Selling a Property with a Sitting Tenant

    I have decided that I want to sell my house in Spain, however there is currently a sitting tenant. Can you tell me what rights the tenant has and any difficulties that could arise when selling the property?

     ——–

    Firstly it is necessary to consult a lawyer who can review the lease and determine the exact situation and the legal options available. In Spain the legislation that regulates leases is the Law of Urban Leasing: Ley 29/1994 – Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (LAU).

    This law establishes that the duration of a lease shall be that period which the two parties to the lease have freely agreed, renewable annually for a minimum of up to three years. To this rule there are two exceptions:

    • where the tenant decides not to renew the lease, with an obligation to inform the landlord of an intention to quit the lease with at least the minimum notice period of 30 days before the end of the contact term or one of the renewal periods. If the tenant wishes to terminate the lease earlier, this needs to be carried-out in compliance with the terms of the lease for such contingencies, with the possibility that the landlord may be entitled to compensation for lost rental payments under the lease.
    • The second exception arises where, at the end of the first year of the lease, the landlord expresses the need to obtain vacant possession of the property in order that they themselves, their children or spouse can live there. In this case, a notice period of two months is required.

    Where the landlord wishes to sell a property that is rented out, in the first place it is necessary to inform the buyer of the fact that the property is subject to a lease. If the buyer wishes to proceed, notwithstanding the fact that the property is rented to a tenant, the conveyance of the property may proceed as it would otherwise. In this case the buyer assumes the role of landlord previously held by the seller (this change is required to be communicated to the tenant) and therefore find themselves in the same legal position with regard to the tenant as the previous landlord.

    If the buyer does not wish to buy the property because it is subject to a lease, should it be the case that only a short period of time remains before the lease can be legally terminated, it may be convenient to wait and notify the tenant that you do not wish to renew the lease. If this is not the case, then the only remaining option would be to negotiate with the tenant, given that they are entitled by law to reside in the property for the lease period, renewable up to three years.

    A different situation entirely arises where the tenant fails to pay the rent or defaults on other obligations established in the lease, whereby the landlord must initiate eviction proceedings with an additional claim for outstanding rent.

    It is important to bear in mind that the tenant, once informed of the intention of the landlord to sell the property, has a right of first refusal to acquire the property on the same terms as offered, though this right may be expressly waived by the tenant if the terms of the lease so include it.

     

    Client Testimonials

    Below is a list of recent reviews received from our clients, obtained via the Wufoo client survey platform:

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      David W Baker, Malaga
      Tuesday, November 06, 2018
      We were extremely satisfied with Alvaro: He explained the law to us and gave us a solution to our problem. He could not have been more helpful and we will definitely use him again.
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      Thom Koller, London
      Monday, November 05, 2018
      Francisca provided a perfect service!

      She is professional, dedicated and took care to understand the needs of my situation. Her service offers exceptional value for money and gives complete peace o...f mind.
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      Michael O'Sullivan, Ibiza
      Thursday, November 01, 2018
      Understanding Spanish law regarding buying and selling properties is a minefield for English speakers. Cristina provided the legal expertise, the translation of legal documents, explanations for all i...ssues, and solutions for our challenges.

      Also, she provides confidence and reassurance that what we are doing is in our best interests and within the law - very important when working in a foreign country.

      In summary, she is an excellent professional that we are so pleased we found and will continue to use for all our legal matters.

      I think you have a perfect solution for supporting people abroad. I was lucky to find you on the internet. Perhaps you could promote your services to all estate agents abroad, so more people can get access to your service when buying or selling abroad.
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      Colin Wilson, Australia
      Tuesday, October 30, 2018
      Overall it was great. Rosa always answered all questions asked and provided clear, concise and well explained answers.

      When there was a delay in responding she did offer an apology which was appre...ciated. Rosa always instilled a sense of confidence that she knew exactly what was going on, what I was asking, and what the applicable law was.

      When not a Spanish local and dealing with her remotely, this provided great comfort in a sensitive matter.
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      Campbell Reynolds, Spain
      Monday, October 22, 2018
      We were very satisfied with the service provided by our lawyer Sabela.

      She was very accomodating, quick response to everything while thinking outside the box for solutions. Also, her English was mo...re or less fluent.
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      David Edwards, England
      Wednesday, October 17, 2018
      Very Satisfied with the service provided by Oliver. He was quick, efficient and value for money. Would definitely recommend to friends.
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      Andrew Morecroft, Lubrin
      Monday, October 15, 2018
      Juan was extremely helpful during every part of the purchase. As I was buying an older property there were slight complications but Juan explained every issue and managed to work through the difficult...ies with supreme efficiency.

      Also there was a ridiculous situation with my Spanish bank account where I could not access the money even though it was in the account. Thankfully I had given Juan power of attorney and he managed to sort-out the problem.

