Not to be considered a sideshow, this kind of notification sits on top of the eviction process in Spain. Spanish eviction notice requirements must be perfectly met in order to arrange an unordered situation which can be -yes, unfortunately sometimes very sensible Social Care related- in worst cases product of serialised unscrupulous behavior from tenants chaining rental frauds for a living.
For the latter, Spanish rental Law was amended in order to evicting a tenant faster. Not to mention that this “fast path” goes sometimes against the real basic needs of population with low or no income, as seen during the covid-19 pandemics (but not at all only a result of lockdowns, but structural).
Whatever the cause is, you will not certainly want to be caught in such situations, where buying a house or selling property in Spain becomes an everlasting -very expensive not to say disastrous- project. First off, we rather recommend hiring the right support from English-speaking Property Law experts in Spain. They know better than anyone else the zeitgeist of the local market, yet in bigger cities or charming Mediterranean tourist destinations.
What are the Spanish eviction notice requirements when sending a notification to a tenant regarding rent arrears or other unpaid bills arising from a tenant’s occupation of a property?
The Supreme Court handed down it’s interpretation of Article 22.4 of the LEC (Ley Enjuiciamiento Civil) regarding the requirements when notifying a tenant of a demand for unpaid rent and utility bills in May 2014, as follows:
- The notification must contain a demand for immediate payment of the rent or other amounts due under the terms of the lease e.g. IBI, community payments, electricity, water etc). This prevents the possibility of the tenant preventing the eviction by making a late payment of the rent due at this time.
- The notification must be irrefutable, that is to say that the communication must have been sent in such a manner that it’s arrival to the tenant can be accredited (for example by certified post)
- The communication must refer to unpaid rent or other payments due under the lease that are unpaid.
- The legally prescribed time frame – of between one and two months since the amounts fell due (varying according to the different legal reforms on the matter) – must have been completed
The Supreme Court considered that it is commonly known that the failure to pay the rent gives rise to the termination of the lease and the eviction of the tenant from the home or business premises. Accordingly, we are here dealing with a law regulating tenants such that they are obliged to pay rent and other bills assumed under the lease and an obligation to pay on the part of the tenant who must be notified without it being necessary to make the tenant aware of the consequences of failure to pay.