The lessor or landlord is the owner of a property that undertakes by means of a lease agreement to lease in whole or in part the property to another person, the tenant, for their exclusive use and for a certain time in exchange for an agreed consideration.
Termination of the lease agreement upon death of the lessee
The Law of Urban Leases (LAU) and the Spanish Civil Code jointly set a number of guidelines which could be summed up as follows:
“The death of the lessor does not affect the agreement, which remains in force on the same terms for the term initially agreed”.
However, there are exceptions. The lessee needs to review the agreement and confirm if the landlord was the owner or beneficial owner of the property. If the landlord was the owner, the executed agreement prevails by law.
If, on the contrary, the landlord was only beneficial owner, the new owners shall decide whether to terminate the agreement or to keep it under the same or different terms.
There is one more exception, if the new owners need a place to live. This need may mean the termination of the agreement. In this regard, there are differences depending on the date the lease agreement was executed- for those executed before 6 June 2013 landlord may claim the use of the property only where this clause was expressly included. On the other hand, if the agreement was executed later than that, the landlord shall only provide supporting evidence of the need to live in the property in order to recover it.
Notice by lessor to lessee
The LAU provides that a notice be served in order to terminate the lease agreement. Such notice to terminate lease agreements executed after 30 June 2013 must be of at least 30 days.
The minimum term of lease agreements as of the 6 June 2013 reform is fixed.
Before that date, the tenant could hold the agreement for up to five years, even where the initial term had been agreed for a shorter time. Since this reform, i.e., as of 6 June 2013, all agreements shall be executed for a minimum term of three years, upon the tenant´s will, unless the landlord needs the property for himself/herself or their family.
Similarly, the reform of the LAU also changed the possibility of the tenant to terminate the lease before the expiration date.
Before the reform, the tenant could terminate the agreement only where the agreement reached 5 years. After the 6 June 2013 reform, the tenant may do so after six months.
Who pays for water? And who pays the property tax? Landlord or tenant?
This is one of the most frequent questions- who pays the bills?
Generally, landlord pays general expenses and tenant pays individual expenses. So, electricity, gas and water bills would be paid by the tenant and landlord´d pay property tax and community bills.
The tenant has the right to ask the landlord to repair all elements necessary to keep the property in proper conditions of use same as upon execution of the agreement.
This distribution of expenses tends to be so, but the Spanish Official Gazette (BOE) sets that lessor and lessee are free to negotiate the payment of bills as they think fit.
If you are a landlord or tenant and have any questions about your rights or obligations, get in touch with us.