WARNING Law 29/1994, of 24 November, on Urban Leases was last amended at the beginning of 2019.
Find here the LAST VERSION in force since 6 March 2019.
Spanish Urban Renting Law 29/1994, of 24 November. PREAMBLE
NOTE: This translation is not official – It is for information purposes only
Of housing leases
Article 6. Nature of the rules.
The stipulations that modify the rules of this Title to the detriment of the lessee or sublessee are null and void, except in cases where the rule itself expressly authorises it.
Article 7. Condition and effects vis-à-vis third parties of the rental of dwellings.
1. The rental of a dwelling shall not lose this condition even if the tenant does not have his permanent dwelling on the rented property, provided that it is inhabited by his spouse who is not legally or de facto separated, or by his dependent children.
2. In any case, in order for the leases entered into on urban properties to take effect against third parties who have registered their right, such leases must be registered in the Land Registry.
Article 8. Assignment of the contract and sublease.
1. The lease may not be assigned by the tenant without the written consent of the landlord. In the case of an assignment, the assignee is subrogated to the assignor’s position vis-à-vis the lessor.
2. The rented property may only be sublet partially and with the written consent of the landlord.
The sublease shall be governed by the provisions of this Title for the rental when the part of the sublet is used by the sublet for the purpose indicated in Article 2.1. If this condition is not met, it shall be governed by the agreement between the parties.
The subtenant’s right shall in any event terminate when the subtenant’s right is extinguished.
The price of the sublease may not exceed, in any case, that corresponding to the lease.
The duration of the contract
Article 9. Minimum term.
1. The duration of the lease will be freely agreed by the parties. If this is less than three years from the date of expiry of the contract, the contract must be extended for annual periods until the lease reaches a minimum duration of three years, unless the lessee indicates to the lessor, at least thirty days before the date of termination of the contract or any of the extensions, his wish not to renew it.
The period shall begin to run from the date of the contract or from the date on which the property is placed at the disposal of the tenant, whichever is the later. The tenant shall be responsible for proof of the date of making available.
2. Leases for which a term of one year has not been stipulated or for which the term is indeterminate shall be deemed to have been concluded for one year, without prejudice to the right of annual extension for the lessee, in the terms resulting from the preceding paragraph.
3. The mandatory extension of the contract shall not apply if, after the first year of the contract’s duration, the lessor informs the lessee that he needs the rented property in order to use it as permanent housing for himself or his first-degree relatives by blood or adoption or for his spouse in the event of a final judgment of separation, divorce or marriage annulment. The aforementioned notification must be made to the tenant at least two months prior to the date on which the dwelling will be needed and the tenant is obliged to hand over the leased property within this period if the parties do not reach a different agreement.
If three months after the termination of the contract or, where applicable, the actual eviction from the dwelling, the landlord or his or her relatives in the first degree of consanguinity or by adoption or his or her spouse, in the event of a final judgment of separation, divorce or marriage annulment, have not proceeded to occupy the dwelling, as the case may be, the tenant may choose, within a period of thirty days, between being reinstated in the use of the property and being able to return it to its original place of residence.
4. In the case of an unregistered property, the lease of a dwelling that the tenant has entered into in good faith with the person who appears to be the owner of the property on the basis of a state of affairs whose creation is attributable to the real owner shall also last for three years, without prejudice to the right of non-renewal referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article. If the lessor sells the rented property, the provisions of article 1.571 of the Civil Code shall apply. If it is defeated in court by the real owner, the provisions of the aforementioned article 1,571 of the Civil Code shall apply, in addition to the corresponding compensation for damages caused.
Article 10. Extension of the contract.
1. If on the expiry date of the contract, or of any of its extensions, after a period of at least three years, neither party has notified the other, at least thirty days before that date, of its wish not to renew it, the contract shall necessarily be extended for a further year.
2. Once the lease contract has been registered, the right of extension established in article 9, as well as the one-year extension referred to in the previous paragraph, shall be imposed in relation to third-party purchasers who meet the conditions of article 34 of the Mortgage Law.
3. To the extended contract, the legal and conventional regime to which it was subject will continue to apply.
Article 11. Withdrawal from the contract.
The lessee may withdraw from the rental contract after at least six months, provided that the lessor is notified at least thirty days in advance. The parties may agree in the contract that, in the event of withdrawal, the lessee must indemnify the lessor with an amount equivalent to one month’s rent in force for each year of the contract that remains to be fulfilled. Periods of time shorter than one year shall give rise to a proportionate share of the allowance.
