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 the only residential lets properly speaking, 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 five years, with a further renewal period available under agreement of up to another three years. Rent increases too may be no more than the rate of inflation. Some owners do not relish the prospect of having a tenant with such highly protected rights, however, and so short term contracts (contrato de arrendamiento por temporada) are common, running normally for three or six months, but can be up to a year. Whatever length of time the contract covers, its terms are binding on both sides, and it will not have a period of notice because each side must honour the full contracted period.

It is important to note, however, that temporada contracts are not in any case intended for habitual residential purposes. Indeed they are contracts for a specific purpose, e.g. temporary work placement, study, etc., and not for habitual residence. Indeed, the tenant’s primary habitual home address must be detailed on the contract. They also cannot be for tourism purposes, and Turismo says that any such contract under three months will be deemed as touristic by the Government, and fines issued against owners where they are offering such lets illegally. Put simply, specific purpose temporada contracts are perfectly legal if issued for a genuine short-term purpose, and not for holidays or permanent living, and any tenant who is given one for residential purposes, and is then fobbed off with repeated temporadas instead of being given the vivienda contract they should have by law can appeal to the Courts on the grounds that this is an habitual home where the owner is trying to avoid providing full legal rights. The Courts are very sympathetic to tenants in these circumstances, and can require the owner to provide a long-term residential vivienda contract.

To be fully legal, contracts must be 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. I am sometimes asked about agents putting up rent in the middle of contracts, or “at renewal”, and as should be clear from the above, it is only in long-term vivienda contracts that the issue arises because temporada contracts are for a single set period, and a vivienda contract will have the legally-allowable increases already written into it. There cannot actually be any reason for an agent or owner to increase the amounts agreed to and written into a contract.

Apart from paying rent in advance, you will also almost certainly 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.

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 charge imposed by an agent, perhaps called a contract fee, or “finder’s fee”. If the landlord is a legal entity or business, indeed, such administration or contract fees must be paid by them rather than the tenant, though this is not the case where an owner is a private individual. Note too that some landlords ask for a bond as a security guarantee in addition to a deposit, and under the law this bond may not be of a value greater than two months’ rent. Be aware that although many agents are honourable, some are not, so it is only safe to proceed on the grounds that your agent may not be so. What fees are “fair” or acceptable is naturally for each prospective tenant to decide for themself, but in any case, it is essential to determine the nature of all monies handed over, and for the amounts to be specifically identified in the contract, along with the fact that they are refundable. Needless to say, it is imperative to get specific and clearly identifiable 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 vivienda contract, though they can terminate a contract by giving just one month’s notice, and without having to pay compensation, 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 only be able to recover it from that point for use as a main home with notice of two months. Legally this means that the owner must move into it and stay in it for at least three months, and cannot just say they want to live in it in order to get the tenant to move out for a different reason.

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. Those deemed to be at risk of social vulnerability are protected by the law, which requires the Courts and Social Services to find alternative accommodation for them.

Apart from non-payment of rent, a tenant may be evicted for using the property for a purpose other than living in it, for intentionally damaging the property, for carrying out noisy, dangerous or illegal activities, and for sub-letting: Urban Letting legislation permits a tenant to sub-let but only part of the property and only with prior consent from the owner. Anyone who is evicted under the 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 following, but please do not use it to seek or offer rentals, or ask for recommendations for agents. If you are looking for the legal situation with regard to letting out a property, please see THIS page.

 

 

 

99 Comments

  1. Janet. I paid a 500 deposit for apartment for 2017. I paid the deposit in November 2016. As far as I was concerned I would contact the landlord in the summer in 2017′ II was in hospital in December and January, There was gossip going around Tenerife I was in a coma which was not true, This was related to the landlord by one of the gossip so he decided to rent the apartment to another person I am mad that I could lose the apartment because he listen to a gossip. I refuse now to take my deposit back as that would solve his problem. I got a written agreement from him. He said he can change his mind if he wants to, Do not feel like walking away because of some gossip. What can I do.

  2. Author

    He is bound by the agreement and the receipt you will have for your deposit. You can enforce this by taking legal action against him, but since this would be costly and time consuming, my advice would be to accept the refund of your deposit and just look for another apartment. You could perhaps also ask for some compensation for your time and effort in finding another apartment because he’s in breach of contract …

  3. Hi, We are looking to rent a 3 bed apartment in Adeje. And the agency are wanting 3 months rent upfront, 1 months deposit plus 1 months agency fee- the rent is 850 per month! Is 850 euros quite high for an agency fee which as far as im aware, we wont get back?

