In this episode of Rent Game we will examine the different aspects of the term and extension of a property lease in Spain.
Since the popularity of the last episode of this series about repairs, we have decided to work on the second episode as soon as possible, this time covering the aspect that was asked by the vast majority of the readers: lease term and extensions.
First and foremost, it is worth mentioning that the answer to the different doubts and questions you may have will depend on the kind of contract that you have signed. Therefore, we will divide this post in three different kinds of lease contract, and then we will elaborate.
Contract for current and usual home
If the lease was signed in order to have that property as your current and usual home, article 9 the Urban Rental Law (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos) states that the term of the lease will be the one that was agreed on by both the tenant and the landlord. However, this term will have a mandatory extension up to 5 years, in case that your landlord is leasing the property as natural person, or 7 years, if the landlord is a legal person, in case that the agreed term was lower.
Therefore, if you have agreed on a 2 year lease, once that period is over, the lease will extend itself automatically year-by-year until the mandatory extension is reached, unless the tenant notifies the landlord with at least a 30-day notice prior the date of the term or any of the extensions of his/her will not to extend the contractual term.
As for this matter, as we have previously stated in the last episode and while today we have access to instant messaging apps such as Whatsapp that are very convenient in day-to-day use, we strongly advise that these type of notifications are done both by phone call or message and a letter that has an acknowledgement of receipt (burofax), this second one being the most important one. That way, if any issue arises regarding the lease term or extension, a tenant may prove in court that they have communicated their will not to extend it, and that they have received such notification.
The only way a natural person may have their property back is if they need it for themselves, their first-degree relatives or the spouse in case of separation, divorce or null marriage. This cannot be done before the first year of the contractual period, and the tenant must communicate this necessity with, at least, a 2-month notice.
It is also worth mentioning that article 11 states that a tenant may terminate the contract once 6 months have passed. In order to do that, the tenant must communicate it with, at least, a 30-day notice. But the tenant must be wary of the content of the lease contract, as it may include a penalty clause for which the tenant will have to pay 1 month of rent for each year left of the contractual term.
In case that there is no term agreed on the contract, the law presumes that the lease is agreed for a one-year term. This however does not vary the aforementioned mandatory extensions.
It is also very important to mention that, depending on when the contract was signed, different conditions will apply. This post examines the legal aspects of the contracts signed from March the 6th 2019.
Contract for leisure purposes
If, in the other hand, you have rented a house for leisure purposes, such as tourism, in Andalusia, the term cannot be longer than 2 consecutive months by the same tenant.
Contract for temporary leases
Lastly, as for leases that are different from the aforementioned kinds, such as temporary work-related leases, there is no minimum or maximum term. Therefore, the contract will end on the date agreed on the contract.
We hope to have cleared some of your doubts and concerns that you may have had as a tenant or landlord with this post. There will be more on this subject to follow, but in case that you need an in-depth legal assistance with your case, we in Méndez Padilla Abogados & Asociados are experts lawyers in landlord and tenant law and we can assist you with any legal issue on this matter that you may have, so do not hesitate in contacting us. You may contact us via Whatsapp, phone call or email.
If you are interested in receiving updates of this series, as well as updated information on Spanish law, you may subscribe to our newsletter filling out the form on the right-hand side of this page (below if you are reading on mobile).