David Romero, a Spanish drummer, has an apartment in Vigo, a seaside town in the North of Spain, which he rents out to a young couple. The real estate company insists he should increase the rent, or convert the apartment into a more profitable shortlet flat for tourists.
However, Romero is unwilling to follow their advice. He has happily agreed to renew the lease, and refuses to increase the rent, so that his tenants can have “a dignified life”.
In Spain, as in many other countries, finding a nice place to rent in the city center has almost become mission impossible. As rents are sky rocketing, even those of small flats, most people are unable to afford living downtown.
David Romero, a socially conscious landlord, dares to go against the inflation tide. He has a nice three-bedroom apartment with a terrace in Vigo, a seaside town in the North of Spain, and rents it out to a young couple for only 500 euros a month.
The real estate company insists he should increase the rent to at least 800 euros a month, or convert the apartment into a more profitable shortlet flat for tourists, at the hefty price tag of 600 euros a week.
However, Romero refuses to follow their advice.
His tenants, who have lived in the apartment for four years now, have just shown their interest in renewing the lease. And Romero has happily agreed – adding he would not increase the rent.
On his Twitter account, the kind landlord explained:
“When my mother passed away, I inherited one fifth of the apartment where we used to live – and with that amount of money, about 40,000 euros, I bought an apartment (with a mortgage of 60,000), and renovated it myself, with the help of some friends. I charge 500 euros per month, I could charge much more – but what for? So that they are unable to pay me?”
Romero says he would like to keep these tenants, and wants them to have “a dignified life”.
“I am not going to become rich. I just want to cover the expenses – and tomorrow my daughter will inherit the apartment.”
The message Romero published, which went viral, is a great way to raise awareness about the high rent prices practiced nowadays – and to encourage other landlords to decrease the prices.
“If everybody did the same, our society would not be facing the problems we have today regarding access to housing, especially for the younger generations (my tenants are under 30).”
Romero’s wish might come true. In fact, science has shown that compassion is contagious. Witnessing an act of kindness inspires more acts of kindness, making kindness spread like a (good) virus.
David Romero, a drummer in a hard rock band called Zona Zero, is a kind man who wears his tattoos on his arms – and his heart on his sleeve. May his compassionate act trigger a low-rent revolution.
This story was originally published by the Spanish newspaper Atlántico.