Spain is such a great place to live and work in. You are young, carefree, and have yielded to the temptation to move to 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'd better do 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, they 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 onto 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 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 sorts of lame excuses.