Rent a property in Mallorca

Rent a property – long-term rental:

The 1994 rental law “Ley 29/1994 de Arrendamientos Urbanos”; LAU, was modified on March 5th, 2019.

Spanish tenancy law distinguishes between rent for living and rent for other purposes. In Article 2 of the LAU, the legislature defines the concept of housing rental. Accordingly, a residential tenancy exists when a contract is concluded for a habitable building, the primary purpose of which is to serve as the tenant’s permanent residence. The regulations on renting accommodation also apply to furniture, storage rooms, garage spaces, rented rooms or other ancillary buildings, but only if they are rented together with the residence.

Seasonal leases and leases that do not relate to living space, e.g. rental of business premises, workshops, teaching facilities, etc., differ significantly from this.

The following essential provisions on housing leases are set out in the LAU:

Duration of the lease: Section II, Chapter I, Articles 6 to 16

  • The parties can freely agree on the duration of the rental. However, if this is less than 5 years with a private landlord, the rental contract is usually extended by a period of one year up to a total of five years. If neither of the parties then terminates, the contract is extended for a maximum of three more years.
  • The tenant can terminate the contract at any time, observing the agreed notice period (at least 30 days) and after 6 months. In this case, the parties can agree that the landlord has the right to receive compensation.
  • For his part, the landlord is not bound by the minimum term if he notifies the tenant of his own needs for himself or first-degree relatives (children, parents, siblings) with a period of at least 2 months and at least one year has passed since the conclusion of the contract.

Rent and rental costs: Section II, Chapter III, Articles 17-20

  • The rental price can be freely negotiated between the parties. Rent increases can also be freely agreed between the parties and they are possible after the end of each rental year. It is often agreed between the parties that the annual rent adjustment is based on the change in the cost of living index or the consumer price index or similar. The Spanish Statistics Institute (INE) publishes different indices every month, more information can be found here.
  • Rental security: security deposits are required according to Section IV, Article 36. They are usually made in the amount of one month’s rent. Interest is not provided. In addition to the deposit, the landlord may request additional securities and guarantees up to an amount of two additional months‘ rent. The deposit may not be used as a rental payment. It will be paid back to the tenant at the end of the contract.
  • Additional costs: In Spain the additional costs include the “general costs” (gastos generales) and the “individual services” (servicios individuales). The general costs are costs for the maintenance of the building, taxes for garbage disposal, expenses for the gardener, expenses for the maintenance of a swimming pool, costs for insurance, etc., whereas the individual services are electricity , Gas and water costs, the consumption of which can be read from the respective individual meter. Taxes, fees such as garbage disposal and the so-called IBI („Impuestos de bienes Inmuebles“ – the property tax) may be passed on to the tenant according to the rental law. The community costs have usually already been included in the rental price by the owner, only the costs of utilities such as electricity, water, gas, etc. have to be paid separately.

Maintenance: Section II, Chapter IV, Art. 21-24 and Chapter V, Art. 26

  • The landlord must ensure that the rental property is in a proper condition and must ensure that the property is still habitable.
  • The tenant may only carry out work or alterations on the property with the written consent of the landlord.
  • The costs of minor repairs, which are caused by wear and tear from daily use of the property, must be borne by the tenant.

Termination for breach of duty: Section II, Chapter V, Article 27

An extraordinary termination on the part of the landlord can, among other things. can also be pronounced when:

  • the rent or other amounts that the tenant has to pay are not paid,
  • the deposit is not paid,
  • is sublet without permission from the landlord,
  • the tenant intentionally damages the building, or structural measures are carried out on the apartment that have not been approved by the authorities or the landlord,
  • The tenant has acted in a harassing, harmful and / or dangerous manner.

Warranty for defects

In Spanish tenancy law, the warranty rights from the sales law of the Spanish civil code apply accordingly. The landlord is therefore obliged to remedy the defect if the rented item has a hidden defect at the time of conclusion of the contract, which was unknown to the tenant and which he should not have known. A defect is present if the item no longer permits the use in accordance with the contract or if it restricts it so much that the tenant would not have concluded the contract or would have concluded the contract on other terms (lower rent). It is important in this context that the tenant may not reduce the rent if a defect occurs and the landlord does not remedy it. According to Spanish law, the tenant has a claim for damages against the landlord. If the tenant reduces the rent independently or even completely stops paying the rent, he runs the risk that the landlord will terminate him due to a breach of a main service obligation („payment of the rent“). In addition, the tenant runs the risk that the landlord will file an eviction action with the competent court of first instance (Juzgado de Primera Instancia) along with suing for the outstanding rent.

Termination and eviction if the tenant is in default of payment

The arrears of a single rent suffice for termination. Court eviction orders are processed through an oral procedure, which has no deadlines for written submissions and whose oral hearing can take place at very short notice. An evacuation can take place after a period of 10 days. The tenant has the option to prevent the evacuation against payment of all arrears up to the last moment.

To protect landlords, the legislature has created a register of legally binding judgments due to unpaid rents. In this way, a landlord can find out in advance whether a prospective tenant has already been legally sentenced to vacate an apartment due to a lack of rent payments.

The information provided is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice. The overview was created with the greatest care. However, any liability for the content remains excluded.