  4. Author

    Most often “agency fees” are not refundable. It is a high fee, but it is legal, as is asking for three months in advance when one is normal. It is entirely your choice whether you accept these terms or seek a different agent.

  5. Hi Janet,
    Firstly thank you for posting this article it’s really helpful.

    Me and my partner rented an apartment in Tenerife for short term 6 months however had the opportunity to extend the contract if we wished. The notice was two months before the original contract ended, as a tenant we had briefly spoken about continuing it but nothing was finalized. Initially our leaving date was the 10th of February and our contract states that unless there is a signing of a new contract the original will end automatically. So we notified our agency a month before because unfortunately something came up back home so we had to leave that we wouldn’t be continuing. They stated to both me and my partner that as long as there were viewings straight away the deposit shouldn’t be a problem, there was actually a viewing the same week so my partner cleaned the entire apartment top to bottom which in fact made it look better than what it was when we first moved in. The lady who showed us the apartment that then showed the new tenants at the day of the viewing said to my partner that the apartment was spotless and that the deposit shouldn’t be a problem. When we left we left on good terms and even gave the correct bank details they needed for when returning the deposit. We left on the original date stated in the contract but now we are back in the U.K. Refusal of the deposit has been stated because we didn’t give the right notice when in fact we did. We were also mislead in believing we would get it back before we left because now as if stands they are refusing to give it to us. What’s the best route to take?
    Thanks
    Autumn

  6. Author

    Getting deposits back here is a perennial problem, and your only recourse is legal action with a lawyer in the first place trying to get an agreement for return, and then going to Court if that is unsuccessful.

  7. Hello Janet
    I have a bit of a predicament.
    I am renting of which is totally not suitable ..but I have found one that is …my contract runs out on 30th April. The landlord will not update anything. However will the agency give me back my deposit without fulfilling the contract .the new owner may not hold until end April

  8. Author

    If you have a temporada contract both you and the owner are required to honour it, which means paying for the whole term. So I would not think you’d get your deposit back if you fail to do this, and technically, the owner could also come after you for any rent owing for the remainder of your contract.

  9. Hi Janet, my partner and I will shortly be kicking of the process to rent an apartment short term. Is it customary that I have a local bank account to pay rent or can i do this cash in hand with the agent if needed? Asking at the bank yesterday they need a P60, payslips (which i cannot provide as an IT contractor) and proof of address to open an account. Thanks in advance for your time.

  10. Author

    You can do whatever is agreed, which is likely to be stipulated in your contract. Bear in mind that if you wish to declare rent in any tax return here you will need receipts, and you should have receipts anyway for any deposits you pay, specifically listing what they are for and whether they are refundable. Unfortunately it is far harder over recent years to open bank accounts here, but not all banks have the same requirements … so it might be worth asking around.

  11. Hi janet
    We are thinking of comeing to tenerife and trying a short term rent to see if we like it and as we have only been on holiday here i am going to retire at 60 and my wife do not work if we like and dont miss the grandkids too much we might look for longer term rent as we love tenerife on holiday
    Is this posibible please as we like to give it a go as we woyld like to spen the rest of our days on this lovely island

  12. Author

    Yes, it’s entitrely possible. It’s not all that easy to find rental properties but have a look on Facebook – type “rental property tenerife” in the search box and you should find a few options come up, and any of them will put you in direct contact with owners and agents. See what’s available – you will probably find that most owners only want to give short term contracts anyway.

    The most important thing is to ensure that you are being offered a contract, and get it checked out by an independent adviser or lawyer before you sign it … and before you hand over any money. Technically you will be “on holiday” here as you’re just coming to see how it feels to be here, so you won’t officially be “living here”, and as such you won’t need to register with the police. You will probably need a NIE and a bank account here, but you can do that as “non-resident” visitors.

  13. My brother has taken early retirement and is looking to move to Tenerife (he has been visiting for the last 30 years) and will be staying in my apartment. He will be my personal guest. I take it he will not need a contract as such and this will not be deemed illegal. The apartment is on a residential complex.

  14. Author

    no, you don’t need to give your family or private guests contracts, and you have full constitutional right to use the apartment for any private purposes that don’t break any laws.

  15. Hi Janet,
    We are long term renters and have been in the same apt now for 19 months al be it that we have an eleven month rolling contract which is due for renewal in October 2017. The agent is talking about increasing our rent be €50 a month. We already pay€850 plus bills. She says that there are others on our row paying €1100. Can she do this? She says there are other people that will pay that which is a bit intimidating as she could give us notice to quit.
    Would appreciate your thoughts

  16. Author

    I’ve moved your question to the page which explains all about these contracts and your rental rights because you aren’t really asking about “illegal letting”. As you will see above, your contract gives you no protection against increases because it is not a “rolling contract” at all, but separate short-term ones which are viewed by the courts as an attepmt by owners to get around giving you those protections.

