Tenancy Eviction Legal Framework
Dear clients and readers,
What are your options if your tenants stop paying the rent?
Therefore, due to the importance of this matter, we would like, – if we may, – to give a brief sweeping legal overview on evicting tenants in Spain. Without going into detail, should your tenant might stop paying the rent, first and more important, you should seek for legal advice immediately. Do not wait 1 or 2 months to start eviction legal proceedings. The specific steps of the court proceedings are summarily described in the diagram below, Tenancy Eviction Legal Framework.
Landlord’s Not-To-Do List
Second, in the meantime, remember to never take the law into your own hands, for example by:
1. Shutting-off utilities (water & electricity).
2. Changing the locks or locking a tenant out.
3. Entering your property on a ‘routine’ inspection or break-in the property on your own, in order to throw the tenants and/or their possessions away.
Although it may be highly tempting to take justice into your own hands, – on their tenant falling in arrears, – it is never a good idea.
In the first place, because Spain’s Tenancy Act states that Landlords are forbidden from accessing their own property without the prior express permission of their tenant, regardless if they are up-to-date or not with their rent.
Second, because the tenant could even prosecute the landlord criminally on shutting off the utilities. For instance, if the utilities are in the landlord’s name, and he stops paying them on purpose, this wrongful action would be legally equated to the physical shut-off of utilities.
These actions may be labelled as either unlawful entry (trespassing), coercion or harassment (or both) and the landlord might be criminally prosecuted for this.
Third, because the landlord will be forced to pay for all the expenses associated to reconnecting his property to the utility service company, which is rather expensive in Spain.
Finally, on following the above, a landlord substantially would weaken or jeopardize his own legal position with regards to the ongoing civil eviction procedure against the tenant.
Therefore, bear in mind that the only – legal – way to evict a non-paying tenant is to hire a specialized lawyer and initiate a formal eviction procedure through the civil courts.
How to contact us for further specific advice?
We hope this information is useful. Remember that this is not intended to be specific legal advice, just a general overview. As independent lawyers, we can help you both by assisting you to pre-empt most tenancy issues as well as to oversee a tenant eviction procedure, if required.
Should you be interested in receiving more specific information, (either about this particular tenancy subject or any other), you can contact our firm several ways:
1. Call us or send us a WhatsApp now to (0034) 687 88 88 73.
2. You can also use our e-mail form at the top of the sidebar of your screen, or alternatively, you can send us e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Finally, thank you very much for your attention, and in case you might have any question or doubt at all, again please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be glad to help you!
We look forward to helping you and the benefit of our “know-how”.
Mr Oscar Ricor
“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor.