Many people who want to live in Tenerife long-term rent a property here before buying. This is good practice, because there are so many variables in terms of dwellings and areas, and many people commit to a purchase only to find that they are homesick, or their circumstances change, within a year or two and they are then left with a property to sell in what, particularly at present, might be a difficult market.

If you are using an agency, view the widest range of properties. There will inevitably be much doubling up of properties, with owners putting their properties on the books of as many agents as possible to secure a tenant. Check that the property you are considering isn’t on other agents’ books: it might be available at a lower rent. You can also rent privately, and should look out for signs saying se alquila, which means “for let”. Don’t be afraid to ring these numbers thinking the landlord is going to be Spanish. Many English owners will use them too because they will be hoping to attract the widest possible range of enquiries, from prospective Spanish tenants as well as English.

When renting, you should be aware that there are two types of rental contracts here: short- and long-term, and the length of a rental contract will vary depending on which it is. Long-term contracts (contrato de arrendamiento de vivienda) are, properly speaking, the only formally-understood residential lets, and are for a minimum of one year. The tenant is protected by law to a very high degree, including having the right to renew the contract  for up to a further three years, with rent increases at no more than the rate of inflation.

Owners often do not enjoy the prospect of such a highly legally-protected tenant, however, and so short term contracts (contrato de arrendamiento por temporada) are common, running normally for three or six months. Note, though, that these contracts are expressly for a specific purpose, e.g. temporary work placement, study, etc., and not for habitual residence – nor holidays: indeed, the tenant’s primary and habitual residence must be detailed on the contract. Note, too, that although these contracts can technically run for a period even as short as one day, anything under three months will be deemed as touristic by the Government, and touristic lets are banned on residential complexes, and on touristic complexes unless done through the registered on-site sole agent. Given these provisos, temporada contracts are perfectly legal, though the Courts can change a short term contract to a long term one if the tenant requests it and can show that the property has become his or her habitual home. This is to protect tenants from landlords who give repeated short-term contracts in an attempt to avoid passing on the legal protections that long-term contracts bestow.

To be fully legal, contracts must be in Spanish, signed by landlord and tenant, and contain ID numbers (NIE for foreigners) of both. Strictly speaking, rental contracts should be signed before a notary and registered at the Spanish Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad), but the reality is often much more informal. Along with the contract you should get an inventory of items in the property, and the condition they are in. Check these thoroughly, because if there is any discrepancy, it is likely to involve a deduction from your deposit when you leave. If there are any marks or damages, particularly if these are not specified in the inventory, take photographs, and resolve the issue as early as possible rather than waiting until you vacate.

You can expect to pay your rent in advance, and therefore the first month’s rent will be payable when you take possession. You will almost certainly also be asked to pay a deposit which will be held against any damage or debt incurred during your tenancy – note that landlords may not keep deposits or make deductions from them for cleaning or redecorating after a tenant leaves, and any deductions made must be detailed in writing, with justification, and must be agreed by the tenant. Equally, if repairs or justifiable expenses exceed a deposit, then the tenant must pay immediately. If either side fails to comply with these requirements it is a matter for legal action and the courts.

If all is well, however, then the deposit should be returned immediately, and if not repaid within a month, will attract legal interest. The deposit may be called a deposit or a bond, or in Spanish, fianza: article 36 of urban letting legislation says that a deposit equivalent to one month’s rent is a legal minimum for long-term rentals (the requirement is two months’ deposit for uso distinto, i.e. other than for living in, e.g. a business), so the landlord is required by law to ask for this, as is the tenant to pay it.

I am sometimes asked about agents putting up rent, and the matter of increases is straightforward. First of all, it is only in long-term, i.e. renewable, contracts that the issue arises, because short-term contracts aren’t meant to be renewed, at least not for residential purposes. So, if a contract is a long-term one, rent increases are governed by legal limits. Short-term contracts are, by legal definition, one-offs, and so a subsequent short-term contract is an entirely new legal contract and so there is no question of an “increase”. As such, therefore, any “increase” is just really defined, legally speaking, as a “different” rather than “increased” amount for the rental. Long-term contracts will have increases, legally formatted, as part of the contract itself.

