds another place for the evicted tenant.

Today, there are only five listings of apartments for rent in Caracas in the national press, with prices ranging from 80,000 to 195,000 bolivars a month, almost 30 times the minimum wage.

A quick check shows the metropolitan region of Caracas has an estimated population of 5,243,301. Those 5+ million people can choose between a grand total of five rental listings.

Landlords would rather have an apartment sit vacant than rent it out for nothing, losing control of the property in the process.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock