In this series you will get to know both your rights and obligations depending on your role in the contractual relationship: tenant or landlord.

During the last decade, there has been a growing number of foreign people that has chosen Spain as their second or even primary country of residency. However, we have encountered many people coming to us in seek of legal advice regarding issues with their landlord or tenant that could have been easily avoided with enough legal background and knowledge.

While we cannot cover every aspect of a tenant-landlord contractual relationship in a detailed manner, in this series we will point out and discuss the most popular issues people have encountered when renting a house in Spain. In today´s episode of “Rent Game”, we will examine disputes regarding repairs in the rented home.

Many tenants have faced the situation in which their landlords have decided to raise the rent or directly asked them for money when they had to make a repair to the rented house. However, it is stated in article 21 from the Urban Rental Law (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos) that a landlord is responsible of making any repairs or maintenance a rented home needs in order to stay in good conditions of habitability, all without being able to ask the tenant for any compensation at all. A tenant may only be held responsible for these in case that the damage was caused by their fault, or any other people living in the house´s fault.

Also, linked to the aforementioned duty, if the repairs take longer than 20 days, , a tenant may have their rent reduced in proportion of the part of the home that cannot be used while during these.

It is very important that when a tenant encounters these issues, they do do notify them to the tenant as soon as possible, since they are obligated by the law to do so. 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 repair or damage, a tenant may prove in court that they have communicated the need of a repair to the landlord, and they have received such notification.

We have recently published a post analysing a Supreme Court´s Resolution that determined that a tenant was responsible of the damaged that water infiltrations caused in an adjacent property because the landlord was not warned about the need of any repairs.

In case that the repairs need to be made immediately in order to avoid further damages, a tenant may make such repairs and claim the cost to the landlord, but it is also necessary that the landlord has been warned beforehand too.

Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that, on the other hand, that the small repairs needed after the wear and tear of elements of the house after ordinary use over time are responsibility of the tenant.

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).

Álvaro Hjalmar de la Guardia Westerdahl

Lawyer

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