TENLAW one year later: Alternative housing tenures in Europe 

and modern challenges of housing


Date: Thursday 29th and Friday 30th of September 2016

Venue: Campus Catalunya, University Rovira i Virgili, Av. Catalunya, 35 – 43002 Tarragona, Spain.

Host Institution: Housing Chair (University Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain).

Head of organization: Prof Dr Sergio Nasarre Aznar (Housing Chair Director, University Rovira i Virgili).


Private tenancy law is existentially affecting the daily lives of European citizens, as about one third of them depend on rental housing. That notwithstanding, it constitutes a nearly blank space in comparative and European law. This is due to its national character, its political nature and its embeddedness in widely diverging national housing policies, which ultimately reflect different welfare state models. At the same time, however, different parts of EU law and policy do affect tenancy law significantly, albeit indirectly. Thus, EU social policy against poverty and social exclusion extends to selected issues of housing policy. EU non-discrimination rules extend to the provision of housing, and several consumer law directives apply to tenancy contracts, too.

The “Tenancy Law and Housing Policy in a Multi-level Europe” (TENLAW) research Project provided the first large-scale comparative and European law survey of tenancy law. The Project work lasted from April 2012 until October 2015 and was coordinated by the Centre of European Law and Politics (ZERP) at the University of Bremen, Germany. All in all, 27 research institutions from all over Europe were involved and the results of this project were presented at a concluding conference in Budapest in September 2015.

The next conference in September 2016 will take a second look at the research results of the TENLAW project one year later with a focus on so called “alternative housing tenures” in Europe. Besides the “classical” tenancy contract between private individuals, many countries have established other forms of housing tenures which are classified in between classic market rental tenancies and home-ownership and are significantly relevant for European citizens, e.g. “socially-mediated” leases through institutions such as social housing agencies, cooperative housing, property leasing, right to housing in rem or ex contractu, building lease, family based housing or right-to-buy models. These can be compared to the more “classic” intermediate tenures, such as right of use, usufruct, right to build, emphytheusis, etc.

Alternative housing tenures have not been in the focus of comparative legal research so far. The aim of this conference is to give new impulses for housing research and policy by bringing together well-established experts from all over Europe. Additionally, in four workshops recent interesting developments in housing policy, such as the refugee crisis, energy efficiency modernization of buildings, the role of real estate agents and the dichotomy between deregulation of tenancy law, short term accomodation and tenant protection will be dealt with.



10:30-12:00 Sightseeing in the Roman Town of Tarragona and housing

Informal Meeting at the Portal del Roser (Via de l’Imperi Romà, Tarragona)

Please, confirm your attendance to this event ticking its box in the on-line registration form.

12:30-13:30 Registration at the conference venue

Welcome snacks, drinks and coffee

13:30-13:45 Opening Ceremony / Words of Welcome

Contributors: Mar Gutiérrez-Colón Plana (Vice-Chancellor of University Rovira i Virgili) and Carles Sala Roca (Catalan Secretary of Housing).

13:45-15:00 Plenary session I: “Alternative Housing Tenures in Europe – Towards a Research Agenda

Contributor: Christoph Schmid (ZERP Bremen, Germany)

Commentator: Sergio Nasarre Aznar (U. Rovira i Virgili, Spain)

Discussion / 25 min

15:00-16:30 Plenary session II / Keynote Speech: “Intermediate Housing Tenures in East Europe and in the Netherlands”

Contributors: Irene Kull (U. Tartu, Estonia) and Michel Vols (U. Groningen, The Netherlands)

Commentator: Elena Bargelli (U. Pisa, Italy)

Discussion / 25 min

16:30-17:00 Coffee break
17:00-18:15 Plenary session III: “Alternative Housing Tenures in Spain and tenancies”

Contributor: Sergio Nasarre Aznar (University Rovira i Virgili)

Commentator: Mark Jordan (U. Southampton, UK)

Discussion / 25 min

18:15-19:30 Plenary session IV: “The consequences for property and housing markets of Brexit

Contributor: Peter Sparkes (U. Southampton, UK)

Commentators: Maria Olinda Garcia (U. Coimbra, Portugal)

Discussion / 25 min

20:00 Welcome by Mr. Josep Félix Ballesteros, Mayor of Tarragona

Dinner at the restaurant Racó de l’abat

Please, confirm your attendance to this event ticking its box in the on-line registration form.


