New Spanish Rental Laws to Make Evictions Simpler

The new Spanish rental laws regulating tenancies are contained in Ley 4/2013 and reform many existing laws relating to the rental sector.
Article Published: 25 Jun, 2013, Updated: 22 Nov, 2022 under Eviction Services

As a result of the property bust, Spain has an estimated three-and-a-half million properties lying empty and the government has finally put actions into words by approving a new law aimed at promoting the rental market.

At the moment only 17% of all properties in Spain are dedicated to tenants and the idea behind the new legislation is to increase this figure towards the European average of 30% of all households in rented accommodation and solve the empty property glut at the same time.

The new rules regulating tenancies are contained in Ley 4/2013 (Measures to Increase Flexibility and Develop the Rental Market) and reforms many of the existing laws contained in Ley 29/1994 (Regulation of Urban Leases).

New Spanish Rental Laws: new measures

The major changes in the law are as follows:

  1. Whereas under the old law regulating tenancies, a tenant had the right to automatically extend any lease to a maximum term of 5 years, followed by a 3 year term, the new law states that the maximum initial term that the lease may be extended for is 3 years, followed by a yearly lease. This applies whether or not a period for the duration of the lease has been specified.
  2. The landlord may terminate the lease, with 2 months prior notice, if the apartment is required by themselves personally, or their immediate family or by a spouse as a result of a divorce.
  3. The tenant may, for the first time, terminate the lease with one months notice once they have rented the property for a period of 6 months or more
  4. The rental contract must be inscribed in the Property Registry. This new measure provides more security to the tenant since if the property is sold the tenant will not lose their home since the buyer is considered to have been aware of the tenancy as it is  inscribed in the registry. Should the landlord fail to register the tenancy, the tenant has no protection and must leave within 3 months if so requested by the new owner. The tenant may however seek indemnity from the landlord for any costs occasioned by the need to move. Should the property be repossessed by a bank for failure to make mortgage repayments, the tenancy is automatically extinguished.
  5. Up to now the rent would increase (or decrease) in line with the consumer price index, IPC. The new Spanish rental laws grant greater flexibility in that from the third year the parties to the rental contract may expressly agree on how the rent should vary. In the absence of express agreement the rent will continue to vary according to the IPC index.
  6. With only one month's rent unpaid the landlord may move to evict the tenant.  Once the judge processes the application from the landlord, the tenant must either pay the outstanding rental monies or make a counter claim. The parties to the contract may expressly agree that failure of the tenant to pay the rent can determine i.e. end the contract with a notarial or court order. Therefore, once the lease is removed from the property registry the execution of the order can be made and the property returned to the landlord. A new Register of Embargoed Tenants will be created so that landlords may check that a proposed tenant does not appear on the list before agreeing to rent their property to that person.
  7. The parties to the contract may agree expressly to the withdrawal of the right of the tenant to first option to buy the property, should the landlord decide to sell the property in the future.

The legislation has only recently come into effect so it is still too soon to tell what effect it will - or will not - have on the rental market. However, the statistics will certainly be scrutinized in the coming quarters by a government desperate to see the rental market energised and the stock of unsold homes in Spain lowered.

You may be interested in the following service...

Client testimonials

"From our very first meeting Oscar understood the situation and offered an excellent strategy going forward which resulted in the best possible outcome. Highly recommended!"

Spencer Hall (Jun, 27 2022)
Client testimonials

A highly professional and pragmatic response. In our particular case a range of outcomes was possible and it was refreshing to deal with someone who not only had an in-depth understanding of the law as it applied, but was also able to advise looking at the wider picture and context. Commun... Read More

A highly professional and pragmatic response. In our particular case a range of outcomes was possible and it was refreshing to deal with someone who not only had an in-depth understanding of the law as it applied, but was also able to advise looking at the wider picture and context. Communication was excellent and I believe that the service provided represented good value for money. We will certainly continue to ask Angela to represent and act for us in all future legal matters.

Marcus Stephan (Jul, 05 2021)
Client testimonials

"Kind and fast replies, good advice and it feels that if I ever need any legal advice in the future I for sure will contact José again. I am pleased with all contact that I have had ."

Susanne Taheri (Mar, 25 2021)
Client testimonials

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)... Read More

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.

Suzanne Frankling (Oct, 28 2020)
Client testimonials

"Very relaxed and not uptight. All very good."

Raymond Dieset (Sep, 18 2020)
Client testimonials

"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."

Wayne Leatherbarrow (Sep, 01 2020)
Client testimonials

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 receiv... Read More

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.