    You can ask for a proper residential three year contract which gives you full tenant rights, being prepared to take private legal action to make application to the courts for your second contract to be made into a long-term residential one with full tenant rights, an application which would be viewed favourably. The only alternative is to move and find somewhere where you are given a fair and legally recognized contract.

  17. Hi Janet, as a long term tenant what rights would I have if the owner decided to sell the property that I have been renting over the past few years?

  18. Author

    As it says above, your contract must be observed … an owner can give you notice but only if the intention is that s/he is going to live in the property. Otherwise, the property must be sold with you as a sitting tenant and your contract must be honoured by the new owner.

  19. hi Janet, this has answered many of our questions! we are contemplating renting out a cottage separate from but within our property for a 12 month period to someone on placement here from mainland Spain. So far we have only used it when friends come to stay, and now the novelty of our living here is wearing off it’s a shame to see it unused. Obviously we will have to declare the income we receive on our tax return, but do you know if we need to charge the equivalent of VAT on the rent and therefore register somehow for that as well?

  20. Author

    I don’t believe you need to charge IGIC on long-term or “short-term” specific purpose rentals but as I always say with all tax issues, please check with a qualified tax adviser because I am not one. The onlt thing re IGIC that I am sure of is that it must be charged on holiday rentals under the Vivienda Vacacional scheme (see HERE).

  21. thanks, will add it to our list of questions when we go to get the contract etc drawn up but useful to have a guideline now. Thanks for the help, as always.

  22. Hi Janet
    I notice on estate agent in the North – Porta Tenerife -requiring a commission payment of one months rent
    Obiviously I do not agree with this but as I have not seen it elsewhere hope this is the exception ???

  23. Author

    As it says above, various systems apply, and it is up to the prospective tenant what they accept. A commission of one month’s rent is not all that unusual.

  24. Hi Janet can I just ask in your rental contract when it says the tenant is liable for the electricity do the pay for electricity used or all of it including standing charge/tax ect?
    Asking for a friend tia

  25. Very good advice article. Well done.

  26. Author

    If the contract says the tenant pays the electricity bills then I would expect to be the whole bill, unless stated otherwise. If the contract says the tenant pays for electricity used then I would it expect it only to be the consumption costs. It depends what is specified in the contract.

  27. Hi janet ,ive been in my apt for 7 years now and pay my rent every month on time ,my contract is up for renewal
    In dec but the owner is saying he wants another 250 euros a month more which is an increase of about 25 percent can he do this by law .many thanks

  28. Author

    As always, it depends on your contract. After seven years, you should really be in the second year of a second long-term residential contract (Vivienda), with another year’s renewal fixed in the contract. These contracts have any increases in rent clearly set out, and the rises will be limited by the rate of inflation. The nature of your question, though, implies that this is not the case, and if you have been given repeated short-term contracts, each one of which is for a fixed period and for a fixed rent, then the owner can set whatever rent they like on a new one. As I say above, however, under such circumstances you could apply to the Courts for these repeated short-term contracts to be converted into a residential one.

  29. Hi Janet
    We had an eleven month contract from Aug 2016 to 16 July 2017
    In April 2017 we were given 2 months notice to leave as the landlord said je wanted the property back for the summer so we co mplied and left the property
    Before we left we signed a 9 month contract that the agent has also signed.
    This contract was for 9 months from Oct 1st 2017 to 30 th June 2018
    The agent has now told us we can only have the property for 6 months
    Can they legally do this?
    Your advice would be much appreciated
    Many thanks

  30. Author

    No, they can’t do this. Short-term contracts are for specific periods and those periods must be honoured by both sides.

  31. Thanks Janet.That has made us feel a lot better.

  32. Hi Janet if possible could you please advise me how many people can legally sleep in a one bed apartment long let within a complex, if there are more than one or two does this have to be agreed by the landlord. Thank you.

  33. Author

    There are legal health and safety limits depending on the size of the property and the number of bedrooms, but I don’t have the specific details. Generally, though, a property will be considered adequate housing for twice the number of people that there are bedrooms, plus possibly one or two more. so a maximum for a two-bedroom property, for example, would be six.

    That is all completely irrespective of whether it’s a long- or short-term rental. Indeed, it is irrespective of whether the occupants are tenants or owners. They are all “residents” and for health and safety purposes their “status” is irrelevant. As to letting the landlord know, no-one is required to identify specifically every family member or guest when they take out a residential long-let. The only requirement in that sense is that they do not sublet.

