Update 6 June 2013: This legislation came into force today, and the new law is HERE. Among other effects that will have perhaps most impact, it will make it much easier for landlords to evict tenants who are behind with their rent: just one month’s arrears is now enough for a landlord to request a Court order to eject a tenant, and upon the granting of the Court order, the tenant will have ten days to pay up or explain the lack of payment to the Court. 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.
The new law also reduces the maximum period for long-term residential contract renewal from five to three years. It also explicitly excludes tourist rentals from urban letting legislation so as to put them within the the remit of tourism laws so as to undermine attempts to use urban rental legislation to try to circumvent tourism laws.
The new law hasn’t got to the statute book without criticism and complaint, but whatever its history, it is now law and applies from today. For general advice on rentals, please see HERE.
Original post 23 August 2012: The Government is introducing legislation to make it easier to evict tenants who are behind with their rents. According to new draft proposals to be approved tomorrow by the Consejo de Ministros, landlords will be able to apply for eviction in just ten days if a tenant is in arrears. Tenants will have the right to make their own declaration to the Court, and if they do not, then an eviction order will be granted. The measures are part of the Ley de Medidas para la Flexibilización y Fomento del Mercado de Alquiler.
Development minister Ana Pastor explained that with the law as it stands, landlords have to take legal action and get a ruling that non-payment of rent could lead to eviction. This can take months and what is more, she said, tenants can pay at the last moment to avoid that eviction. With the new law, however, a period of just ten days will be established after the landlord makes a denuncia to the Court, and if payment is not forthcoming, the Court will be empowered to rule that a rental contract is cancelled immediately. Sra Pastor said that the Government was seeking to reduce the red-tape that delayed the whole process and that it was clear that anyone who didn’t pay their rent was not going to pay it even if given more time.
Another major measure in the new legislation is that tenants will be able to terminate any contract of any length without having to pay compensation providing that they give a month’s notice. Similarly, the owner of the property will be able to recover it for use as a main home with notice of two months.