Undoubtedly, evictions are an issue of great importance nowadays in Spain. And the fact is that non-payment of rent and conflicts with tenants are very common.
We are going to explain everything you need to know about the process of evicting a tenant step by step, how to start it, how long it will take and other frequent questions that will be very useful.
What is an eviction?
An eviction is a legal procedure by which a landlord can evict a tenant for non-payment of rent. Evictions are usually initiated when rent has not been paid for months.
Eviction is often used as a remedy to end tenancy in residential and commercial tenancies. In cases where an eviction is not requested, it is known as abandonment and will result in the loss of rights under the rental contract.
In other words, an eviction is the process by which the owner of a house or flat that was rented to a third party uses the law to evict the tenant from that property for failure to comply with the lease.
Many landlords will attempt to resolve the problem directly with their tenants. This is usually done in an “amicable” manner. This may be the landlord’s way of avoiding a court case.
However, when this attempt fails, the landlord must take legal action to regain possession of the property, in which case we recommend hiring a lawyer specialising in civil law.
Eviction laws in Spain
It is essential to know which laws and regulations regulate the eviction procedure for non-payment of rent in Spain.
First of all, the Law on Urban Leases (“LAU”) is the one that establishes under what circumstances an eviction can take place. In its section 27.2 a) it establishes that the landlord may terminate the lease whenever the tenant has failed to pay the established rents.
On the other hand, it is the Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil that dictates how the judicial and legal process of eviction should be carried out, in its article 440.3 and 440.4.
Types of eviction
- Eviction for non-payment: One of the most common types of eviction in Spain. The tenant of the property does not comply with the established payments. He will have a certain amount of time to pay his debt and, if he fails to do so, he must leave the property without prior notice. This is what is currently known as express eviction.
- End-of-contract eviction: This occurs when the tenant does not vacate the property even though the rental contract has come to an end.
- Precarious eviction: A landlord gives permission for someone to live in his or her home but this is done without a contract. These are usually cases between friends or relatives. The judicial process of eviction will occur when the landlord wants his property back and the tenant does not leave.
- Unauthorised entry: The case of squatters That is, the tenant begins to live in the property without the landlord’s consent.
How eviction proceedings work step-by-step
When you are facing an eviction, it is important to know how the process works so that you can prepare yourself for what will happen.
Every eviction process starts with a lawsuit. This must be signed by a lawyer and a solicitor and must be accompanied by the payment of court fees and the rental agreement.
This demand must be presented by your lawyer at the court that corresponds to the address where the property is located. Within 30 days, the court will issue an order admitting the claim and setting a date for the trial and another for the eviction.
Once the trial date has been set, the tenant will be served with the lawsuit. Generally, the demand will require the tenant to pay the debt within 10 days.
Depending on how the tenant acts, 4 different cases can arise:
- The tenant pays everything he owes within 10 days. In this case, the process is archived and the eviction is cancelled.
- Payment of the amount owed is made before the trial is held, even if it is outside the 10-day period. This also cancels the eviction.
- If the tenant does not agree with the demand, he can appeal in writing with the help of a lawyer and oppose the demanded payment. If this happens, a trial will take place.
- Finally, if the tenant does absolutely nothing within this period, the eviction will be carried out without the need for a trial.
However, there are two exceptions where the eviction is not cancelled even if the tenant pays his debt within the time limit. One is if it is the second demand imposed by the landlord on the same tenant and the other is if the demand for payment has not been answered within 30 days.
Do you need legal help? One of our eviction lawyers can help you
It is possible that after reading this article you still have some doubts. Eviction is a complicated legal issue.
That is why our team of lawyers specialised in rentals is at your disposal.
Also, if you need us to manage the whole legal procedure for you, so that you don’t have to worry about anything, contact us and tell us about your situation, we will get started as soon as possible.