Expenses to rent an apartment: Does the tenant have to pay the real estate agency fees?

Recently, there was a change in the law. The law differs depending on whether the owner or landlord is a physical person or a juridical person.

Many real estate agencies ask tenants or renters to pay rent management fees of the apartments that the agencies rent out. This is a common practice in all of Spain. In big cities like Barcelona, our Spanish lawyers often see this lease clause. But is it legal? The answer most of the time is NO, it is not legal.

To know if an agency can make a tenant cover the rent management fees, you have to keep in mind who is the owner or landlord.

What happens when the landlord is a juridical person?

When the landlord is a legal person, they cannot give the leaseholder the rent management fees. This is stated in the new Urban Rents Law.

A juridical person refers to a non-human entity legally represented as a human (for example, a limited liability company). Conversely, a physical person refers to an ordinary person.

The real estate management fees and the contract formalization fees have to be paid by the landlord when the landlord is a juridical person. When the landlord is a physical person, the tenant and the landlord can agree on who will pay these fees.

Then, Why do many real estate agencies make tenants pay these rent management fees?

It may be because the tenants are not familiar with the law or because the agencies are illegally renting out homes. However, the motive is not important, what is important is that it is illegal. Because it is illegal, the tenants must not cover these fees.

But what do I do if I already paid the fees?

You can demand that the real estate agency gives back the money. Our Spanish lawyers help with this problem every day and recover the money of renters that were deceived.

And are there any cases where the real estate agency can charge me for these fees?

It may be possible in some cases, for example when the landlord is a physical person.

Also, it may be possible in cases of rural rental contracts, for example if you were to rent a crop field.

These loopholes exist because article 20 of the Urban Rents Law, which modified who is obligated to pay rent management fees, is from 2019.

Because the change in the law is so new, there are some instances that are still a grey area and do not have much precedent.

Come into contact with our Spanish lawyers for convenient help on specific cases.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not official legal advice, for official legal advice contact our Spanish lawyers.

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