Article 12. Withdrawal and expiration in case of marriage or cohabitation of the tenant.
1. If the lessee expresses his wish not to renew the contract or to withdraw from it, without the consent of the spouse living with the said lessee, the lease may be continued for the benefit of the said spouse.
2. For this purpose, the landlord may require the tenant’s spouse to indicate his or her willingness to do so.
Once the request has been made, the lease will expire if the spouse does not reply within fifteen days of the request. The spouse must pay the corresponding annuity until the end of the contract, if it has not already been paid.
3. If the tenant leaves the dwelling without express notice of withdrawal or non-renewal, the tenancy may be continued for the benefit of the spouse living with him or her, provided that within one month of such notice, the landlord receives written notice from the spouse of the tenant expressing his or her wish to become a tenant.
If the contract is terminated for lack of notice, the spouse will be obliged to pay the rent for that month.
4. The provisions of the previous sections shall also be applicable in favour of the person who has been living permanently with the tenant in a relationship of affectivity analogous to that of the spouse, regardless of their sexual orientation, during at least the two years prior to the withdrawal or abandonment, unless they had children in common, in which case mere cohabitation shall suffice.
Article 13. Resolution of the lessor’s right.
1. If, during the term of the contract, the lessor’s right is terminated by the exercise of a contractual right of withdrawal, the opening of a trustee’s replacement, the forced disposal resulting from a mortgage foreclosure or court order or the exercise of a right of option to purchase, the lease shall be extinguished.
In accordance with the provisions of the second paragraph of Article 7 and Article 14, exceptions are made for cases in which the leasing contract had been entered into the Land Registry prior to the rights determining the termination of the leased right. In this case, the lease will continue for the agreed period of time.
In the case of a lease on an unregistered property, the duration of the lease shall be that laid down in Article 9(4).
2. The leases granted by usufructuary, superficial and all those who have an analogous right of enjoyment over the property, shall be extinguished at the end of the lessor’s right, in addition to the other causes of extinction resulting from the provisions of this law.
Article 14. Disposal of the rented property.
1. The purchaser of a property registered in the Land Registry, leased as a dwelling in whole or in part, that meets the requirements of article 34 of the Mortgage Law, shall only be subrogated to the rights and obligations of the lessor if the lease is registered, in accordance with the provisions of articles 7 and 10 of this law, prior to the transfer of the property.
2. If the property is not registered in the Land Registry, the provisions of the first paragraph of article 1571 of the Civil Code shall apply. If the purchaser uses the right recognised by the aforementioned article, the lessee may demand that it be allowed to continue for three months, provided that the purchaser duly notifies him of its intention, during which time he must pay the rent and other amounts due to the purchaser. It may also require the seller to compensate it for any damage caused.
Article 15. Separation, divorce or annulment of the tenant’s marriage.
1. In cases of nullity of the marriage, legal separation or divorce of the tenant, the non-tenant spouse may continue to use the rented dwelling when it is attributed to him/her in accordance with the provisions of the applicable civil legislation. The spouse to whom the use of the rented property has been attributed on a permanent basis or in a period longer than the remaining term of the rental contract, shall become the holder of the contract.
2. The spouse’s willingness to continue using the dwelling must be communicated to the landlord within two months of notification of the corresponding court decision, together with a copy of the decision or of the part of the decision that affects the use of the dwelling.
Article 16. Death of the tenant.
1. In the event of the tenant’s death, they may be subrogated to the lease:
a) The spouse of the tenant who lived with him/her at the time of death.
b) A person who has been living permanently with the tenant in a relationship of affectivity analogous to that of a spouse, regardless of sexual orientation, for at least two years prior to the date of death, unless they have children in common, in which case mere cohabitation shall suffice.
c) The descendants of the tenant who at the time of his death were subject to his parental authority or guardianship, or had habitually lived with him during the two preceding years.
(d) The ascendants of the tenant who habitually lived with him/her during the two years preceding his/her death.
e) The siblings of the tenant in whom the circumstance provided for in the previous paragraph is met.
f) Persons other than those mentioned in the previous letters who suffer a disability equal to or greater than 65 per cent, provided that they are related to the tenant up to the third degree of collateral and have lived with him/her during the two years prior to the death.
If none of these persons existed at the time of the tenant’s death, the lease will be terminated.
2. If there are several of the above-mentioned persons, in the absence of unanimous agreement as to which of them will be the beneficiary of the subrogation, the order of priority established in the preceding paragraph shall apply, except that the parents of seven hundred years old shall be preferred to the descendants. Among the descendants and among the ascendants, the one closest in grade shall have preference, and among the brothers, the one with a double bond shall have preference over the half-brother.
