How to deal with rent non-payment issues

21/06/2023
Marc Navarro Cifani

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From this blog entry, we will see how a landlord can deal with a common situation in today's world, such as rent non-payment of a leased property. We will briefly discuss the following points that we consider relevant to solve the problem:

What legislation is applicable?

 

1.-The Urban Leases Law is the law that governs lease contracts in Spain. Additionally, this law provides certain options in case of rent non-payment. Specifically, in Article 27, it states that:

"1. Non-compliance by either party with the obligations resulting from the contract shall entitle the party that has fulfilled its obligations to demand compliance with the obligation or to promote the resolution of the contract in accordance with the provisions of Article 1,124 of the Civil Code." Furthermore, the same article establishes in its second paragraph that: "2. In addition, the lessor may terminate the contract automatically for the following reasons: a) The non-payment of the rent or, where applicable, of any of the amounts that the lessee has assumed or is due to pay." Therefore, the legislation is clear, in case of rent non-payment, the landlord is entitled to terminate the lease contract and request the return of possession of their property.

What options does a landlord have in this situation?

 

2.- In our opinion, these are the options available to a landlord to recover their property:

Reach an amicable agreement with the tenant to vacate the property: It is always recommended and more economical to reach an agreement with the tenant to deliver the property as soon as possible. This is important because an amicable agreement, which may even forgive pending rents or defer payment of the debt, and which leads to the peaceful departure of the tenant, means that the landlord could save the judicial costs of eviction, gain time, and avoid possible damage to the property resulting from the tenant's spite in the face of eviction. Therefore, the sooner the landlord can have their property back, the sooner they can put it up for rent again.

File a legal claim: In the absence of an extrajudicial agreement, the only alternative to recover the property is to file an eviction lawsuit. It is only necessary to have a copy of the lease contract and a power of attorney for the attorney and legal representation to initiate the process. As this is considered an urgent situation that needs to be resolved, it is resolved through the verbal procedure. However, before going to trial, the Legal Secretary will make a request to the delinquent tenant to proceed with one of the following options:

Payment of overdue rents and vacating the property.

Payment of the debt and continuation of the property lease (eviction enervation).

Opposition to the claim, which can be made if the tenant believes that the claimed rents have been paid or are not owed in their entirety. This requires a hearing.

  • The average duration of the process is usually 4 to 6 months, depending on the court and its workload. However, in case of opposition to the claim, the period will be even longer.

 

3.- What actions can a tenant take in the face of non-payment and successive actions by the landlord?

The tenant can choose to do nothing, which will result in their eviction on the date specified by the court.

Pay the outstanding rent and voluntarily vacate the property.

Exercise the right to enervate the eviction action, which means paying the claimed rent and continuing with the lease agreement. This action can only be taken once.

Vacate the property without paying the debts, which means that the legal process will continue until the debts are paid to the landlord.

Oppose the lawsuit that has been filed to dispute the amount owed.

 

In summary, it is a relatively simple procedure, but it is important to have good support and advice during the process in order to reach a solution as quickly as possible.

If you wish to hire the services of specialist lawyers in evictions, do not hesitate to contact our firm. We will be happy to assist you and evaluate your case completely free of charge.

Contact our team of specialist lawyers.