24/08/2012 Lanzarote/Spain (BG) - Tenants who fail to make their rental payments on time could be evicted within ten days, under a new law regarding the flexibility and promotion of the rental market, set to be passed today at the Council of Ministers.
In a press statement, Ana Pastor, Minister for Development, explained that under current regulations, the landlord is required to obtain a declaratory judgement for non-payment of rent form a judge in order to evict a tenant. She told that: “In addition, the tenant has the right to pay at the last minute and thus avoid eviction”.
Under the new law, a tenant can be evicted within ten days provided the landlord files a complaint with the court requiring the tenant to pay his/her debt and if they do not, “a judge may terminate the contract immediately without any further issues”. Another change from the current law will see the process completion ordered by a judge instead of the decree of the clerk.
Pastor claimed:”What we want, is to reduce the tedious procedure that had to be followed to come to a decision, because it is clear, the majority of the time if a tenant does not pay when they are supposed to, they will not pay if given more time”.
The Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Housing, Rafael Catalá, said that “although it may seem that this measure favours landlords, the truth is that the aim of it is to avoid complications with leases”.
Catalá added “It is a delicate matter, because now evictions worry us all. Therefore, after a complaint is filed against them tenants have ten days to plead their case”, he said “the majority of people sympathise with the poor tenants who cannot afford to pay, but people cannot forget either that the landlord may be relying on the property as an important source of revenue”.
Another major aspect of the new law is the power of the tenant to terminate the contract without having to pay any compensation, as long as they issue the landlord with one months notice, “regardless of the duration of the contract”.
Also, the landlord may recover it for normal residence (provided it is for him, for first-degree of consanguinity or adoption, or spouse in case of divorce) without that it has been agreed in the contract, "always with a two-month period of notice.“
"Before the owner could only recover his house to use as a residence if it had previously agreed in the contract," stressed the Minister of Development, who said "this improvement is a matter of common sense."
Moreover, the buyer of a home rented only must maintain the tenant leases registered in the Land Registry, "although this is still not compulsory registration."
In the current regulations, contracts for less than five years, the buyer is obliged to keep the tenant that time period, "whether or not registered with the Land Registry." For contracts exceeding five years, if not registered, the buyer must keep the tenant five years and, if so, to keep the entire term of the contract.
The ministry for Development, claimed the “primary” purpose of this law concerning the rental market, is to increase legal certainty and improve the regulation of the legal proceedings for eviction.
“The reform arises because we have a very small rental market compared to other EU countries, as only 17% of the population are currently renting properties, compared to 83% who own the property they are residing in” stressed Pastor.
“The situation at the moment is pretty bad” confessed the Minister who believes the law changes will “improve the situation and significantly invigorate the market, because as we know there are many people who would prefer to rent instead of buying, and many people who want to lease their home”