Cases of equality shall be decided in favour of the person with a disability of 65 per cent or more; in the absence of such a situation, in favour of the person with the greatest family responsibilities and, ultimately, in favour of the youngest descendant, the oldest ascendant or the youngest sibling.
3. The lease shall be terminated if, within three months of the tenant’s death, the lessor does not receive written notification of the fact of the death, with a death certificate, and of the identity of the subrogate, indicating his or her relationship with the deceased and offering, where applicable, a principle of proof that he or she meets the legal requirements for subrogation. If the termination occurs, all those who may succeed the tenant, except those who renounce their option by notifying the lessor in writing within the month following the death, shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of the rent for those three months.
If the lessor receives in time and form several notices whose senders maintain their status as beneficiaries of the subrogation, the lessor may consider them jointly and severally liable for the obligations of the lessee, while maintaining their claim to subrogate.
4. In the case of leases with an initial term of more than three years, the parties may agree that there shall be no right of subrogation in the event of the death of the lessee, when the latter occurs after the first three years of the term of the lease, or that the lease shall be terminated after three years when the death occurs earlier.
Of the rent
Article 17. Determination of income.
1. The rent shall be as freely determined by the parties.
2. Unless otherwise agreed, the rent will be paid monthly and must be paid during the first seven days of the month. In no case may the lessor demand the advance payment of more than one month’s rent.
3. Payment shall be made at the place and by the procedure agreed by the parties or, failing that, in cash and in the rented dwelling.
4. The lessor is obliged to provide the lessee with a receipt for payment, unless it has been agreed that the payment will be made by means of procedures that demonstrate the effective fulfilment of the lessee’s payment obligation.
The receipt or supporting document that replaces it must contain separately the amounts paid for the different concepts of which the total payment is composed and, specifically, the income in force.
If the landlord fails to provide the receipt, all costs incurred by the tenant to prove payment shall be borne by the landlord.
5. In the lease contracts, the parties may freely agree that, for a specified period of time, the obligation to pay the rent may be replaced in whole or in part by a commitment by the tenant to renovate or rehabilitate the building in accordance with the agreed terms and conditions. At the end of the rental period, the tenant may in no case request additional compensation for the cost of the work carried out on the property. Failure by the lessee to carry out the works in accordance with the agreed terms and conditions may give rise to termination of the rental contract and the provisions of Article 23(2) shall apply.
Article 18. Updating of the rent.
1. During the term of the contract, the rent may only be reviewed by the landlord or tenant on the date on which the contract expires each year, in accordance with the terms agreed by the parties. In the absence of an express agreement, no revision of rents will be applied to the contracts.
In the event of an express agreement between the parties on any mechanism for reviewing monetary values that does not detail the index or reference methodology, the income shall be reviewed for each year by reference to the annual variation of the Competitiveness Guarantee Index at the date of each review, taking as the reference month for the review the month corresponding to the last index that was published on the date of the review of the contract.
2. The updated rent shall be payable by the lessee as of the month following that in which the interested party notifies the other party in writing, expressing the percentage of alteration applied and accompanied, if the lessee so requires, by the appropriate certification from the National Statistics Institute.
The notification made by note in the receipt of the previous monthly payment will be valid.
Article 19. Rent increase for improvements.
1. The performance by the lessor of improvement works after three years of the contract period shall entitle him, unless otherwise agreed, to increase the annual income by the amount resulting from applying to the capital invested in the improvement the legal interest rate of money at the time of completion of the works increased by three points, without exceeding the increase of twenty per cent of the income in force at that time.
For the calculation of the capital invested, the public subsidies obtained for the execution of the work must be deducted.
2. When the improvement affects several properties in a building under the horizontal property regime, the lessor must distribute the capital invested proportionally among all of them, applying, for this purpose, the participation quotas corresponding to each of them.
In the case of buildings that are not in the form of horizontal property, the capital invested shall be distributed proportionally among the properties affected by agreement between the lessor and the lessees. In the absence of an agreement, it shall be distributed proportionally according to the area of the leased property.
3. The rent increase will take place from the month following the month in which the lessor notifies the lessee in writing of the amount of the rent increase, detailing the calculations leading to its determination and providing copies of the documents from which the cost of the works carried out results.
Article 20. Individual service and overhead costs.
1. The parties may agree that the general expenses for the adequate maintenance of the property, its services, taxes, charges and responsibilities that are not susceptible of individualization and that correspond to the rented dwelling or its accessories, will be charged to the lessee.
In buildings under the horizontal property regime, these expenses will be those corresponding to the leased property according to its participation quota.
In buildings that are not in the form of horizontal property, such expenditure shall be that which has been allocated to the leased property on the basis of its area.
In order to be valid, this agreement must be in writing and must determine the annual amount of such expenses at the date of the contract. The agreement that refers to taxes will not affect the Administration.
2. During the first three years of the contract, the sum to be paid by the lessee for the item referred to in the preceding paragraph, with the exception of taxes, may only be increased annually by agreement of the parties, and never by more than twice the percentage by which the rent may be increased in accordance with the provisions of Article 18.1
3. Expenses for services provided by the leased property that are individualized by means of metering devices shall in any case be the responsibility of the lessee.
4. Payment of the expenses referred to in this Article shall be credited in the manner provided for in Article 17.4.
Rights and obligations of the parties
Article 21. Conservation of the home.
1. The lessor is obliged to carry out, without the right to raise the rent, all the repairs necessary to maintain the dwelling in the conditions of habitability to serve the agreed use, except when the deterioration whose repair is attributable to the lessee in accordance with the provisions of articles 1,563 and 1,564 of the Civil Code.
The obligation to repair is limited to the destruction of the dwelling for reasons not attributable to the landlord. To this end, the provisions of Article 28 shall apply.
2. If the execution of a conservation work cannot reasonably be deferred until the conclusion of the lease, the tenant shall be obliged to bear it, even if it is very inconvenient for him or her or during it he or she is deprived of part of the dwelling.
If the work lasts more than twenty days, the rent shall be reduced in proportion to the part of the dwelling of which the tenant is deprived.
3. The lessee must inform the lessor, as soon as possible, of the need for the repairs referred to in paragraph 1 of this article, for which sole purpose he must provide the lessor with a direct verification, by himself or by the technicians designated by him, of the condition of the dwelling. At any time, and after notifying the lessor, he may make any urgent measures to avoid imminent damage or serious discomfort, and demand their immediate payment from the lessor.
4. Small repairs required by the wear and tear due to the ordinary use of the dwelling are the responsibility of the tenant.
Article 24. Disabled tenants.
1. The lessee, after giving prior written notice to the lessor, may carry out inside the dwelling any work or actions necessary to ensure that it can be used in a suitable manner and in accordance with the disability or age of over seventy years, both of the lessee himself and of his spouse, of the person with whom he or she lives permanently in a similar affective relationship, regardless of their sexual orientation, or of their relatives who live permanently with them, provided that they do not affect the common elements or services of the building or cause a reduction in their stability or security.
2. The tenant is obliged, at the end of the contract, to restore the dwelling to its previous state, if so required by the landlord.
Article 25. Right of first refusal.
1. In the event of the sale of the rented property, the lessee shall have the preferential right to purchase it, under the conditions set out in the following paragraphs.
2. The lessee may exercise a right of first refusal over the leased property within a period of thirty calendar days, starting from the following day when he is notified of the decision to sell the leased property, the price and other essential conditions of the transfer.
The effects of the notification provided for in the preceding paragraph shall expire one hundred and eighty calendar days after the notification.
3. In the case referred to in the previous section, the lessee may exercise the right of withdrawal, subject to the provisions of Article 1.518 of the Civil Code, when the notification has not been made or any of the requirements required have been omitted, as well as when the actual price of the sale is lower or the other essential conditions are less onerous. The right of withdrawal shall expire after thirty calendar days from the date following the notification which the purchaser must reliably make to the lessee of the essential conditions under which the sale was made, by delivering a copy of the deed or document in which it was executed.
4. The right of pre-emption or withdrawal of the tenant shall take precedence over any other similar right, except for the right of withdrawal granted to the co-owner of the dwelling or the conventional right entered in the Land Registry at the time of the conclusion of the rental contract.
5. In order to register in the Land Registry the title deeds for the sale of rented properties, it must be justified that, in their respective cases, the notifications provided for in the previous sections have taken place, with the requirements set out therein. When the property sold was not rented, in order for the purchase to be registered, the seller must declare it so in the deed, under penalty of falsehood in a public document.
6. Where the sale involves, in addition to the rented dwelling, other objects rented as accessories to the dwelling by the same lessor as referred to in Article 3, the lessee may not exercise preferential purchasing rights in the dwelling alone.
7. There shall be no right of first refusal or right of first refusal when the rented property is sold together with the remaining dwellings or premises owned by the lessor which form part of the same property or when all the flats and premises of the property are sold jointly by different owners to the same purchaser.
If there is only one dwelling in the property, the tenant shall have the right of pre-emption and withdrawal provided for in this article.
8. Notwithstanding the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs, the parties may agree to waive the lessee’s right to preferential acquisition.
In the cases in which such resignation has been agreed, the lessor must notify the lessee of his intention to sell the property at least thirty days prior to the date of conclusion of the purchase contract.
Article 22. Improvement works.
1. The lessee shall be obliged to bear the cost of the lessor carrying out any improvement work the performance of which cannot reasonably be deferred until the end of the lease.
2. A lessor intending to carry out such works must give the lessee at least three months’ written notice of the nature, commencement, duration and foreseeable cost of the work. Within one month of such notification, the lessee may withdraw from the contract, unless the works do not or do not have an irrelevant effect on the rented dwelling. The lease shall expire within two months of the date of withdrawal, during which time work may not commence.
3. The lessee who supports the works shall have the right to a reduction of the rent in proportion to the part of the dwelling of which he is deprived as a result, as well as the compensation of the expenses that the works oblige him to carry out.
Article 23. Tenant’s works.
1. The lessee may not, without the express written consent of the lessor, carry out work modifying the configuration of the dwelling or the accessories referred to in Article 2(2). Under no circumstances may the tenant carry out works that cause a decrease in the stability or security of the dwelling.
2. Without prejudice to the right to terminate the contract, the lessor who has not authorised the performance of the works may, at the conclusion of the contract, require the lessee to restore the things to their former state or to retain the modification made, without the lessee being entitled to claim any compensation.
If, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this article, the lessee has carried out work which has led to a reduction in the stability of the building or in the safety of the dwelling or its accessories, the lessor may immediately require the lessee to restore the property to its former state.
Suspension, termination and extinction of the contract
Article 26. Habitability of the dwelling.
When the performance in the rented dwelling of conservation works or works agreed by a competent authority makes it uninhabitable, the tenant shall have the option to suspend the contract or to withdraw from it, without any compensation.
The suspension of the contract shall, until the completion of the works, entail the suspension of the term of the contract and the suspension of the obligation to pay the rent.
Article 27. Failure to comply with obligations.
1. Failure by either party to comply with the obligations resulting from the contract shall entitle the party who has fulfilled its obligations to demand performance of the obligation or to promote the termination of the contract in accordance with the provisions of article 1.124 of the Civil Code.
2. In addition, the lessor may terminate the contract as of right for the following reasons:
a) Failure to pay the rent or, as the case may be, any of the amounts for which payment has been assumed or corresponds to the tenant.
b) Failure to pay the amount of the deposit or to update it.
c) Inconsistent subletting or assignment.
d) The performance of damages caused intentionally on the property or works not consented to by the lessor when the lessor’s consent is necessary.
(e) When annoying, unhealthy, noxious, dangerous or illegal activities take place in the home.
(f) When the dwelling ceases to be primarily intended to satisfy the permanent housing need of the tenant or the person who actually occupied it in accordance with article 7.
3. Similarly, the lessee may terminate the contract for the following reasons:
a) Failure by the lessor to carry out the repairs referred to in Article 21.
b) The de facto or de jure disturbance by the landlord in the use of the dwelling.
4. In the case of urban property leases registered in the Land Registry, if it has been stipulated in the contract that the lease will be terminated due to non-payment of rent and that in this case the property must be returned immediately to the lessor, the resolution will take place as of right once the lessor has requested the tenant to pay or comply with the judicial or notary’s request at the domicile designated for this purpose in the registration, and the latter has not replied to the request within the following ten working days, or has replied by accepting the resolution as of right, all of this through the same judge or notary who made the request.
The title contributed to the registration procedure, together with the copy of the certificate of formal notice, from which the notification is derived and which has not been contested by the person requested to pay or which has been contested by accepting the resolution as of right, shall be sufficient title for the cancellation of the lease in the Land Registry.
If there are subsequent charges that fall on the lease, it will also be necessary for its cancellation to justify the notification to the owners of the same, at the address that operates in the Register, and to prove the entry in their favor before the same notary, of the deposit provided by the tenant.
Article 28. Termination of the lease.
The rental contract shall be terminated for the following reasons, in addition to the other reasons referred to in this Title:
a) For the loss of the leased property for reasons not attributable to the lessor.
(b) For the final declaration of ruin agreed by the competent authority.
Toni Marqués. Real Estate specialist
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