The Eviction Process in Spain

When faced with a non-paying tenant, it should be highlighted that a landlord must never cut-off utilities that are connected to the property

Any landlord who lets out a residential or commercial property must deal with minor issues, however, at times they must face more serious problems.

Within the latter category lies the situation where the tenant either fails to pay the due rent or continues to live in the property when the term of the lease has expired. Additionally there can arise the situation that a person takes occupation of the property, not having any legal right to do so, as is the case with a squatter.

Dealing with such difficult situations can leave the landlord feeling powerless and confused as to how to act.

What can a landlord do in such circumstances?

In the first place, it should be highlighted that what a landlord must NOT do is to cut off the utility supplies, change the locks or sell the property, without informing the tenant; such actions could create bigger costs and even potentially criminal liability for coercion. It is much more advisable to try to negotiate an out of court agreement with the defaulting tenant/squatter, though if such efforts are not successful, without doubt the most effective remaining option is to initiate eviction proceedings.

What do eviction proceedings consist of?

Eviction proceedings are a summary process, the end result of which is that the owner or landlord may recover vacant possession of the property. Depending on the circumstances which we are facing, we opt for with either eviction proceedings for failure to pay the rent or similar, or eviction proceedings for termination of contract or for squatting.

In proceedings for failure to pay the rent, it is possible to demand solely the return of vacant possession of the property or to claim, in addition, those amounts outstanding in terms of rent and other bills. In the statement of claim submitted to Court, the allegation is made that the tenant has not complied with the obligation to pay the due rent and on this basis a request is being made to  return possession to the owner/landlord, with an optional demand for any unpaid rent/bills that are due.

Withdrawal of the proceedings

Within the statement of claim it is necessary to indicate whether the ‘enervation’ or withdrawal of the action may be appropriate. The ‘enervation’ of the proceedings occurs when, upon receiving notification of the landlord’s intentions to seek eviction, the tenant makes full payment of any outstanding monies due when required to do so by the judge. In that case the tenant may continue with possession of the property under the terms of the lease. it should be pointed out that ‘enervation’ of the proceedings may only be applied once.


If the tenant does not oppose the proceedings with a period of ten days from the petition by the landlord, a date is set for the eviction and the tenant is ordered to make payment of the outstanding monies claimed, without the need for a hearing.

Equally, it is possible to initiate eviction proceedings on the basis that the lease has terminated or against squatters ie where the property is occupied by a person or persons who are not authorised to do so.  In these circumstances, once the demand for eviction is presented and processed, the person(s) occupying the property have ten days to respond to the eviction demand, and a hearing shall only be convened when it is requested by either one or other of the parties. On the other hand, if neither party requests the hearing, and the judge dealing with the matter does not consider it necessary either, summary judgment is handed down.

We would recommend, in those cases where the option exists to pursue the matter via the criminal or the civil proceedings route, that landlords should opt for civil proceedings, which are usually faster and less expensive.

Related Services

22 Lawyers Offering Eviction Proceedings Services in Spain

Testimonials for our Eviction Proceedings service
  • Suzanne Frankling
    Suzanne Frankling, Sabadell

    Raffaele was extremely helpful and nothing was too much trouble. He is also very friendly and his manner puts you at ease straight away. Yes I would use him again and in fact my sister uses his legal services as well.

    If you need a lawyer who speaks fluent English and Spanish (and Italian) and works on your legal matters professionally and without delay, then I strongly recommend contacting Raffaele.

    Oct 28, 2020
  • Raymond Dieset
    Raymond Dieset, Barcelona

    Very relaxed and not uptight. All very good.

    Sep 18, 2020
  • Wayne Leatherbarrow
    Wayne Leatherbarrow, Costa Blanca

    Confident, articulate, concise & polite. I've used eleven 'abogados' to date, all pale behind Jose. One case I had lasted 12 years ! So I do believe that I know a little concerning the lugubrious trade today. The Best Rise to the Surface.

    I'm happy, Thank you.

    Sep 01, 2020
  • Tony Johnson
    Tony Johnson, Marbella

    Francisco is a true professional; super efficient and completely fluent in English. He helped me with a difficult legal matter and took all the stress out the situation as well as providing a pragmatic path to resolution...precisely what you need from a lawyer/abogado.

    The service I received from Francisco was first class. I cannot think of any areas that could have been improved.

    Aug 05, 2020
  • jake raby
    Jake Raby, Ibiza

    Cristina provided an excellent service throughout the process.

    During the initial telephone consultation, she provided clear advice about our legal position and options. She then dealt with the resolution of our property dispute efficiently and kept us informed regularly via email.

    Would definitely recommend to friends.

    Jun 01, 2020
  • Ilona Barta
    Ilona Barta, Torrevieja

    Inma was extremely helpful: she responded promptly and kept us up dated during our case every day. She possesses great negotiation skills that led to success in our case. Great value for money for complicated issue. Inma also made us clear about Spanish legislations and law that was helpful.

    Approachable and highly professional. Can't express enough our gratitude. We will definitely recommend Inma.

    Great service.

    May 29, 2020
  • Thijs Lethbridge
    Thijs Lethbridge, Murcia

    Maria is an extremely competent and professional lawyer, she helped with all aspects of work involved even going above and beyond in her line of duty. I will definitely use her again if I require a lawyer. Brilliant experience.

    Oct 23, 2019
  • Manoochehr Jafari-Nahad
    Manoochehr Jafari-Nahad, UAE

    Jose-Antonio was extremely helpful and prompt and also it was helpful that he could be contacted via social media like Whatsapp

    Oct 13, 2018
  • Jeremi Hazan
    Jeremi Hazan, Israel

    Francisco is a good men and honest. Did the job perfect.

    Dec 21, 2017
  • Bjarne ten Harkel
    Bjarne ten Harkel, The Netherlands

    My lawyer Rossana is an honest person and highly professional. She is simpatico. I would definitely hire this lawyer again.

    Nov 22, 2017
  • Andrew Brown
    Andrew Brown, Qatar

    Francisco is extremely helpful, couldn’t have done more.

    He is absolutely first class and professional service. Provided over and above all my requirements.

    May 25, 2016
  • M.D.
    M.D., Puerto Banus

    The solicitor provided was bilingual. He was extremely helpful and couldn’t have done more for me.

    The service provided was effective and he kept me up to date as to the progress.

    Oct 18, 2014
  • Ian H
    Ian H, UK

    Nothing was too much trouble, efficient and didn't charge for additional help when he could have done.

    Aug 06, 2014