This 1st of March, the Spanish government approved a new decree-law to regulate the renting of housing. Its name: Real Decreto-ley 7/2019, de 1 de marzo, de medidas urgentes en materia de vivienda y alquiler. Let’s take a quick look at it.
The Background – Spanish Renting Market
Traditionally, Spain is a country of house buyers, but not renters. Because of it, in 2013, the government tried to liberalise the renting market to stimulate it and make it grow. These regulations defended the owners so that they felt more secure in renting their properties. The intention was that more people offer their properties to rent.
The last stats we have from Eurostat show that more than 42% of Spanish families use more than the 40% of their income for paying the rent. Moreover, in the last three years, renting prices raised by 17%, much more than salaries did. One of the reasons for this is the use of internet portals that allow tourists to rent property much more easily than ever before.
As a result, the current government have published a new law trying to better defend the interest of the tenants.
The Most Important Changes to Renting Regulations in Spain
If you rent your property to someone that will use it as a residence, in other words not a tourist-lodging, and if the contract is for less than 5 years, the contract will be obligatorily extended until the end of the 5 years if the renter doesn’t let you know that he wants to leave. Result: If you rent a property, you should be ready to have it rented for 5 years.
Once these 5 years are over, you have to inform to the tenant 4 months in advance about your intent of stopping the contract.
After a year, you cannot raise the price more than the raise of Spanish consumer prices index (IPC – Índice de Precios al Consumo).
The expenses from the estate agents and contract formalization must be paid by the owner, never by the renter.
At the signing of the contract, it is mandatory for the tenant to make a deposit. This deposit must be the same amount as one month of rent if the property is for residence, and two months if the property is for other uses like tourist lodging. Note that, until now, many owners were asking for three or more months of deposit.
If the tenant dies and their family is considered to be under social risk, the contract can’t be broken. It is possible to agree that there won’t be a subrogation in case of the tenant’s death when their family is not under social risk.
Lastly – and very importantly if you are going to buy property to rent it as tourist lodging – now the homeowners’ association can agree and forbid the rent of properties for tourist uses.
The new changes generally benefit the tenants. However, the Spanish real estate market still seems interesting if you want to buy and rent, buy and hold to sell later, or buy and enjoy the property and the country.