Until such time as the Government of Spain decides to enact new laws to regulate this situation, the answer must be “no”.

The Spanish Urban Letting Law does not envisage the temporary reduction of rental income due to force majeure reasons in long term home lease. However, a rent discount is not only advisable under present circumstances but can even be agreed between lessor and lessee for a temporary period of time.

One of the most frequent questions that the state of alarm raises in tenants and landlords is if the landlord, in these exceptional circumstances, is forced to accept a temporary rent reduction.

Nevertheless, In rental contracts related to business premises, it could also be considered that in the current situation as a consequence of unforeseen force majeure and consequently the contractual circumstances having changed substantially, it might be possible that a reduction in the rent payment is justified should you face legal action for non payment of rent.

However, most lawyers are already urging the parties to reach an agreement to deal with such issues, albeit provisionally. In this way, with a written agreement, both owner and tenant might be able to face the present situation safely and even avoid future claims.

My advice will be as follows:

1) Check your contract: especially if this is about to expire in the near future. It might be possible that your contract is now suspended and the expiry date might be legally extended during the estate of alarm.

2) Do not sign a new contract if offered, it would be better to wait and see, no doubt new laws will be enacted soon to regulate the property market. If necessary or convenient you may agree a temporary reduction of the rent, but this has to be agreed in writing by both parties (addendum to the contract)

3) Do not commit to any date to hand over the keys and move to another property.   Due to movement restrictions it is not advisable to sign a new contract and pay for a removal to another flat.

4) Keep in mind that Spanish law regulates the automatic renewal of the contract after the expiry date. If you have already agreed to leave the flat and the estate of alarm continues, it is obvious that the landlord cannot access the property and the tenant must remain in it, so  is therefore advisable to sign an agreement stating that the contract is terminated and the tenant will vacate the property as soon as the state of alarm cease. This will avoid the automatic renewal of the lease as stated in article 1.566 of Spanish Civil Code.

5) Reaching an agreement regarding the reimbursement of the guarantee (fianza), the property inspection, community fees, readings of water and electricity meters is also advisable.

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Author: J. Escobedo

I am a member of the Tenerife Law Society since 1989 with a dedicated team for anyone who needs an immediate answer or long term solution to any practical or legal issues appertaining to any property or business investment in Spain. If you have decided to move to Spain to start a new life, whether that´s buying a property or a business, then you will definitely need the services of a good Spanish Lawyer who is fully conversant with Spanish protocol and who has a good command of the English language. I am based in the south of Tenerife and I am specialist in Property Law, Inheritance issues and taxes as well as Tenerife and Canarian law and a great deal more. ABOUT MY STAFF All my friendly and professional staff are fluent in English. We have been working for foreign clientes for over 30 years in Tenerife, providing legal advice and litigation services to all our clients investing throughout the whole of Spain and we pride ourselves on providing a high quality service to our clients in the form of clearer communication and advice.

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