Tenants who are late in paying the rent can be evicted in 10 days

Tenants in Spain who are late in paying the rent can be evicted within ten days if they are not able to present valid arguments before a judge, according to “Anteproyecto de Ley de Medidas para la Flexibilización y Fomento del Mercado de Alquiler”, roughly translated as “Draft Law on Measures for Promoting and Flexibility of the rental market”, which are to be adopted by the Spanish Government.

In a press briefing, the Minister of Development, Ana Pastor, explained that, with the current regulations, the landlord is forced to sue the tenant via the courts and obtain a declaratory judgment for non-payment of rent that could lead to an eviction. “In addition, the tenant has had the ability to pay the outstanding rent at the last possible minute to avoid eviction,”

Under the new law, it appears that a landlord can file a complaint in court due to non-payment of the rent and the tenant has 10 pays to pay the outstanding rent. If payment is not forthcoming, the judge presiding over the case can terminate the contract immediately with further formality.
Also, the completion of the process will be by order of the judge, not by ‘judicial clerk’ as it has been so far.

According to Ana Pastor, “what we want is to reduce the tedious procedure that has had to be carried out so far to issue a decision, because what is clear is that those who have not paid, will not pay even if given more time”.

The Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, Rafael Catalá, said that “It is a delicate matter, because now evictions worry us all. Therefore the 10 days allow submissions by both parties” stressed Catalá, who believes that society “always looks to defend the tenant who cannot pay, but forget about the landlord whose property as a source of revenue. ”

Thus, the Secretary of State has said that the length of time to implement an eviction, “now currently taking several months, will be reduced significantly, since the law will streamline the judicial process, will be greatly diminished.”

Contracts can be terminated with one month’s notice

Another major aspect of the new regulations for the Spain’s rental market will be the tenants ability to terminate the rental contract without paying any compensation if it communicated with one month’s notice, regardless of its duration of the contract.

Additionally if the landlord needs to reclaim the rented property to act as a primary residence (either for themselves or for a direct relative) it can now be done, even if not previously stated in the rental contract, with two months notice.

Before the owner could only recover his or her property to use as a primary residence if it had previously agreed in the contract.

Moreover, the buyer of a property that is currently rented, only needs to keep on the tenant if the rental contracted is registered in the Land Registry. Although it appears that registering a rental at the land registry is still not compulsory

In the current regulations, rental contracts of less than five years, the buyer is obliged to keep the tenant that time period, “whether or not registered with the Land Registry.” For contracts exceeding five years, if not registered, the buyer must keep the tenant five years and, if so, to keep the entire term of the contract.

To the head of the Ministry of Development, the “primary” purpose of this bill is to add flexibility to the rental market, increase legal certainty and improve the regulation of the legal proceedings for evictions.

“The reform arises because we have a small rental market compared to other EU countries, as only 17% of the population is rented accommodation, compared to 83% that are proprietors.

The governments hopes that these measures will help invigorate the Spain’s property market as there are many property owners who do not currently rent due to the lack of protection and will help those looking for rentals as there will be more flexibility in ending contracts.

But making the system simpler, these new law could also benefit those looking at the buy to rent market, which in the past has not been as attractive a proposition as it should have been.

Andrew Belles

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