Renting a house in Spain: what you have to know
If you for any reason are planning to move to Malaga, whether for a long period of time or a short one, you must consider several things about renting a property in Spain.
As mentioned several times in our blog, is very common due the growing arrival of foreigners to settle in Malaga or just to buy a home to get benefits from renting or just have it as a vacation option. Sometimes, when purchasing a property, buyers should spend their time in Spain to complete the buying process, so for that reason is convenient to rent a property until the ending of the purchase.
4 Must’s for Renting a House in Spain as a residence
Whether for one reason or another, it is undeniable that renting plays a fundamental role in all these cases. Our objective is providing an overview of the different types of rent types and its regulation in our legal system.
Two types of contracts
There are two types of contracts: the rental of housing (arrendamiento de vivienda); and the rental for a different use of housing (arrendamiento para uso diferente de vivienda), colloquially known in Spain as “short-term or seasonal rental” (alquiler de temporada).
The regulation of both is established by Law 29/1994, of November 24, Law for Urban Rents [PDF/Spanish], from now on LAR (LAU in Spanish).
We have to keep in mind that at the same time there are rental of commercial premises, which are not subject to this analysis.
Rental of housing
The LAR sets out that rental of housing is the rental which is granted for cover the need of permanent residence for the tenant (Article 1 LAR). It is therefore this element (need for a permanent residence) that differentiates from the “seasonal contract” or “short-term contract” and not its duration like many people think.
This type of contract is subject to stricter regulation than those of short-term, especially regarding to its initial duration and its extensions regime. In regard to the last modification made to the LAR by Act 4/2013, Article 9 states that the duration shall be as agreed by the parties in the contract, but if it is less than three years, after completing the initial period agreed is automatically extended for annual periods up to complete three years (five before the reform). If the tenant does not want to renew he/she will have to communicate so to the landlord with at least 30 days in advance of the date set for the termination in the contract or the extended period. Therefore, the minimum length for this type of contract is three years.
In relation to the deposit in this type of contract, Article 36 requires the provision of a deposit equivalent to one monthly fee, which will be returned to the tenant once the contract is terminated.
Rental for a different use of housing
As we said before, it is commonly known as “short-term or seasonal rental”. This usage is technically incorrect, however works to get an idea of his difference with the rental of housing.
The distinguishing feature of this type of contract is that it is not intended to satisfy the continuing or permanent need for housing and the duration of the contract it is also one of his identifiers but not the essential one.
Regarding of the regulation about the duration, these contracts are not governed entirely by the LAR so the parties may agree as they consider appropriate, and regulate the system of extensions and other considerations.
The contract must reflect that is for temporary reasons, for instance, to perform a work or any other activity that reveals that the contract does not suit with the terms of a rental of housing (which need is for a permanent residence).
We have said that this contract is not fully regulated by the LAR, however regarding to the deposit, the parties have to respect the provision of Article 36 which states that will be the corresponding amount to two monthly fees (not one as it is in the rental of housing).
Energy performance certificate
When entering into the contract, since June 1, 2013 landlords must give to tenants a copy of the energy performance certificate (certificado de eficiencia energética). Although, this certificate is not compulsory for those contracts whose duration does not exceed four months.