I am an Irish citizen and I rent my house in Spain on a regular basis but this time I am having problems with my tenant as he stopped paying the rent four months ago and since that time he has given me all kinds of excuses; he keeps telling me that he will leave the house in a few days and that he will pay me very soon etc. He has threatened me that if I take him to Court it will take me forever to get him out of my property as, according to him, I will first have to wait for the judge to issue an order asking him to pay and to leave but since he will not do so voluntarily I will need to seek enforcement of the Order and then ask for an eviction and this will certainly take a very long time Is this true?. What can I do?
Dear reader thank you for your E-mail.
We have previously referred to this matter in our articles-queries (Letting – retting contract: basic advice) and have stressed the importance of taking preventive measures to avoid a default or breach of the letting contract: such as requesting a bank guarantee, the signature of a guarantor to insure contract compliance, etc.
** Other articles and consultations ( Eviction process and claim for unpaid rents in Spain, legal process).
Anyway it seems that the problem of tenants not paying the rent or paying late has been sharply increased by the economic crisis as it is more and more often that we received this type of query.
We can say, from our experience, that as soon as you tenant fails to pay and refuses to leave the property you should seek legal advise as soon as possible in order to start a Court proceeding asking for the money owed and if necessary ask the Court to have the tenant evicted (taken out of the property) so that you can have your property back.
If the Court proceeding is necessary the sooner you start the sooner it will be over.
Furthermore it is our understanding that no threats or blackmailing should be accepted from a tenant.
You should also be aware that the chances of having a favourable ruling from the Court are quite high since the Civil Procedure Law (Ley de Enjuiciamiento civil – LEC) states in its article number 444 that in these cases the defendant’s only argument can be that he has paid the money owed, so if he has not paid, he will have very little chance of getting a good result.
In reference to the length of time that a proceeding and the enforcement of the sentence to be able to have your property back can take, what your tenant has told you is not true at all as with the new changes to the LEC, the hearing, the Court Order – sentence and the enforcements of the sentence and eviction go practically together if requested without the need of a new claim asking for the eviction. It can also be requested from the Court to set, at the admission of the claim, a date and time for the eviction, should the defendant not leave the property voluntarily, then the eviction (taking out of the property) will take place within one month from the Court hearing.
Therefore we can conclude that your possibilities of success are quite high and that the time from the start of this proceeding to the eviction has been considerably shortened by the legal reforms thus if your tenant refuses to pay and leave on a friendly way you should seek legal advice to star the proceeding as soon as possible.
The information provided on this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.
White & Baos
Tel: 966 426 185
White & Baos 2011 – All rights reserved.