Sometimes prospective tenants are asked for a deposit of more than the equivalent of one month’s rent, but this is uncommon, and if you are prepared to consider it, make very sure that it is in fact for a refundable deposit, rather than a non-refundable agent’s administration or contract fee, which is a frequent charge when using a rental agent. It is important to determine the nature of all monies handed over, and for them to be specifically identified in the contract, along with the fact that they are refundable. Needless to say, you should get individual receipts for all monies handed over, whether deposit or monthly rental payments.

Some rentals include a certain amount for utilities usage, often up to around €50 or so per month, with the tenant paying any extra when the bill arrives. Apart from electricity and water, however, landlords themselves normally pay the rates (IBIs) and the community charge if the rented property is on a complex. Clearly it is important to know in advance what commitments there will be for ongoing expenses in addition to the rent, and these should be clearly detailed in the contract. Generally, however, the landlord should be expected to cover the IBIs (rates), community fees, basura (rubbish), house insurance and maintenance costs, whereas the tenant should anticipate paying metred amounts for utilities such as water, electricity, gas and telephone. In the event of breakdowns, the landlord is usually responsible for washing machines, boilers, etc. (unless the breakdown is very minor or the result of damage caused by the tenant), and the tenant for any damage s/he has caused or which has resulted from general usage (e.g. a broken window or a blown lightbulb), and tenants are recommended to take out their own contents/accidental damage insurance for such eventualities, as well as for cover of their own possessions. While speaking of utilities and the like, it is worth mentioning that from 1 June 2013, owners are obliged by law to provide a copy of an energy certificate for the property to all new tenants – existing rental contracts are exempt from the law (see HERE).

When leaving a rented property, tenants are required to give the period of notice stipulated in the contract. Under legislation which came into force on 6 June 2013, however, they will be able to terminate a contract without having to pay compensation by giving just one month’s notice, providing that they have had the contract for at least six months. Similarly, once the property has been let for a full year and the contract has been renewed, the owner of the property will be able from that point to recover it for use as a main home with notice of two months.

Tenants can also be evicted, of course, and the usual reason is for non-payment of rent. It is important to be aware that even if you feel justified in withholding payment, e.g. for requested repairs that have not been carried out, the law expects payment to be made and for the claim then to be dealt with separately. To date, tenants have been able to avoid eviction by paying rental arrears just before a Court hearing, at least on the first occasion, but under the 2013 legislation I mentioned above, landlords will be able to apply for eviction in just ten days if rent is outstanding. The Courts will grant the order unless the tenant can present satisfactory argument for non-payment – which would be difficult to do, evidently. Apart from non-payment of rent, a tenant may be evicted for sub-letting, using the property for a purpose other than living in it, intentionally damaging the property, or carrying out noisy, dangerous or illegal activities. Anyone who is evicted under these terms of the new law will, moreover, be recorded in a new rent debtors’ register which will be made available to landlords to check prospective tenants, so clearly it is to the tenant’s advantage to leave on good terms and with no outstanding issues if at all possible.

Please use the comments box below to ask any questions relating to the above, but please do not use it to seek or offer rentals, or ask for recommendations for agents. There are more agents here than one could begin to list, and I would think that in the main they are pretty much as good and effective as each other. All due caution is necessary, as always, in any transaction here, and independent advice on contracts signed and monies handed over is essential.

Finally, please see THIS page which details the specific letting framework for owners in the Canaries.

 

 

This article has 84 Comments

  1. Hello, I’m currently of thinking of letting out my apartment on a long term lease and the agent tells me that landlords normally pay the first 50 euro towards utilities with the remainder being paid by the tenant.

    This seems a bit messy to me in terms of having to chase up the tenant for this additional payment.

    My question is would it be better to just get the tenant to pay the entire utility bill and take 50 euro off the monthly rent? I suppose this would mean signing the utilities over to the tenant? Would there be any disadvantages to doing this?

  2. It isn’t “normal” but it does happen quite frequently. It is entirely your choice how you arrange utitilies. You might struggle to sign the utilities over to the tenant, though, because of the utility companies’ paperwork requirements, but even if you could,it would almost certainly not be to your long-term advantage to do so. Problems with tenants arise, and keeping control over the utilities and the accounts is clearly to your advantage. Ultimately there’s not really any difference between allowing €50 for utilities on the one hand, and on the other getting the tenant to pay the lot and deducting €50 from the rent.

