Bolsonaro vetoes bill that would suspend evictions during pandemic

Bolsonaro vetoes suspend evictions
Homeless shelter in São Paulo. Photo: GovSP

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro moved to veto a bill that would suspend all eviction orders and forced removals of urban tenants behind on their rent payments. The proposal sought to outlaw such actions until the end of this year, amid the financial hardship brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Newspaper Folha de S. Paulo obtained access to a communiqué sent by the president’s Secretary General, outlining the government’s reasons for the veto. The president complained that the bill would benefit those residing illegally in public buildings “in bad faith,” who have “drawn out legal battles for years.”

The government statement added that the bill was “not in line with the fundamental right to private property” and could cause an increase in rent prices.

The proposal foresaw the suspension of eviction orders for individuals defaulting on rental contracts worth up to BRL 600 (USD 117) a month for residential properties, and up to BRL 1,200 a month for non-residential premises. In order to take advantage of the suspension, tenants would have to prove that their financial situation had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, making it infeasible for them to pay rent.

Congress still has the option to overturn Mr. Bolsonaro’s veto.