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By Raymundo Larraín Nesbitt
Lawyer - Abogado
21st of April 2020
Spain, such a great place to live and work in. You are young, carefree, and have yielded into temptation to move into this beautiful country for a while to test the waters. You are now on the brink of signing a lease agreement with your landlord (worded only in Spanish!) and you begin to feel a familiar knot at the pit of your stomach.
You better make yourself a favour and read carefully through this short blog to avoid those pesky clauses in long term lets that will bring you (the tenant) so much aggravation.
- Clause stating all household appliances are in perfect working order. Really? Have you actually bothered to turn on the kitchen appliances, open the faucets, switch on the lights and verify they all work? No? Well you’re heading for trouble. Because when you sign on the dotted line you actually acknowledge that everything is in good working order, meaning a legal presumption is created that in the event something breaks down you – the tenant – are at fault and are liable to pay for its repair or replacement.
- In the event of a sale, the tenant must leave with one-months’ notice. Well, I’m afraid not after the new change in rental laws in 2019. Any buyer of the property you are renting must respect the whole duration of the lease agreement until it ends. You cannot be legally compelled to leave ahead of the termination of your contract.
- The landlord reserves the right to enter the rented property at will, giving a one-day notice for ‘inspection purposes.’ Unless a tenant expressly agrees to this in writing, a landlord cannot enter a leased property at any time. On letting a property, a landlord loses possession of the property. Should the landlord attempt to enter a rented property - without a tenant’s permission - he can be criminally prosecuted for illegal trespassing.
- The duration of the lease agreement is 11 months. If the property serves as your main abode in Spain, and it is not a holiday letting, this clause is null and void. Long term lets in Spain are for a minimum duration of 5 years (7 years, if the landlord is a legal entity). They are 12 month renewable contracts. And don’t get me started on ‘silent renewals’ which pile another three years to the overall duration of long term contracts.
- The security deposit is equivalent to three months rental. I don’t think so. In Spain, a landlord may only request, by law, a one-month deposit on long term lets (this rule applies all over Spain, no exceptions). In addition to this, a landlord may request additional guarantees (i.e. more money) but they are not legally labelled as a security deposit (fianza, in Spanish). Watch out, because some landlords are notorious for pocketing tenant’s deposits when the contract ends. They will never refund them, giving all sort of lame excuses.
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Original article posted in IDEALISTA: Renting in Spain? Five clauses you should be mindful of
Please note the information provided in this blog post is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice. This article may be posted freely in websites or other social media so long as the author is duly credited. Plagiarizing, whether in whole or in part, this article without crediting the author may result in criminal prosecution. VOV.
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