  3. It can be a headache on both sides. When I was a tenant, the rent included just €20 towards utilities but the agents never sent me a bill. They either waited for me to go into their office and ask what I owed or they waited until the debt had accumulated to €200 and then sent me a text message to let me know. I couldn’t possibly budget when I was having to pay large bills at random intervals and that couldn’t have been good for the landlord either. What does often happen is that the landlord forwards the utility bills on to the tenants in some way every time one is issued, so that they can pay the amount directly into the landlord’s account to cover the bills.

  4. Hi! Thank you for your infos Janet!

    For “temporada arrendamiento”, when the contract is for 3 months, if the tenant want to prolong for 3 months, is the contract becoming”larga-temporada”?

    The same question, if temporada arrendamiento” for 6 months, if the lessee want to prolong for 6 months, is the contract becoming”larga-temporada”, under urban letting law (with possibility for the lessee to live in the apartment for several years)?

  5. “Larga temporada” is estate-agent speak for “long term”, but long term in the context of a temporada is still only defined as “under 1 year”. Technically, you’d just have separate short-term temporada contracts one after the other … because short-term contracts are for a specific purpose, not to live in, and so not renewable as such. When it comes specifically to the option to renew for several years, this does not exizt with temporadas, only with long-term contracts, i.e. 1 year or more vivienda contracts.

  6. If you want to restrict the possibility of the lessee obtaining rights, then you really must not allow them remain in the property for a full year or longer – it does not matter if you/they keep renewing a shorter contract, a Court could interpret actual residence in a property for a full year as giving longer term rights (of course, most tenants will not go to Court)

  7. Hi Janet my 12 month long term rental is due for renewal at the end of February 2016, we pay a rent of €440 which includes bills , we have been told that from 1st march our rent is being increased to €490 and we have to pay water and electric is he allowed to do this.
    Regards Wendy glynn

  8. If it is a long- and not a short-term contract, then the terms are restricted by law, and should be clearly stated in the contract. If it is a short-term contract, then it is not actually “renewable” technically, though such consecutive contracts are often called “renewals”. It will entirely depend on whether you have a vivienda contract (12 month minimum) or a temporada (12 month maximum). It should state clearly which it is on the front page of the contract.

  9. Then the landlord is restricted as to what s/he can do. Rent increases are limited, and the terms cannot just be changed to include things that were not originally in it.

  10. We have a long term contract dated 01 feb 2013.
    Now after the 3 years the landlord states the contract is due and wants to raise the rent (from 800 to 1400 !)
    Is the contract (duration un año) restricted to 3 years or to 1 year plus 3 years (4 years total) ?
    An extra year would be great so we have time to search

  11. The law changed recently and I believe it is now three years in total. I’m afraid that you will need to consult a lawyer to get a confirmed legal opinion.

  12. Hi Janet, I’ve just taken a rental agreement for 12 months on a apartment inTenerife. If I returned to England for a visit, is it allowed to let my son stay in it for a short while. I would not be sub letting. I am a responsible and careful person.

  13. Thank you for your swift reply.
    Leaves us with one day to get that legal opinion before the landlord returns on monday.
    If you wish we will keep you posted

  14. update regarding 28 january 2016 8:36 pm
    Visted lawyer today. As the contract was signed 3 months before the new rental law 4/2013 was passed, we have the old ruling of 5 plus 3 times 1 year.
    She did advise to accept a small raise as the rent we pay now if far under the market value.

  15. We need some advice on how to rent long term in tenerife which rental agents to use advice on contract deposit banking how to get residential status and insurance number

  16. What advice would you like? Information about contracts and deposits is above. For “residential status” see HERE. For “getting it right” see HERE. I can’t recommend rental agents, I’m afraid. Beyond this, if you have specific questions, please do ask.

  17. Hi Janet. We are thinking of moving to Tenerife next year but are worried about how much tax we will have to pay on a combined pension of approx. £22000 pa. Can you help please as we want to be sure we can afford to move. We are in rented accom. at the moment so this will be a one time deal if we do it. TYIA.