Tony Johnson (Aug, 05 2020)
Client testimonials

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 d... Read More

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.

jake raby (Jun, 01 2020)
Client testimonials

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 helpf... Read More

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.

Ilona Barta (May, 29 2020)
Client testimonials

"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."

Thijs Lethbridge (Oct, 23 2019)
Client testimonials

"My lawyer Basak was extremely helpful - she couldn't have done more. I would definitely recommend her to friends.  "

Ahmed Hasan (May, 07 2019)
Client testimonials

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

Manoochehr Jafari-Nahad (Oct, 13 2018)
Client testimonials

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 conversations and email correspondence, he never misunderstood what our requirements were. He was w... Read More

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 conversations 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.

Albert Roldan (Sep, 04 2018)
Client testimonials

I was extremely happy with Pedro,and Ana. They were honest,and answered my queries promptly. Pedro had to evict my squatter tenants, and then organised an estate agent to sell my apt. This agent undertook renovating the apt, and got me a good price. Pedro and his brilliant co-worker Ana f... Read More

I was extremely happy with Pedro,and Ana. They were honest,and answered my queries promptly. Pedro had to evict my squatter tenants, and then organised an estate agent to sell my apt. This agent undertook renovating the apt, and got me a good price. Pedro and his brilliant co-worker Ana finalised the sale and I received the money into my account, without me ever setting a foot in Spain.(Power of attorney). I will be recommending Pedro to friends, who are going to sell their apartment in Torrevieja. I highly recommend him.

Geraldine King (May, 07 2018)
Client testimonials

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

Jeremi Hazan (Dec, 21 2017)
Client testimonials

Juan Ignacio met me in Almeria and with skill and persistence was able to deal with the eviction of a non paying tenant in a very short time, and avoided long and drawn out court processes.(The time factor was important because after gaining access it became apparent that the occupant was ... Read More

Juan Ignacio met me in Almeria and with skill and persistence was able to deal with the eviction of a non paying tenant in a very short time, and avoided long and drawn out court processes.(The time factor was important because after gaining access it became apparent that the occupant was rapidly trashing the place.). At all times he maintained personal contact with continuous updates during the process. A great bloke, great job done and good value. Hopefully he can do the same for when I sell the place.

Colin Stuart Farmer (Dec, 15 2017)
Client testimonials

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

Bjarne ten Harkel (Nov, 22 2017)
Client testimonials

"Francisco is extremely helpful, couldn’t have done more. He is absolutely first class and professional service. Provided over and above all my requirements."

Andrew Brown (May, 25 2016)
Client testimonials

"Consuelo has helped me every step of the way,from a frightening set of circumstances to her taking the reigns and helping me considerably. I wouldn't hesitate to ask for her help again. Susie Ashton-Leatherland"

Susie Ashton-Leatherland (Jun, 27 2022)

Service Details

Eviction Services

Available in the following locations: Alicante, Barcelona, Benidorm, Cadiz, Castellon de la Plana, Cordoba, El Campello, Estepona, Fuengirola, Gandia, Girona, Granada, Jaen, L`Eliana, La Manga del Mar Menor, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Los Alcazares, Los Cristianos, Malaga, Mallorca, Maspalomas, Mazarron, Motril, Murcia, Nerja, Orihuela Costa, Oviedo, Puerto del Rosario, Puzol, Seville, Torrevieja, Valencia, Velez-Malaga, Vigo, Yaiza

* If your local town is not listed, a lawyer from our nearest office will be happy to assist you.

Who Is This Service For?

If you own a property abroad that you rent long-term to a tenant who has breached the terms of the lease either through failing to pay the specified rent, within the specified timeframe, or by breach of some other term of the lease, you may be entitled to initiate legal proceedings to recover vacant possession of the property.

What Does This Service Consist Of?

  • Primary focus is placed on efforts to get a satisfactory solution without resorting to judicial proceedings
  • Initial Contact by telephone/email/formal legal letter with tenants/occupiers to attempt to arrange fast and orderly exit from the property
  • If unsuccessful, initiate judicial proceedings to obtain vacant possession of property
  • Option to also pursue tenant for outstanding rent and any other unpaid bills (note in some jurisdictions this carries additional legal costs with a potentially low success rate due to the tenant’s circumstances, so better to offer as an option to keep costs down).

Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
  • Fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
  • Professionals' proficiency in English monitored.
  • Continuous quality controls and reviews.

Why choose Advocate Abroad?

Established more than
10 years ago
Present in 20
European Countries
Over 30,000 client enquiries
successfully managed

Our Lawyers

Send Your Enquiry