Spanish property rental tips  

Warning: The information set out below is a general guideline provided by DOMENECH ABOGADOS. Specific advice should be sought before any action in reliance on it is taken, as explained more fully in this website's legal notice.

Although, strictly speaking, a verbal rental arrangement may be valid, it’s best to confirm all rental terms in writing by using a proper rental contract.  Items the agent/landlord “includes” at the outset may just not materialise, and if it’s not in black and white you’ll be hard-pressed to insist.  DOMENECH ABOGADOS can either draft a rental contract for you, or review one you may have been handed by a potential landlord.  

Specific and compulsory legislation may apply to rental arrangements, depending on the type of building - whether it’s designated as urban or rural property - and other circumstances (for example, if it’s a dwelling, whether it’s an ordinary term lease or just a holiday let). Clauses covering furnishings, or ruling if the property can be used as an office, may also be relevant. 

The Urban Rental Act applies to many rentals concerning urban dwellings, but it doesn’t cover holiday lets and there are other important exceptions too. 

Where a rental subject to the Urban Rental Act is established for a term of less than five years, the tenant will be able to enforce automatic extensions until a full five year period is reached. The Act also gives owners the right to request a one month guarantee, but many landlords request more than that (and may also look for bank guarantees). 

Even when subject to specific legislation, rental arrangements used to give scope for negotiation. However, recent regulations applying in certain Spanish regions have established price limitations and considerable fines if these limitations are not duly complied with. 

Whether you’re interested in renting a Spanish home or business premises, you don’t need to accept the terms suggested by property agents/landlords at the outset; there’s no “ official” or “standard” rental agreement, so there’s no need to accept requirements such as paying the first month’s rent to the property agent to settle her/his fee. Rather than just accept any document submitted to you for signature, play it safe and let DOMENECH ABOGADOS negotiate on your behalf: we’ll be pleased to assist you.

And if you’re a non-Spanish resident wishing to rent out your Spanish property for holiday use, remember it’s key to ensure the rental contract excludes any hidden automatic extension and that your non-resident Spanish income tax payments (currently 24% in general and 19% for beneficiaries resident in the UE, Iceland and Norway) are made to the Spanish tax authorities in time.  Again, call us at DOMENECH ABOGADOS for further insight.  

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