  18. Hello, no I’m sorry I can’t help. As I always say, you need to seek qualified help for tax questions.

  19. Hello, Janet,
    We are planning to rent our apartment which is in touristic complex for a short term (temporada) contract for 5 months. Personally, not using agents. Can we state the purpose of rental- “vacation”? Would it be legal or do we have to state different purpose? Our guests are not working or studying, they just want to spend the cold period of the year in Tenerife.

  20. no of course you can’t state “vacation” … you cannot let for holidays privately! Temporada contracts are for anything except holidays, as I’ve explained HERE.

  21. In 2015 I rented an apartment stated to be a permanent family home for one year. I later asked if it was possible at the end of the yearly agreement to have a three year extension on the same terms. The owner asked for a 4.5% rent increase for each subsequent year so I declined the offer. I was able to find another apartment so after six months I submitted my notice. The owner has since refused to refund my deposit. What are my options.

  22. If you contract was a one year temporada, then it had a fixed term and full rent would be payable for the entire period even if you left after six months. As such, the owner would be well within their legal rights to keep the deposit, and indeed could actually have pursued you for the remainder of the rent for the contracted period.

  23. It appears that a temporada is not for holidays which is what I used the apartment for. My habitual address was not on the contract. It seems renting is a minefield for owner & tenant.

  24. It is unfortunately commonplace for incorrect contracts to be issued through ignorance, and one would certainly be incorrect if issued for a “permanent family home”. If you were here for six months, however, it would not be deemed a holiday, but a specific purpose rental – even though obviously undefined on your contract. So although not a proper temporada, it was not an illegal holiday let, and there’s no minefield. Regardless of the fact that your temporada was not actually a temporada, it was still a short-term contract for a fixed term without any notice period stated in the contract. As such, the law requires the term of the contract to be completed, and so the tenant must see out the whole period, or pay for any unused parts.

  25. Hello Janet

    I have a question regarding renting a property in Tenerife. I would like to rent it for about 6 months and since I have been working abroad with a good salary I will be looking for a job when I arrive but I have the means to pay the rent quite easily for these 6 months.

    Will I be allowed to rent his property or not?

  26. Yes, you can rent for six months if the owner will give you a six month contract. If you get a proper temporada contract, the specific purpose can be “temporary accommodation while seeking work”.

  27. I received a mail from the Estate agent requesting a pay slip. I don’t have any as such, my salary was direct debited into my a/c every month.

    What do I reply to this request?

    Regards

  28. Well the agent will have to confirm what will be acceptable if you can’t provide a payslip. Obviously they’re after some evidence that you can pay regularly.

  29. Hi Janet our landlord has entered our property without us being there or permission is this legal here?

  30. Tenants have the right to privacy and so landlords must make appointments to enter, unless there is an emergency or urgent need to enter the premises which could not wait for an appointment.

  31. Hi Janet,

    My wife and I are currently considering purchasing a house which currently has a long term tenant. His contract was for just over 5 years and runs out at the end of December this year.
    Is there anything we need to look out for or need to do to ensure he leaves at the end of his contract? He has waived all rights to buy the property himself.

    Thanks

  32. A tenant has to leave at the end of a contracted period or they become squatters. I don’t know of any legal way in which you can ensure in advance that this won’t happen. You’ll want independent legal assistance when you buy, so this will be something specifically to check with your lawyer.

  33. Hi Janet,

    Being offered a 6 month lease in Los Cristanios apartment. Agent asking for 1 month deposit, 1 month admin charge and 6 months rent in advance. Is this standard to pay all upfront?

    Thanks

  34. not really … the normal is one month’s rent in advance (because rent is always paid in advance) plus the equivalent of one month as a refundable deposit. Some agents charge a finders fee, others an admin charge or contract charge (though this is normally around €100 or so, I understand), others don’t impose any charge.

  35. Hi Janet
    We have just purchased a property in Lanzarote which currently has a tenant in it. We are happy for her to continue renting the property but the agent says we need to put the utility bills in our name and pay them then claim it back off the tenant. We live in the UK and this doesn’t make sense. Is this common practice in letting in Lanzarote. What happens if we insist the tenant pay the utility bills direct. Do you know what the average letting fees are, in Lanzarote. In the UK its 10% and they manage everything for us.
    Kind Regards
    Karen

  36. I can’t answer specifically for Lanzarote, but generally in Tenerife bills are in the owner’s name, and copies are provided for tenants. As to average letting fees in Lanzarote, or in Tenerife, I’m sorry but I don’t know.

  37. Hello Janet
    Your website is always excellent!
    I have a question, maybe you can help me…
    I would like to rent my apartment in Tenerife. I am not Spanish resident. To pay the taxes, I understood that I need to do a modelo-210 (IRNR) each quarter, during the first 15 days of the month after the end of the quarter.
    For example, rent is 500€/month, 1500€/3months,
    My questions are:
    As a owner, can I deduct 60% of 1500€ for wear/fees/obsolescence?

  38. I believe so, but I’m afraid that taxes are one area that I always refer to qualified experts. It’s too important and specialised an area. I’m afraid you’ll need to ask someone like Diana McGowan, whose details are on the Resources page.

  39. Do you think that the contract have to be absolutely registered to be valid.
    You have specify on your great website that it is a legal requirement, but that in practice, it is not much done.
    This to be sure that the contract could be recognized in case of conflict (Court for example). I don’t want have conflicts of course, but it’s always better to do the most secure 😉
    Thanks a lot !

  40. Ok, thanks, that’s the best way, yes. Thank you.
    I suppose there is no specialist in french 😀 (I am resident in Belgium – french side). Maybe it is better in FR for a such area. If you know an expert who speaks french, it would be so great 😉 In any case, thanks a lot!

  41. Hi Janet,
    We have a five year contract and have been in the property for 3 1/2 years.
    The landlady told me today that she does not want to extend the contract at the end of the five years,
    She wants to sell the property.
    We don’t want to leave, we are happy and content. Pay on time and do more than we should to keep the house maintained etc.
    Where do we stand in the laws eyes.
    Thanks
    Pat

  42. I’m afraid that if your contract is for five years, your contract will be at an end when the five years are at an end. It is, after all, a five year contract, not an indefinite one. There is no legal obligation on the owner to extend beyond the term of the contract, and the other side of the coin is that the tenant does not get legal rights to extend beyond the term of a contract simply because they’ve fulfilled that contract. In short, the owner is within her rights, and you don’t have rights to stay, I’m afraid. Under the law as it is, she has to see the full five years out unless she required it for her own residence, in which case she could require you to vacate earlier.

  43. Well at least the landlady has given you 18 months notice! If you do find another property will she release you from the present agreement? You might need to sort things out with her in principle before you go househunting.

  44. I will keep paying rent,even if we have to move in the near future.
    Snowbird
    Br
    Pat

  45. Please no more comments on this subject,
    I asked Janet for her advice and received all the info I needed.
    This is no longer open for decision.
    Thank you very much Janet. Keep up the great work you do X

  46. Hi
    Let me start by congratulating you on a fantastic informative website,just a really quick question,probably a hard one to answer but what roughly would bills be for a 2 bed apartment for 2 adults per month,a rough estimate would be great

    Thanks

    Alan

  47. Hopefully some readers will comment with actual experiences … meanwhile could you clarify whether you mean as a tenant paying rent or an owner paying community charge and rates? The other bills you’ll have will depend on what’s included either in a rental contract or a community’s budget, but you’re basically talking water and electricity as utilities, plus telephone if there’s a landline/internet. It’s as long as a piece of string though. I know people who cover everything for €90 a month, but others pay around €200 … but that’s just for utilities, and the rest will depend on whether you’re an owner or a tenant.

  48. Thanks Janet,it would be us renting a place not us renting one out unfortunately lol.
    Thanks for the advice.

  49. My experience as one person in a one-bedroom apartment is about €140 every two months for electricity and €23 every two months for water (Arona). My electricity seems high but I cannot get it down any further than that.

  50. Hi Nova. Can’t say whether it is any help but the “Contracted Potencia”/Standing Charge can often be unnecessarily high and bearing little relation to actual consumption. This figure can easily be changed. Certainly worth checking out for starters.

