Changes on the Spanish Urban Lettings Law. What you need to know if you let or rent a property as landlord (lessor) or tenant (lessee) in Spain

Dear readers,

The Spanish Law 29/1994 for Urban Lettings ( LAU), which is the principal law ruling tenancy agreements in Spain, has been modified this month.

From all the changes, we would like to highlight the following:

1.- Rental or tenancy agreements inscription on the Land Registry.

Article 7 of this LAU, has been changed. Now in order for an urban property letting contract to be effective against third parties whose rights are registered, the rental contracts must be registered on the Land Registry.

This is an essential change, from now on, if we want our letting contract to be respected by third parties, we need to register it on the correspondent Land Registry. For example, if the property is sold, or the bank repossesses it after a mortgage execution court case in Spain, the new property owner will not have the obligation to continue or honour the contract, if the tenancy agreement is not registered. Therefore from now on, it is essential for the tenants to protect their interests by registering their letting contracts.

2.- Reduction on the minimum length for main residencies ( habitual residencies, homes) letting contracts.

Article 9 has been modified. Concerning main residencies ( not holidays) lettings, if the agreed contract length was less than 3 years, it must be extended up to 3 years, unless the tenants states his wish not to do so. Before, this minimum length was 5 years.

3.-The Landlords have the possibility to get back the property possession in case of a divorce, separation, etc.

If the landlord needs to use the property let out permanently for himself or some relatives stated on the law, in case of a divorce, separation, or nullity of marriage, the extension up to 3 years stated above, would no longer be compulsory.

4.-Debtors in arrears Registry.

It is foreseen to create an unpaid letting rents court orders Registry, to be able to check to see if there have been any judgments against the likely tenant for lack of payment of rents.

Therefore, if you are a property owner ( landlord) or tenant, and you need legal advice, or your contract to be reviewed, assistance in the negotiation or wording a new letting contract, we can help you.