    If you feel a unit is over-populated you need to check with the president and/or administrator in the first instance.

  34. I have a tenant who wants to pay weekly on a six month lease and for it to be stated on the tenancy ..thr rent is monthly and this will mean ob a five week month he will be in advance.. Can you tell me does this have any legal or disadvantage to me

    Regards Helen x

  35. Author

    You can form the contract in whichever way suits you and the tenant best. If he pays weekly, then you cam simply amend the contract for a weekly alternative, which will be possible to work out because it’s a fixed term contract.

  36. Hi ,We rent our apartment and have given our tenant two months notice to vacate .He was on six months contract which we renewed for him at the end of each period he has done this for eighteen months as he was not sure how long he wanted to stay. He will now not leave . We are wanting to retire to Tenerife and live in our place now. Where do we stand legally on getting him out Regards Carole

  37. Author

    If you have given a six month contract it is a “temporada” and must be honoured by both you and the tenant. You can’t give notice for a fixed period contract. What you can do is get a lawyer to write to him advising him that he is required to vacate at the end of his contract period, and at least you will have set the legal process in action early in case he refuses to leave when the contract expires.

    Really, though, for the situation you describe, as explained above you should have giveb him a residential contract renewable for up to three years, so in theory he could actually apply to the courts to have the temporary ones made into a long-term one which will still be valid.

  38. Hi,we rented an apartment on Atlántico in chafiras in 2013, signing a contract for one year and paying 2 months deposit upfront,since then I have never asked for a new contact and Atlántico never issued a new one! Now we want to leave Are we still required to give notice and what are chances of deposit refund ?

  39. Author

    Well you are outside your contract, so there is no contract to set terms about notice or departure. As to your deposit, that too would be governed by a contract which is no longer valid so you are dependent on the goodwill of whoever is holding it.

  40. We are coming to the end of our second contract . First one was for five years and this one for three years. They put the rent up by 60 euros making the rent 560 a month at end of first one, but now want to put it up another 200 which would make it 760 a month or they want us to leave , can they do this ? Thank you

  41. Author

    By law the term of renewable residential contracts was reduced from five to three years, so yes they can do this now that you are at the end of your contract which has been renewed to its full extent. Your new contract can have new terms.

  42. With long lets now getting more exspensive and hard to find maybe try negotiating point out to the landlord that you have been a good tenant and paid the rent and just maybe a new tenant may not be as good better the tenant you know than one you don’t and see if you can get him to limit the amount off the increase.

  43. Our contract for the property we are renting is from Oct 2012. It says about annual renewals for up to a further 3 years, -( which would take us up to 2016). We have signed nothing since the first signing. Are we now tenants with an expired contract and hence with no rights at all? Or does the contract continue to get renewed automatically every October? If we want to move out, presumably we can still do so with just one month’s notice? But what about if the landlady wants us to move out? I was told by one asesor that our contract is renewed anyway and even if she wanted us to move out she couldn’t do so until October this year. Is that correct? What about if it is she (or a family member) who wants to move in? Does the two-month notice apply, even though the contract was signed before 2013?

    Thanks!!!

  44. Author

    Really you should have new copies of the contract each year as you agree to renew (the contract is “renewable” not “automatically renewed”) but it will be considered legally valid. Apart from the set period of notice, you can only be required to vacate if the owner needs to use it as a personal dwelling, as explained above. The two months notice for this applies whenever you signed the contract.

  45. Hi Janet, please can you clarify one point. Having read all of the above comments I’m a little confused. At one point you state that the old 5yr residential contract has been reduced to 3yrs. But you also state that at the end of a one year contract it can be renewed for a “further” 3 Years ……. this would make 4 Years in total, or am I reading it wrong?
    Thanks as always.

  46. Author

    The law says “.La duración del arrendamiento será libremente pactada por las partes. Si
    ésta fuera inferior a tres años, llegado el día del vencimiento del contrato, éste se
    prorrogará obligatoriamente por plazos anuales hasta que el arrendamiento alcance
    una duración mínima de tres años, salvo que el arrendatario manifieste al
    arrendador, con treinta días de antelación como mínimo a la fecha de terminación
    del contrato o de cualquiera de las prórrogas, su voluntad de no renovarlo.”

    In other words, it’s guaranteed for three years, as I read it. I’ve edited above to try to clarify.

  47. As I read it, you can contract for any period. However if your contract is for less than 3 years the contract will automatically be extended year by year up to the 3 year anmiversary unless the tenant gives 30 days notice of not wishing to extend.

  48. Hi Janet me & my husband have rented and lived in a property for almost 18months with contracts renewing every 3 months & full payment of rent at the start of each new contract. We are due to sign another 3 contracts again 31st May and have just been told they are putting the rent up by 75euros a month to 750 euros a month for 1 bed on the golf. How long Can they keep giving us 3 month contracts and can they legally put the rent up that much (prob around 12%). Have we any rights ?

  49. Author

    As you will read above, this is not the appropriate way to do this. You have the legal right to apply to the Courts to have these repeated short-term contracts made into a residential one that gives you the full protection of the law. As things stand, though, these contracts are short-term and are one-off individual contracts, and as I explain above, with these contracts there is no right of renewal nor any residential-tenant protection, and as such, also no restriction on rental inreases. Indeed, as I try to set out above, there can be no applicable concept in these contracts of “rent increases” because the rent is set for the duration of the one-off contract. Any “renewal” is actually a wholly new and separate contract.

    (I’ve removed the name from the post above. For legal reasons please don’t “name and shame” on this site).

  50. Thankyou Janet.
    Can I ask the agent to give me a residential contract for longer or does that have to go through the courts?

    For my next contract I mean
    As we have looked around as there really isn’t any long term lets around for us to move to, so at the minute it’s looking like we are probably going to stay here

  51. Author

    Well obviously you can ask the agent! But if they won’t provide one, then you would need to go to Court to get your next short-term one made into a long-term one.

  52. Hi Janet, I wish to let my flat on long term without going through an agent . Where could I find an example of contract? Many thanks in advance. Best regards.

  53. Author

    My advice is to get a lawyer to draw one up taking into account your particular circumstances.

  54. Hi Janet,

    I will be moving to tenerife in January 2019, I heard that in order to get long term accommodation you need to provide working contract. Is there possibility to rent a house without the contract , we will start to look for jobs as soon as we arrive, but want to get a house as soon as we will land in Tenerife .
    Thanks,
    Vainius

  55. Author

    No that is not correct. You are not required to be in work to rent a property.

  56. Hi Janet. We have been renting for 19mths paying our rent direct to thr owners account. 5mths ago the agent asked us to sign anothwr contract stating that the only change was that the rwnt was to be paid into a Ltd company. Which we have been doing. We have now found out the the property (27 of them actually) are being repossessed by the bank. Our contract doesnt state a time period. Where do we stand please? TiA

  57. Author

    You say your contract doesn’t state a time period but a legal contract must state a time period. It will either be short term with the time period clearly defined, or be a residential contract for a year renewable up to three years. Other types of contract aren’t “illegal” but they aren’t standard under urban letting legislation and so would be subject to interpretation by the Courts, whereas “proper” contracts define themselves within the framework of the law itself. None the less, any non-standard contract must define rights in some way or it doesn’t warrant the name “contract”. In any case, the key point is that any new owner, bank or not, who repossesses a rented property, must honour any existing contracts. I have known banks offer tenants large sums to vacate because they do not wish to honour a contract with a sitting tenant in a property they’ve reposessed!

  58. Hi Janet. Thanks for your reply. After translation my contract states 12mths renewable automatically. We were in tbis situation a few years back and i was told neither party (owner or repossessing bank) could take any rent money from us as neitger party fully owned the property. Does this still apply? Also worryingly our contract is up at tge end of September. We have an appointment today with the agent. Thankyou for your help

  59. Author

    Then you have a long-term residential (vivienda) contract. All sides have to abide by the contract, including paying rent, so it is not correct that no-one takes rent! The repossessing bank becomes the owner in this sense because they do fully own the property – indeed their ownership (because of mortgage) is what enabled them to repossess in the first place.

    As to the other aspect of your question, when you say your contract is up at the end of September do you mean the full three year term has expired or just the first or second one? If the full term is over then the contract is over too, but if the contract still has a period to run then the bank has to honour the contract and allow you to renew up to the legal maximum period … or make it worth your while to move out.

  60. Thanks so much for clarifying Janet. It will be 2yrs at the end of September. So if im reading you correctly we will still have a further 12mths from then to complete the 3yrs. Should i contact the repossessing bank to arrange payment direct to them? My rentbis duebthe 1st of the month so not sure eho to pay this to. Once again thank you

  61. Author

    You need to check with the agent when you meet them later today what arrangements are in place and whether they’ve had any contact with the bank, but since your contract gives you the option of choosing to stay another year, that must be honoured by the bank if you wish to stay.