      He went above and beyond the call of duty and I am very grateful for all his help. I would strongly recommend him to anyone looking to buy in the Almeria region.
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      Manoochehr Jafari-Nahad, UAE
      Saturday, October 13, 2018
      Jose-Antonio was extremely helpful and prompt and also it was helpful that he could be contacted via social media like Whatsapp
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      Michele Jansen van Vuuren, Benajarafe
      Saturday, October 13, 2018
      Alvaro was extremely helpful, he couldn't have done more. Very quick to respond to my query.

      Only issue was that some of the documents I needed to provide were not mentioned. However, would defini...tely recommend his services to friends.
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      John Fraser Dunfield, San Francisco
      Friday, October 12, 2018
      Good understanding. Applied sufficient pressure as needed to get the issue resolved. Reasonable charge for service provided. Would definitely recommend this service to friends.
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      Rosemarie Byrne and John Cooper, Dublin Ireland
      couple
      Tuesday, October 09, 2018
      We found Francisca extremely helpful with a great amount of knowledge about buying a house and re-locating to Spain.
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      Jane Evanson, London, UK
      female
      Tuesday, October 09, 2018
      Francisco was very helpful and professional. I was very happy with the advice and service.
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      David McChesney, Puerto Banus
      Wednesday, October 03, 2018
      Alvaro was very professional, Knowledgeable of the subject at hand, did not over-charge - in fact cut costs in the best way for me. Very efficient in the entire process. Thank you.
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      Martha Kimes, Scottsdale, Arizona USA
      female
      Tuesday, October 02, 2018
      Francisco was incredibly responsive (and quickly).

      Unlike American attorneys (and I know, because I am one), he didn't even bill me for a few follow-up emails/calls that he made on my behalf which... he easily could have done.

      I was supremely happy with his legal services.
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      David Roots, England
      Monday, October 01, 2018
      We were very satisfied with the service we received. Rosa dealt with the matter in hand promptly and efficiently.
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      David Knors, Barcelona
      Wednesday, September 26, 2018
      Oscar was very kind, professional and fair. He was able to help me with my problem and he was very determined that he would.

      Oscar is very competent, polite and showed a lot of effort to solve my ...problem. I strongly recommend him.
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      Tauri, Estonia
      female
      Tuesday, September 25, 2018
      Very satisfied with the service. Francisco is bilingual English-Spanish and was always quick to respond and was very professional at all times.
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      Mohamed kheder, Dublin, Ireland
      Monday, September 24, 2018
      Every thing was great ... Rosa was really helpful and understanding. And I see the value for money was good enough.. of course I would recommend it to any of my friends.

      And I would like to have th...e chance to thank Rosa and the whole company for everything.
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      Daniel Elias, New York
      Tuesday, September 18, 2018
      Excellent service, delivered exactly as promised, and at half the cost a different translator had requested for the same project!
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      Darren & Gemma Nesbitt, Valencia
      Tuesday, September 11, 2018
      Inmaculada has been of excellent service to us, as a family and in helping to set up a business in Spain. She has now undertaking several project for us and has delivered high quality on all of them. ...Perfect service!
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      Patsy Valentin, Granada
      Tuesday, September 11, 2018
      Extremely accommodating and highly professional and very pro active. Excellent result and service. Highly recommended.
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      Jovie, Malaga
      Wednesday, September 05, 2018
      My lawyer Alvaro was extremely helpful and very efficient. I would definitely recommend his services to friends.
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      Albert Roldan, France
      Tuesday, September 04, 2018
      Alfonso was extremely helpful, particularly since we requested a quick turnaround for the 18 documents needing to be translated from English and French to Spanish.

      He was fluent in our phone conver...sations and email correspondence, he never misunderstood what our requirements were. He was was clear in explaining how this process works and what the price included.

      I would highly recommend him to anyone needing these services.
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      David Grundy, UK
      Friday, August 24, 2018
      Jose was very polite and we received an excellent service from him. Nothing was to much trouble and his communication was 2nd to none. Highly recommended!
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      Mario Klappholz, Miami, Florida
      Thursday, August 16, 2018
      Inma was very helpful, always happy to assist. I particularly appreciated her professionalism. I would not hesitate to recommend her services to friends.
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      Daniel Spitzhorn, Spain
      Tuesday, August 14, 2018
      Miguel in Oviedo helped us during the process of buying a flat in Asturias. He was just brilliant!
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      Tracey Iliffe Bradley, UK
      female
      Tuesday, August 14, 2018
      Rosa dealt with everything efficiently and promptly and went beyond our expectations by helping us to open a Spanish bank account and deal with other minutiae.
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      Erslaan Ahmed, Bangladesh
      Friday, August 10, 2018
      Gave very good advice and provided an excellent solution. Inma is very professional in her work. I would recommend her services to friends.
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      John Ryan, Derby, England
      Wednesday, August 08, 2018
      A perfect relationship between client and professional. Nothing was too much trouble.

      Went over and above his job and more. I would only use his services if I need legal services. I were very lucky... to find Jose first time round.

      Thank you jose
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      Robert Brownlee, Almeria, Spain
      Wednesday, August 08, 2018
      Everything was as it should be: excellent. Had to pay by bank transfer and maybe would have liked another means of paying.

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