New Letting Laws offer tenants a far better deal

2019/01/18 11:29:06 Written by Canarian Weekly Business
By Mariano Zunino THE main changes to the Letting Laws, active since last month, should be regarded as a series of urgent measures in the housing and rental sector. Longer letting Agreements The Letting Contract Law 29/1994, amended in December, introduced the following modifications that affect rental contracts: The obligatory extension period for housing leases is now increased, from three to five years, or seven if the landlord is registered as a company. Thus, it increases the minimum legal term in which the tenant can reside in the home, if he/she wants to. The tacit extension period is extended, from one to three years, after the obligatory extension period has elapsed, unless the lessor or the lessee does not express his/her wish to renew it. Limited guarantees At the signing of the contract, the landlord cannot demand that the new tenant has a bank guarantee, exceeding two months, regardless of the deposit. Estate agent expenses to be paid by the landlord The lessor will be responsible for the costs of estate-agent management and formalisation of the contract, provided it is a legal person, such as a company or society. Those who visit an estate agency to find a rental home, have to pay a monthly fee, which the landlord must take over. Tourist apartments The tourist rentals come from the LAU and will be regulated as economic activity. But to halt the advance of these rental agreements in some cities, the Royal Decree modifies the Horizontal Division Law, allowing Communities of Owners to limit this type of rentals in the complex, with the approval of 60% of owners. This measure will be applied to new tourist properties only, and not to existing ones “because they do not have retroactive characters”. Changes in the evictions of vulnerable households The Royal Decree includes changes in the Civil Procedure Law, so that the evictions can be halted, until a housing alternative is found in cases affecting vulnerable people or families. In these circumstances, the judges will notify the beginning of the eviction process to the social services. They will issue a report, and, if they warn that people set to be evicted are in a vulnerable situation, a one-month extension will be allowed, or two when a legal entity requests the release, to look for a solution.   Mariano Zunino Siri is a lawyer registered at the Tenerife Bar Association since 1991. Email: ;