  62. Your website is invaluable. Thank you so much for your help and advice

  63. hi Janet hope you don’t mind, i have been renting the same apartment for 8 year’s at first it was a one year contract then it was a thee year, ,and then back to a one year ? always paying on time ,there has been no contact for at least 6 months they keep saying the rent is going up another 200 euros but still have not come up with the new contract which they say i will have to start paying in September? do i have any time to consider any new contract, should I ask for a residential contact? or do i have go to the courts ?how do i go to the courts ?over the last two years they have slowly got rid of long term lets in favor of holiday lets, they have left a note say i can leave if i don’t like the new contract?
    can they push me out ? many thanks p.s i live in Fuetventura

  64. Author

    If you had been given several short-term contracts and were within the period of the latest of these, then you could go to Court but as it is you are an uncontracted sitting tenant so to get rid of you they would need to apply for eviction. You could ask for a residential contract but the fact is that you are out of contract so they can refuse … but they still have the problem of what to do with you. Ultimately, though, yes they can push you out … but only if the Courts grant them an eviction order.

  65. Hi Janet

    A relative has a long term rental apt and recently had to pay a locksmith €200 because they were ‘locked in’. Apparently it took the locksmith an hour to get the door open then he had to go and get a new lock. The landlord has suggested it is a ‘grey area’ who is responsible for the costs. Your advice would be appreciated.

  66. Author

    It depends on the circumstances, really, as to who should pay. If the lock was in poor condition, then the landlord; if the lock’s in good nick but the tenant did something careless, then the tenant. There’s no clear answer, so yes it’s a grey area. The key question is what it would cost the tenant to try to get the money back: if more than €200 with no guarantee of success then there’s not much point, in my opinion. My advice would be to ask the landlord to go halves …

  67. Thanks for your reply. I understand the lock was around 4 years old. I agree 50/50 would seem reasonable and better than nothing.

  68. Hi Janet,
    I want to rent my apartment for 3 – 4 months only. I live on a residential complex. Is this okay please?
    Thanks

  69. Author

    Such lets are legal as short-term temporada lets as explained HERE regardless of all other considerations. If you are considering holiday lets, however, then as explained HERE it depends on the designation of the area your apartment is in, and if it is wholly residential, whether your community Statutes permit you to register under the Vivienda Vacacional scheme.

  70. Thank you very much for your help – you are a star!!

  71. Hi Janet , we have an apartment we rent out long term and was told we don’t need to declare the income as its long term , we have had this for 2 years if we need to pay tax/igic where do we go to do this , and how much will it cost ?

  72. Author

    oh yes you need to declare the rental income! It’s “income” and so there’s income tax to pay.

  73. @ Charlie. I use Diana at One Stop Shop for all my returns etc and can highly recommend her.

  74. Author

    I like to recommend her because she’s one of the most reliable people I’ve met in Tenerife, and qualified, and completely professional.

  75. Hi Janet,we have had a “contractor de arrendamiento de vivienda”for our apartment since January 1st 2014.We have paid €600 per month(which it states in our contract)for the past 5 years.Today we were sent a text by our landlords daughter to inform us that our contract runs out on January 1st 2019 and if we want to remain in our apartment then we will have to pay €700 rent per month.Where do we stand legally ?..We want to stay in our apartment but we were never informed of nor does it states an end date on our contract.What is the maximum a landlord can increase the rent by?

  76. Author

    Although I don’t have sight of your contract, it sounds as though it has run its full course as a long-term residential contract renewable annually to the maximum years allowed by the law, i.e. now 3, previously 5. As such, you now need a wholly new contract, and although your rent could only be increased in line with inflation during the life of your contract, the owners can reassess the rent as they please for a new contract, which you are free to accept or not, of course. To be clear, your contract doesn’t actually need to state an end date because it’s not a temporada. As a long-term residential contract its term is set by law.

  77. Hi. I have been renting an apartment for 4 and a half years and previously paid rent through an agent but in May 2018 there was problems with the agent so i started paying the rent directly to the owners bank account which was in a company name. Now in Jan 19 the owner said there is a new owner of the apartment and i must pay community fees of 300 per quarter on top of rent.She gave me a new bank account number to pay into but its her personal account. The family owns lots of apartments the complex I live in so what are my rights here? Thanks

  78. Author

    Your rights are to have your contract upheld. Obviously you can be asked to pay your rent in a different way but you must have the same receipts, and the amount cannot change other than as laid down in the contract. I am assuming given how long you’ve lived there that you have a vivienda (long-term residential) contract but a new owner doesn’t affect this – indeed new owners must adhere to existing rental contracts and their terms – and you cannot suddenly be required to pay something that you have not paid before while still on the same contract. Moreover, even with a brand new contract, community fees are almost universally paid by owners so it is not something most tenants would accept in any case.

