The short answer to whether an 11-month lease agreement is legal in Marbella or anywhere else in Spain, is yes. But this legality will depend on whether it’s a lease agreement for use of the property as the tenant’s primary residence or as a holiday home/commercial property. Below is an analysis of this point.
Commercial lease agreement (contrato de uso distinto a vivienda habitual). Put simply, this encompasses agreements made for commercial premises and holiday homes. In both cases, the duration (term) of the agreement is established between the parties. Once the term comes to an end, the tenant must vacate the property they’re occupying.
Residential lease agreement (contrato de arrendamiento por uso de vivienda habitual). This is a very different case. It encompasses leased properties that are going to be the primary residence of the tenants. This means that the occupants will live there for the majority of the days in the year. So, if they aren’t retired, they’ll work locally. If they have children, they’ll go to local schools, and so on.
Having said this, following the latest reform of the Spanish Law on Urban Lettings (known in Spain as the Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos or the LAU), the person or people whose names are written on the residential lease agreement, which means they’re the people renting the property, may remain there, regardless of what the agreement states, for a maximum of three years, as long as they comply with the conditions of the agreement.
Getting a property back before three years have passed
It’s important to mention that according to Article 9.3 of the LAU, the owner of a dwelling that is being leased for use as the tenant’s habitual place of residence can get it back before the end of the three years only if the following circumstances arise:
- At least one year of the agreement has passed.
- The owner gives the tenant at least two-months’ notice.
- The owner provides the necessary documentation to prove that they need the property to make it their own primary residence. This may be for the owner or their parents, children (including adopted children), full siblings or spouse.
- If three months pass after termination of the agreement and vacation of the property and it remains unoccupied, the tenant has the right to take it back within a period of 30 days and for a further three years. The tenant can also claim compensation to cover the costs generated by the two moves.
Having said all this, it’s important to remember that, in law, the title of an agreement doesn’t define its contents. Even though the agreement may be entitled 11-Month Short-Term Letting Agreement, this doesn’t mean that it actually is a short-term agreement or that it’s a commercial lease agreement, as we’ve shown in this article.
At Benarroch Real Estate, we advise owners and tenants to find out about their rights and obligations. That way, you’ll avoid the unpleasant surprises that no one wants. For all these reasons, we offer our clients Peace of Mind Rentals, a specialist service that offers secure, guaranteed long-stay property rentals in Marbella.
20 Sep 2016