08:00-08:15 Registration at the conference venue

Snacks and coffee


Workshop A

“Liberalization vs tenant’s protection in Europe”

Moderator: Christoph Schmid (U. Bremen, Germany)

Contributors: Konstantin Kholodilin (DIW, Germany), Steffen Sebastian (U. Regensburg, Germany), Rosa Maria Garcia and Elga Molina Roig (U. Rovira i Virgili, Spain), Javier Burón (Barcelona City Council, Spain), Fanny Cornette (France), Mark Jordan (U. Southampton, UK), Maria Olinda Garcia (U. Coimbra, Portugal)



Workshop B

“New Developments in social housing in Europe in the light of the refugee crisis”

Moderator: Héctor Simón Moreno (U. Rovira i Virgili, Spain)

Contributors: Per Norberg (U. Lund, Sweden) and Padraic Kenna (U. Galway, Ireland)

Commentator: Núria Lambea (U. Rovira i Virgili, Spain), Irene Kull (U. Tartu) and Tommi Ralli (ZERP Bremen, Germany)


10:15-10:30 Coffee break
10:30-11:15 Workshop C

“European Energy Efficiency Policy and Tenancy Law / Present and Future”

Moderator: Tommi Ralli (ZERP Bremen, Germany)

Contributor: Jakob Juul-Sandberg (U. Southern Denmark, Denmark)

Commentator: Asimina Tsalpatourou (U. Paris, France)


11:15-12:15 Workshop D

“The role of real estate agents – rights, duties and fees in a European perspective”

Moderator: Sergio Nasarre Aznar (University Rovira i Virgili, Spain)

Contributors: Héctor Simón Moreno (U. Rovira i Virgili, Spain) and Gemma Caballé Fabra (U. Rovira i Virgili)

“Short-time accommodation”

Contributors: Dilsen Bulut (U. Bremen, Germany) and Kurt Xerri (U. Malta, Malta)

Commentators: Michel Vols (U. Gröningen, The Netherlands) and Núria Lambea (U. Rovira i Virgili, Spain)


12:15-13:00 Future agenda as “Tenlaw network”. The follow-up and future of TENLAW research group will be discussed.

Chair: Christoph Schmid

Contributors: Elena Bargelli (U. Pisa, Italy), Irene Kull (U. Tartu, Estonia), Sergio Nasarre Aznar (U. Rovira i Virgili, Spain), Per Norberg (U. Lund, Sweden), Peter Sparkes (U. Southampton, UK).

13:30-15:30 Mediterranean Cruise at Tarragona Harbor, including free lunch on bord.

Please, confirm your attendance to this event ticking its box in the on-line registration form.


The Housing Chair of the University Rovira i Virgili (Spain) is the single Housing Research Centre in Spain with an international and interdisciplinary approach. It is a division of the Public University Rovira i Virgili, which ranks 4th among all Spanish Universities and 83 in the world among universities under 50 years (Times Higher Education).

The creation of the Chair was announced at the European Network for Housing Research 25th International Conference in June 2013, although some of its researchers have been dealing with housing research for the last 20 years. Five PhD candidates and seven senior researchers are currently working at the Chair, which main objectives are specialized research, teaching and transfer of knowledge in the field of housing.

Since December 2013, the Chair members have published 60 research works in 6 countries and have delivered 121 speeches in 20 more. The Chair has been also invited to draft four pieces of legislation for the Spanish and the Catalan governments, while has been a team member of 3 EU-funded projects (EU Parliament and EU Commission). In addition to this, the Chair is currently working at six national-funded research projects and has successfully finished other four. The Housing Chair has the explicit support of 10 private and public partners. I runs two postgraduate courses on mediation and on real estate agents.

Researchers of the Chair are constantly present in the media to disseminate the results of their research topics, which cover many fields of housing, such as housing access, housing tenures, housing as a fundamental right, management of social housing, real estate agents and tenancies.

Researchers and stakeholders can follow the Chair activities at its webpage ( and through its Newsletter (


Registration should be done online at the following web address:

There is a list of hotels with arranged prices for the workshop in this website as well. Please, mention to the hotel “TENLAW2016” when you make your reservation.

There you may also confirm the payment of the Conference fee of €150. Payment should be done in the following current account of the University Rovira i Virgili:

IBAN: ES77 0182 6035 4702 0161 7898

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or any questions

(, Dr. Verónica Anzil).

We will be very happy to welcome you in September 2016 in Tarragona!