  79. Hi thanks for quick reply. I signed my contract on May 1st 2014 so how long do I have left before I have to sign a new contract or agree to any changes in my original contract. Thank you.

  80. Author

    I can’t answer this without knowing what sort of contract you have. My best advice given everything you say is to consult a lawyer and show them the contract you have.

  81. I have signed my new contract last Friday agreeing to a 20€ increase the contract is a 12 month contract. Today i have been phoned by the company looking after the apt on behalf of the owner saying the owner has recently sold another apt which they used as a holiday apt while here (the owners live in England) and now they want to use the apt i rent. I have a feeling this maybe a ploy to rerent it for more money. The new contract doesn’t start till march but has already been signed. Please could you tell me what my rights are. Thank you.

  82. Author

    From what you say, your rights are to occupy the property from March. Before them you have no contractual right to the property so the owners can do what they like with it. Bear in mind that if the contract has been signed the rent amount has already been legally agreed, and they cannot rent it to anyone else anyway, at least from the start of the period they’ve contracted with you. I am confused by you saying “rerent” though – are you currently in contract for the property? If so it cannot be rented to anyone else anyway, nor be used by the owners.

  83. Sorry yes I’ve been in there 2 years. It’s the new contract i signed on Friday. I have a feeling that the office that i go through on behalf of the owners didn’t realise this was my 3rd year. I’ve heard due to a new spanish law after 3 years in the apt you are entitled to 5 more. I have a feeling that they want to move me out so they can get new tenants paying more rent. As if i do stay another year then if i am correct about the new law i would be able to stay and the rent can only be increased by the rate of inflation. Thanks

  84. Author

    You have heard correctly that the Urban Letting law has been revised – I posted it HERE (with a link to the legislation itself). As always, with questions about disputed contracts, you are best consulting a qualified lawyer.

  85. Is the 5 year extension automatic?

  86. Author

    if you have the right contract, it is something that happens automatically. Bear in mind, though, that the five year extension now only applies to brand new contracts. As I have said, you need to consult a lawyer to ascertain what the specific situation is relating to your own contract.

  87. Hi, I have a duplex in Playa Paraiso, that I want to rent out long term, I think I could find tenants myself, but since I never was doing it before I am a bit scared about all the procedure… Do you think it is possible to make it without agency and any experience?

  88. Author

    yes, but in that situation I would say that it is essential to get a qualified lawyer to deal with the contract.

  89. Hi Janet, I have rented a apartment lease is for 1 year I’ve had the keys for 4 days and the washing machine is not working I have contacted the agent who has basically said that the landlord Is the type of landlord to basically tell me to do without the washing machine as he won’t fix or replace it, I never received a innovatory with the lease all I received was a 3 page lease that says I am renting on a furnished basis. Where do I stand with this surely I have rights

  90. Author

    The place to start is with your contract. What does it say about breakages? Yes you have rights, as anywhere, so the starting point is to see what you have that can be enforced if it turns out that enforcement is necessary because you are not being treated as your contract requires.

  91. Hi Janet,
    We rented a property privately which ended very badly and are now in the middle of a second court case with the landlord. We won the first one although we then informed the landlord through our lawyer that we would be leaving the property in 1 month due to this court case. This was in October last year. The landlord came to the house before we moved out and took photos of the house with boxes being packed and before we had the chance to clean the house before we handed it back. The reason we let them in is that the insurance people had come to the property due to a leaking pipe which had to be resolved. The landlord has not given us back our deposit. When we left the property we left the keys inside the property as the landlord had moved away from the island and our lawyer at the time would not accept the second sent of keys and neither would the courts. We finally managed to give the keys back to their lawyer on a date requested by them which was two months later although we tried every avenue to give back the keys. The landlord now has stared a new case demanding that we pay the two months rent although we clearly have a contract to say we had left the property, we turned off the electric and water and that clearly shows that we had left the property. Our new lawyer said even the first case should never have gone to court int he first place. When the property was given to use it was not cleaned as they were moving out the day we actually moved in, so their was food in the fridge, dog hair everywhere which we cleaned from top to bottom. When we gave them back the property it was in better condition that when they gave it to us, and they produced photos of the house which they had taken when they first purchased to house, so not a true representation of the state of the property at the time we moved in. Any advice would be kindly received. If nothing else we would like to warn people of what actually goes on here as we here this from so many people that they loose their deposits. Our old landlord, did not register the rental of the property with the relevant people. They have lied time and time again. We are out of pocket now about 6000 euro due to this. Thank you for any advice.