  51. Alan , as Janet says ,depending on where you want to stay a 2 bed could be anything from around €400- €700 per month including utility bills up to an agreed amount (usually €50).
    Basic phone and internet rental is around €45 per month before calls .
    Our utilities are around €160 per 3 months in a 2 bed cooking about 70% of time .
    Normally renters don´t pay rates or community charges but do have to pay a deposit on rental.
    The nearer you are to frontline tourist areas will drive up cost , moving further back may save money for a relatively short distance .
    There are several Facebook sites for residents etc that may guide you but giving location and needs will help with realistic rental costs .

  52. Thanks John 1,we will be hopefully renting for 6 months to begin with until we find a suitable area to relocate for the long haul,thanks for the info guys 😀

  53. Nova
    Your biggest consumer of electricity by far will be your water heater. If it is relatively old 5 years or more it may have significant deposits of sand from the water supply. This sand must be heated before the element can heat the water and this could explain your high costs.

  54. we rent on a complex and the ceiling in the bedroom is cracked and is bowing ,we have spoken to the agent and he has said the owner will not pay out to repair what are our rights and if we get it repaired ourselves will the agent pay

  55. By law you have the right to have your apartment maintained in good order by the owner. What does your contract say about repairs and upkeep? Your rights to do the work yourself will depend on what that says – some prohibit tenants doing any work, others allow tenants to do some work that would normally be the responsibility of the owner, and others allow tenants even to make alterations. Bear in mind, though, that even if your contract allows you to do minor repairs which are the responsibility of the owner, you could struggle to be reimbursed if you pay up front, particularly if you don’t have permission in writing in advance.

  56. Hi Janet
    Is it normal for a new tenant renting a property in tererife for 1200e per month for 12 months to be expected to pay the fees of the agent- in this case 1200e- one months rent
    My personal reaction is this is not on !

  57. Agents charge fees, and these are often taken as a percentage “commission” of the monthly rental … each month. Sometimes (or in addition) there is a a one-off finder’s fee” equivalent to a month’s rental or so.

  58. We have been renting a 3 bedroom 2 bathrooms and downstairs toilet duplex for 2 years now, in February 2016 of this there was a leak from the second bathroom into the lounge the landlords maintaince man came and made a large hole in the ceiling ( so we cannot use that one now) there is also very large cracks on the outside of the property alsothe property needs painting which he said he would do straight when we move in as yet still waiting 2 years on.
    The owner sent the bank down and the insurance company more than once and we had to change are shifts at work to let them in.
    But all the people who came said the jobs that wanted doing were not covered by the bank or the insurance.
    We have been paying the rent each month of 1,300.00 euros for a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom but we can only use 1 bathroom .
    We have not been paying the electric or water for about 6 months as I think it is compensation for the inconvenience as we are not getting what we paid for, we have emailed and whatsapp the landlord with no reply.

  59. The only thing you can really do is consult a lawyer, but do be aware that you are not entitled to withhold any rent as “compensation”. If your water and electricity are included in a rent the same applies. Tenants are understandably frustrated in such situations but the courts will never support them if they can be shown to be at all behind with monies contractually due. All you can do is take legal steps to enforce your contract. The only other alternative, reasonably and logically, is to find somewhere else to live that has appropriate standards.

  60. Dear Janet, thank you for building this online resource!

    I am trying to ‘transition’ to a life in the Canary Islands. Currently I am considering the idea of taking out a long-term rental contract in Tenerife as a sort of second home. My question is – would it be legal for me to rent a property in Tenerife under the long-term rental laws, but actually reside most of the year in the UK? The rented property in Tenerife might be empty for several months at a time, but I would still be paying the rent.

    Thank you.

  61. Hello Santo, yes that would be perfectly legal. You can rent a property here – and as tenant would not be breaking any laws of any kind – and are not obliged to visit the property at all, let alone reside here full time.

  62. Hello, I have been renting an property for over a year. This was on a six month contract that was never extended. I continue to pay the rent through the agent and had no problems. The agent would like me to sign a new contract this month and also put the property on the market for the owner. I would like to stay here for a while longer, what rights to I have ?
    Kind regards

  63. I’m afraid that there’s not really a lot you can do if the owner wishes to sell and you don’t already have a long-term contract protecting you.

