We need to evict a tenant who is not paying the rent. What can we do?
Antonio Flores Vila
1st of May 2001
Q. Please can you inform me how we can recover 7 months of rent, Pts 1,000,000 (6,000 €) per month plus damages, as the tenant cut down an orchard of Avocado Pear trees, and we want to claim for that also. He has promised payment many times and has given us cheques for payment but said not to put in Bank until he lets us know, we are still waiting. How long will it take if he will not pay to evict the tenant, and can you advice me of a lawyer who could handle this matter for us please, we are desperate now.
A. The first thing which needs to be done is to file a claim for eviction
for non-payment as soon as possible. This will ensure that he does not
delay payment again, as then the eviction would be definite by means of a fresh new claim.
According to Spanish law, as a tenant, you are entitled pay up to the
date of the sentence of the eviction procedure, waiving the rights of
the landlord. However, this may only be done once, as then the paperwork will be ready to be filed again and the tenant will not have the possibility of paying up again. If the tenant has cut down an avocado tree, then that issue is handled separately, claiming damages and resorting to the deposit you should have.
The first step you should make is to pay those cheques into a bank account in order for you to have proof that the tenant has not paid,
whether by not handing over money or any payment instrument or by doing so but without funds. This is extremely important as you need to prove you have tried to cash the cheques but without success.
Give a warning to the bank that you will not accept any charges on
bounced cheques, as there is an ongoing illegal practice where banks
charge a percentage to the beneficiary of a cheque or bill of exchange
or promissory note which is bounced back by the issuing bank for lack of funds.
We are able to assist anywhere in Spain through our network of lawyers, but you need to act quickly as otherwise your annoying tenant will remain in your property for long.
Update: An article on the subject can be found on How to Evict a Tenant who is not Paying the Rent