  92. Author

    You already have a lawyer working on the case for you so it would be completely inappropriate of me to offer “advice”. Your comment of course can stay, none the less, for people to see what things can be like. What I would say, however, is that it is entirely normal for owners and agents not to go through the additional step of registering the lease, and many rentals are problem free. The registration really changes little in terms of rights. Sadly, though, the unreturned deposit is a constant problem, and one to which there is no solution since the law requires full rent to be paid, with the deposit repaid later … and the only mechanism for enforcement is the Courts which would cost, many times, more than any deposit that might be returned. And even getting a judgment might require a tenant to return to Court to get the money actually paid. I don’t know what the answer is.

  93. Dear Janet, I have read all the notes on long term rental but just need to get it clear in my head if you can help. We rent off a private individual through an estate agent. This is our habitual residence and we have rented now for 7 years. We have always been given a “temporada” contract for 12 months. We have paid the correct rent and utilities on time every month. The rent initially paid by us was fair to both parties 7 years ago and for 5 years we had minimal rent increases. Last year the landlord asked for a 50€ per month increase which given the circumstances did not seem unreasonable. The latest 12 month contract expires on 28th October 2019 and the agent has asked us to call in and sign a new contract. they say however the landlord requires a further 50€ per month increase. I suspect (but do not know) that the agents are prompting the landlord to ask for more because they can see from the other properties they rent that our rent should be higher. The agent says the landlord has said that the increase is due to the community fees and IBI increasing. I know for a fact that the community charge has only increased 5€ this year. I am unaware of the amount of IBI increase. when questioned the agency has come back to us and said the landlord will accept an increase of 10€ per month but on a 6 month contract. (very strange I think ). I am meeting with the agency and I wish to propose a correct long term contract for wich I am not adverse to paying a reasonable increase. If they agree should this new vivienda contract be for 1 year, renewable for up to 3 further years ?
    We do not have any other home address which I understand should be on a tempoada contract.
    Many thanks in advance for your help.

  94. Author

    Yes, a one year renewable up to three year contract is what you should have legally. It is the only contract legally for long-term residential letting, as I explain above. Also as above, you have been given improper contracts because they were short-term for a residential purpose which is not allowed, and the contracts, being temporadas, should have shown your “habitual address” because, of course, the temporada is not for residential purposes so the tenant is presumed to have a usual address elsewhere. Not sure what else I can say, and I am only confirming what I’ve already written that you have read above anyway.

  95. Hi Janet we have been renting our apartment for 9 months we are being picked on by our vice president of the apartments. She doesn’t like us she has made complaints we are noisy which we are not. My husband works every day and we are in bed by 10. She now has said our dogs bark all the time which is untrue they are always with me or out for walks. We have now been told to get rid of the dogs or move out. We love it here and love our dogs. What are are rights please

  96. Author

    Your rights are defined by your contract, not any individuals personal preferences. If your contract allows you to have animals then you can do so, though Spanish law requires that they are not loose in communal areas of the complex. As to you moving out, that is no-one’s business but a matter entirely for you and the owner, as tenant and landlord. It is wholly a private matter between you and nothing to do with anyone else … certainly a community cannot do anything direct to tenants but must direct any complaints, whether genuine or not, to the owner and/or to the police.

  97. Hi Janet. My friend has been renting a house on a 6 month rolling contract for almost 10 years. The landlord has now told her that they will be selling the land and the house to the ayuntamiento to build on and they will be bulldozing her home. What are her rights as a tennant. How much notice are they obliged to give her? Her latest contact has just come to an end and they offered to give her a one month contract. She is heartbroken. Please help .

  98. Author

    Well the contracts clearly have not been legally compliant because she should have had a long-term residential one, not rolling ones that are technically for short-term sole-purpose use. BUT even with a vivienda contract, an owner has the right to do what they want with their own property as long as they don’t violate the conditions in any contract they provide. Your friend has had ten years – the equivalent of two or three vivienda contracts in effect – and although she could in theory apply to the Courts for her short-term contracts to be turned into a long-term one, it would cost time and money to do this, and the Courts could determine in any case that she has had a fair enough run and the owner can have the property back on the grounds that even if she had had the appropriate legal contract, it would have expired in any case by now. As such, the most I would think she could get from legal action is two months’ notice. I’m afraid this is far from the first very long term rental I’ve come across which is treated as a home, with the tenant hoping and perhaps even expecting never to leave – but there is only one way, I’m afraid, for that to be the situation, and that is to be the owner, not a tenant.

  99. Thankyou for your quick response. I will pass this information on to my friend.

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