  64. Just read Tony’s post and your reply and have a similar situation. We have been in our apartment for 2.5 years, on a yearly contract with a 3 year -no change in rent clause. The current contract expires on 31st March 2017. We have just been told by the pleasant but (air brained) girls in the lettings office that the landlady would like us to leave before Christmas as the landlady wishes to sell the apartment. I have translated various paragraphs in the lease that says if we leave before end of contract we have to pay landlady the rent until end of contract. Also that the landlady can, with one months notice to us, end the contract if she needs it for her family etc – but nothing about selling it. Before we get involved in real legal costs, I would appreciate your comments on this Janet. This is the worst time of year for us to move for business reasons and cannot face the upheaval/possible change of Doctors etc etc at our busiest time. Many thanks Wendy

  65. It’s a clear situation. The owner can demand the property back for her own use (lawyers confirm that she would have to live in it for at lesat three months to comply with this requirement), but if it’s for sale, she cannot. In the situation you describe, you are a sitting tenant and your contract must be upheld by the new owner. Having said that, you’re talking about gaining only three months before the contract would expire anyway so I’m not sure that it would be worth taking any action to enforce your rights.

  66. Thanks Janet, sorry for delay in reply, busy getting tax quarter returns in to our asesoria. Should be working this morning but an early morning phone call from Cumbria saying Brian’s Dad died this morning makes me busy booking flights etc etc.
    Hence property hunting is taking a very back seat at the moment. Thanks again, Wendy x

  67. My husband and my kids have been living in our apartment for more than two years now.We have a six months contract which is renewed every six months. The agent came today to tell us we have to start paying for light,or we leave if we don’t want to pay.The original contract is for 350 euros for everything.please what rights do we have? .The contract expired last month.

  68. You don’t have many rights because your contracts are limited by themselves. Each new one sets the terms. Really to continue living in a place you shoulf have a long-term residential contract which would limit rent increases and give you assured contractual rights to renew for up to three years. The law considers what you actually have to be a short-term one. The only recourse you really have is to take legal action to get your past repeated contracts considered to be one long-term one, but that will involve a lawyer and the Courts. Beyond that, you should ensure that future contracts are genuinely long-term residential ones as defined above.

  69. Hi. I have a contract with an agency for reservation of an appartment but the owner said the place i damaged and cannot rent it. The contract with the agency says that if the appartment will not be rented because of the owners fault I will get my money back from the agency. But I am chasing them 1 month now. Do you have any good ideas how I can get my money back?

  70. If you have a contract and are struggling to get satisfaction, you need to see a lawyer to get it enforced.

  71. Hi Janet.
    Your article has been really helpful.
    A friend of mine said that there has now been by law where a cap has been put on finders fees. Is this true?
    Also I have seen an apartment to rent which I really like but they are asking for 2 month deposit, 1 month upfront and pay the equivalent of 1 months rent for contract fees. All at 700 euros. Is this legal?

  72. I’m not aware of a law capping finders’ fees. As to the specific details of the rental you describe, it’s entirely legal to ask that, and entirely the tenant’s choice whether they pay that. All I would say is that I personally would not pay €700 for “contract fees” but if you take it, then that money is lost. For the deposit, however, make sure that you get a receipt, and make sure it says that it’s refundable. And then make sure you have an inventory and photos so that no claim can be made against you when you leave for “damage” or the like.

  73. Hello, when renting an apartment on a long term contract of around a year is it normal to pay a month deposit in agency fees to the letting agency in addition to the month deposit to the landlord for possible damages?

  74. As it says above, there is a range of practices. Some agencies charge what they call contract fees, others “finders fees”, etc. It’s legal to ask for it and it’s perfectly reasonable to walk away from the demand.

  75. In my experience in the UK (and I stress this is only in the UK) the agent’s fees are paid by the landlord and are normally one months rent. The agent charges the tenant some fees to undertake the costs he incurs in undertaking “checks” on the tenant, eg credit , employment references etc but these fees are not one months rent.

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