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Non-appearance at oral hearing precluded later claim by tenant

The High Court in Mallorca has ruled against a tenant’s claims to have a right to stay in the defendant landlord’s property for a period of five years as per the then pertaining legislation which gave tenants a right to continue living in a property for a period of five years.

The Court heard that the tenant alleged to have agreed the verbal contract in June 2012 whereby the rent was set at 600€ per month and a sum of 1200€ was paid over to cover the first month’s rent plus deposit.  The rental contract was to be handed over in July, but this never happened. though the tenant considered that the landlord being an elderly gentleman was a man of his word and that a tenancy for five years had been created.  The Court noted that no proof of any of these events was offered by the tenant.

The Court’s Reasoning

The Court considered that the tenant did not have any right to be in the property, on the basis that:

  1. Having not attended the original oral hearing, it followed from the Civil Procedure Act that it may be imputed that the tenant had accepted the allegations of the other party, namely that he had no legal right to be in the property,
  2. There was a complete absence of any proof to support the tenant’s case,
  3. No rent had been paid, according to the tenant himself, since August 2012.
  4. Together with the fact that the tenant had requested legal aid (in the end not granted) the Court was driven to the conclusion that the proceedings were only entered into to gain more time in the property
  5. On the basis that the onus was on the tenant to show proof of a legal right to occupy the property and given the contradictory version of events, the continuing doubt should prejudice his claim.

In so finding, the Court heldin favour of the landlord and awarded costs against the tenant.

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