I am a tenant renting in Javea, the contract started about 8 months ago. According to my contract, it is a main home residency contract, for a period of 1 year, renewable year by year up to three years. I would like to leave the house, but the owner has told me that I cannot leave, and if I do, according to the contract I must compensate him for 4 months’ rent to the end of the contract. What can I do?
Thank you for your enquiry. We must say that in order to be able to advise you properly, we should study and review the contract. If it is a lease contract of a main home or residence, we understand that the owner (lessor) is wrong and legally he cannot ask you for the 4 months compensation, even if it was agreed on the contract.
The reason is because, as per the Law 29/1994, of Urban Leases (LAU), and as per its Article 11 concerning Withdrawal of the contract:
“The lessee (tenant) may cancel the lease, once at least six months have elapsed, as far as he/she notifies the landlord with a minimum of thirty days. The parties may agree in the contract that, in the case of withdrawal, the tenant should compensate the lessor for a sum equal to one month’s rent for each year of the contract pending to be fulfilled. Lower time periods will result in a proportional compensation. “
Therefore, the law allows you to terminate the contract and withdraw from it, providing you fulfill two requirements:
1) That you have fulfilled at least 6 month of the contract
2) That you give notice of at least 30 days.
Also the law says that compensation of one month’s rent (or proportional part) should be paid for each remaining year of contract. It should be understood that this is a maximum. If a larger compensation against you as a tenant (lessee) was agreed on your contract, such as you paying the rent for the remaining months of the contract, then this clause must be understood as null or not stated, as per the Article 6 of the LAU:
“Are void, and will be understood as not stated, any provision which modifies the detriment of the lessee or sublessee the provisions of this part of the law …”
Therefore in the present case, if a different compensation from what is stated in Article 11 was agreed in the contract, and this being worse for the tenant, it must be taken to be null and not agreed. Also, the maximum compensation that may apply in a case like yours, since eight months have been fulfilled, would be a compensation of 4/12th’s of a month’s rent., (given that it’s a main residence home letting contract with an agreed period of 1 year, extendable year by year)
If you have signed or want to sign a lease contract, or if you have problems with it, and you need advice, contact us
The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.
Carlos Baos (Lawyer)
Spanish Law firm solicitor attorney barrister.
Alicante, Denia, Costa Blanca Marina Alta
White & Baos 2015 – All rights reserved