The Government approved in the Council of Ministers last Friday a royal decree law that modifies the current rent legislation. This incorporates improvements for tenants.

Longer duration of contracts

One of the main novelties of this decree, is the expansion of opposites. The tenant may stay in the rented apartment for five years. That is to say, If both parties do not agree to a lower term, the minimum contracts in case the owner is a natural person will pass from three to five years. If the tenant, instead, is a legal person, the minimum duration will be seven years. This is a guarantee for the tenants, that they can spend more time in a rented apartment without the need to extend the contract.

Likewise, the tacit extension is also extended, that is to say, the extension period if neither party says anything before the end of the contract. It goes from one to three years.

Notice from one month to four

With this new legislation, When a landlord has the intention of not renewing the rental contract, they must formally notify -the most frequent route is the burofax- four months in advance before the contract expires. In the opposite direction, the landlord's rights are also reinforced in case the tenant intends to leave before the end of the contract. In that case, the tenant must notify two months in advance (before it was one) to your landlord.

Maximum deposit of three months

From now on, a ceiling will be established for the rent deposit. That is to say, the maximum amount of additional guarantees to the deposit that can be required from the lessee is set at two monthly rent, which are added to the first monthly deposit in the strict sense. These can be paid through deposit or bank guarantee, except in the case of long-term contracts.

Evictions

The Government also incorporates a reform of the eviction procedure. The current royal decree for rental housing requires courts to specify and communicate to social services the date and specific time of the launch. That is to say, the social services must send a report to the court analyzing the situation of the evicted. Once the report is received in court, and in cases of families with less economic capacity, vulnerability or with greater family responsibilities, the procedure will be stopped for a month (3 if it is a company) to give time to find a solution for the evicted.

The costs of the real estate are assumed by the owner

Another element in favor of the interests of the tenants is the one that determines that the expenses of real estate management and formalization of the contract “will be in charge of the lessor, when this is a legal entity”. Until now, This could charge them to the tenant if both parties agreed. However, if the owner is a natural person, it can transfer them to the payer.

Public price index

The main novelty of the new decree, in addition to the fixing to the CPI of the increases of the contracts in force, is the commitment to create in eight months a state system of reference indices of rental prices. It will be a public statistic coordinated by the Ministry of Public Works, which will provide data segmented by capitals and even districts.

Tax credits to subsidized housing

Another aspect introduced by the new decree is the possibility that municipalities, yes they decide, may grant bonuses of up to 95% of the IBI tax to those owners of a subsidized housing (VPO) who decide to rent their home.

Empty housing penalties

Empty housing is also the object of regulation of the document, that enables municipalities to apply taxes to empty homes, with the aim of increasing the available rental housing stock. Currently, this mechanism is already the responsibility of the municipalities and the novelty introduced by the decree is that now the autonomous communities have the ability to determine that it is an empty house and that it is not. Until now, This had been the exclusive responsibility of the General State Administration.

 What if my apartment is bought while I still have a contract?

Leasing contracts must always be respected by third party buyers of the property, especially in the period of compulsory extension. A measure that, according to sources from the Ministry of Public Works, is necessary to prevent possible investment fund practices (or commonly known as “Vulture funds”) who acquire rented homes and decide not to assume the terms and conditions of the current contracts.

Greater control to tourist floors

Neighboring communities may limit vacation apartments. A three-fifths majority of the owners will be enough to change the community statute to prohibit tourist apartments in the building. Before it was necessary unanimity to change them, reason why the owner of the apartment for vacation rental opposed this prohibition, the community of neighbors would be impeded.

[Source: The newspaper]