You have a tenant that is not paying you and you want to move the tenant out of your housing unit. Bad news: In Spain, this will not be easy.
The rental regulations in Spain greatly protect renters. This means that for your tenant to leave the property, you will need to go through with an eviction process which will take months.
What is express eviction?
A few years ago, the rules of eviction changed in Spain, and there was a lot of national publicity about the topic. The media called it “express eviction.”
The reforms occurred in 2009 and 2013, and ultimately, they were not very successful in terms of being an express eviction process, since it continues to take between 4 and 15 months to expel a tenant from the rental property, depending on the court and the context involving the renter and landlord.
Therefore, it is not an express process in the slightest, despite what the term may imply.
Why is it called “express”?
Landlords can now bring a lawsuit against a tenant for not paying rent sooner than before. The time-frame to be able to sue for outstanding rental payments has been reduced. Before, one had to wait until the renter failed to pay two months, but now landlords can bring a lawsuit for a missed payment for one month.
Quick removal from the property. This is relative. It is true that when the court takes the claim, he/she chooses a fixed date for the eviction, but sometimes said date is suspended.
For example, if the tenant has a right to legal aid, then it is likely that the tenant will request a public defender, and this will delay the proceedings and probably mean that the date of eviction will need to be modified.
The tenant has 10 days from receiving the lawsuit to object, but sometimes if he/she does not get the notice, he/she will have to be notified by an edict in the court notice board. In this case as well, all will be delayed.
What is the proceeding like?
The proceeding functions as follows:
The tenant does not follow one or more monthly payments of rent→ the landlord can file an extrajudicial claim of payment or a judicial claim→ After the claim is presented→ The court generally accepts the lawsuit within a month→ Then the court sends a payment request to the renter so that habitually, in 10 days, the renter leaves the property and pays the landlord, or objects→ If the debtor does not pay or abandon the property or object the judicial secretary, then the decree will be sent to trial and one can execute the decree, expelling the tenant by force, which usually takes 1 to 4 months depending on the court.
Can a tenant not paying rent avoid eviction?
Yes, the tenant can avoid eviction one time by turning in to court all amounts claimed in the lawsuit, as well as turning in those owed at the time of said payment (for example, if in the lawsuit, the tenant owed one month’s worth of payment, and turns in the required amount when the lawsuit is accepted, and they notify him/her, which usually happens 2 months later, then the tenant should pay 3 months to the court to avoid being dismissed from the property.
This is called enervation and it cannot always be done. For instance, it cannot be done if the tenant has done it in the past.
Enervation also cannot be done if the landlord sends burofax to the renter, at least 30 days prior to presenting the lawsuit.
What happens if the tenant objects to the lawsuit?
If the tenant opposes, then a trial will be held, and the procedure will be lengthy.
Once the trial is held, the judge will decide on the sentence, which later, in the majority of cases, will have to be executed to expel the tenant from the property.