Royal Decree 35/2020 & 37/2020 of 22 December 2020
The government recently published a package of measures relating to rentals to deal with the crisis caused by the Covid outbreak, and following is a summary of some of the most relevant:
Suspension of evictions and other repossession procedures
In respect of eviction procedures for non-payment of rent and/or expiry of the lease period, the tenant has the possibility of requesting the suspension of the procedure. The suspension must be requested and will not be agreed upon ex officio by the Court. The suspension will last for the duration of the state of alarm and any extensions.
Tenants in a vulnerable economic situation may benefit from this measure, in accordance with article 5 RDL 11/2020, which must be accredited with the documentation of article 6 RDL 11/2020. Once the application and supporting documentation has been presented, the appropriate social services will be notified to issue a report for the judge to give a ruling on a suspension based on the report and an analysis of the documentation presented.
If social services take over three months, the landlord will receive compensation equal to an average rental plus expenses.
It is also possible that evictions could be suspended in cases of precariousness, protection of genuine registered rights and injunctions to recover possession, in respect of properties owned by companies or private individuals owning more than ten properties. In such cases, a judge may agree to the suspension of the action until the end of the state of alarm. The suspension may be requested by those who are financially vulnerable as described above, who will be required to demonstrate this to a judge. The social services will also be notified. Furthermore, they must demonstrate that those who also occupy their dwelling are dependents, minors or victims of domestic violence.
A suspension of eviction procedures will not go ahead if the property is the home or second residence of a private individual, belongs to a company that has rented it out or equivalent, if it has been broken into and there are reasonable indications that illegal activities are being carried out in it by the occupiers, or it is social provision housing, or when the occupation takes place after the law has been passed.
Business Premises Rentals
The package of measures (RDL 35/2020) affects the rental of properties with a use other than residential, the vast majority of which are premises subject to Urban Letting Law. The legislation provides for a system of moratorium/reduction of rent for certain contracts.
The measures only affect rentals where the landlord is a business, a public entity and/or private individuals who either own more than ten properties or their property holding exceeds 1,500 square metres. In other words, if the landlord is a private individual who is not a large-scale holder, tenants will have no recourse to these measures.