While much time has been spent here and in other publications discussing the legal aspects of renting a property in Spain, we often overlook an ever-more common situation whereby a property owner decides to rent out a room to a lodger.
Due to the ever increasing rental costs in Spain and the need for owners to supplement their income to meet their mortgage repayments, this is an increasingly popular option. So what are the legal considerations if you want to rent a room in your property in Spain? And what are the fiscal/tax implications?
The first important distinction to be made between renting an entire apartment and a room in your home is that the Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (LAU)does not apply but rather the Spanish Civil Code. The major ramifications of this are that the lodger has no right to extend the lease as is the case with tenants under the LAU, as modified by the recent Ley 4/2013 (Measures to Increase Flexibility and Develop the Rental Market).
Additionally, where a room is rented to a lodger, should the owner sell the property, the lease terminates upon the sale. A lease to a sitting-tenant on the other hand continues to exist unless the buyers were unaware of the existence of the lease. In a similar vein a lodger does not have the right to first refusal should the owner of the property put it up for sale.
Just as with standard leases, a rental contract for a lodger should identify the room in the property to be occupied by the lodger, the price and the duration of the lease. In addition any services that are to be provided to the lodger should be included in the lease such as use of the kitchen and any utilities like telephone and internet.