Rental deposit scheme: how to get your deposit back

To ensure a landlord gives you back your deposit, make sure it is protected in an official tenancy deposit scheme / Gtres
To ensure a landlord gives you back your deposit, make sure it is protected in an official tenancy deposit scheme / Gtres

In point five of our previous blog post (Renting in Spain? Five clauses you should be mindful of), we discussed how some devious landlords in Spain, after a lease is over, like to pocket a tenant’s one-month deposit and do not hand it back, giving all sorts of lame excuses. In this short blog post, we will discuss what a tenant should do to protect themselves against this landlord abuse.

Spain is divided administratively into 17 different autonomous regions. Each region has devolved competencies on this matter and has an admin institution that is tasked with receiving this rental deposit (one month for long-term lets, two month deposit for seasonal contracts). On paying this rental deposit into an official public organisation you are guaranteed to get it back, unless you have made damages to the property which the landlord will need to prove and justify.

The obligation to make this deposit falls squarely on the landlord (not on the tenant) and the landlord can be reported to the public regional Authority if they fail to do so (fines apply for non-compliance, normally amounting to a percentage of the rental deposit). Additional Disposition 3 of Spain’s Tenancy Act (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos or LAU, for short) which rules nationwide all over Spain, compels all landlords to make these deposits as outlined in its art. 36.1.

As we write, in practice most landlords conveniently ‘ignore’ their legal obligation to secure the rental deposits, whether deliberately or out of neglect, and they may need to be ‘incentivised’ by their tenants to fulfil their legal duties (read veiled threat of reporting them and facing stiff fines on non-compliance).

If you want a shot at recovering your rental deposit, follow this advice and try contacting your local admin institution. We briefly list the contact details of the regional admin institutions to pay the rental deposit into:

1. Andalusia

2. Balearic Islands

  • IBAVI
  • Form F1
  • Tel: 900 780 000

3. Canary Islands

4. Catalonia (Barcelona)

5. Madrid

6. Valencia

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