Within the next months we are going to be bombarded with articles spinning the Government’s eagerly anticipated new Express Eviction Law (http://www NULL.senado NULL.es/legis9/publicaciones/html/textos/A_032-01 NULL.html) which has yet to be pre-approved by the Senate (http://belegal NULL.com/blog-by-antonio-flores/spanish-express-eviction-law-pre-approved/) before it is returned to the Congress of Deputies for its final enactment and publication in Spain’s Official Law Gazette.
This new law aims primarily to tackle cases of non-paying tenants which overstay in let properties, to the astonishment and despair of landlords.
But will it really help out? In short, no.
The proposed measures implemented by this law can be easily challenged or overcome by tenants. Besides the new measures will not shorten the eviction procedure significantly as sought as it hinges on the courts not being clogged, as they always happen to be. The shortcomings of the proposed measures are self evident.
The core of this proposal is the much vaunted 2 weeks waiting time, dubbed express eviction, as from the time there is a ruling evicting the tenant. But there’s a catch; the trick is that the said ruling can easily take 6 months on average dependent on the courts’ agility, so the tally would really be 6 months plus the 2 weeks. So yes, there is some reduction in the timescales involved to evict non-paying tenants, albeit not groundbreaking enough to open a champagne bottle as we are being led to believe. This half-baked attempt to redress matters will at best save only a couple of months. Landlords will still have to wait months to recover the possession of their let properties.
This is a classic example of passing new laws to satisfy the broad public (read electorate) at large which at the end of the day may only complicates matters further without really tackling pressing issues and even leaving the door ajar to potentially adding new problems. At best we can label it as a half-hearted attempt to address the situation.
At a time when many ex-pat landlords are already struggling with their mortgage loans (http://belegal NULL.com/blog-by-antonio-flores/cannot-keep-up-repayments-on-your-spanish-mortgage-not-all-is-lost/), as they relied on the let’s income to offset it against the mortgage repayments, the last thing they needed was the aggravation of withstanding non-paying tenants (http://www NULL.marbella-lawyers NULL.com/articles/showArticle/spain-tenant-not-paying-rent-spanish-property). This situation has lead many landlords to default on their mortgage loans which in turn have lead to a soar in repossession procedures. (http://www NULL.marbella-lawyers NULL.com/articles/showArticle/home-repossessions-in-spain-defaulting-on-mortgage)
A golden opportunity has been missed –again- by the legislator to address Spanish Tenancy laws that are heavily biased, for historical reasons, in favour of tenants. These laws need to be urgently and decisively adapted to modern social reality. When this is done, here’s wishful thinking, letting will become a serious alternative to purchasing properties allowing the Spanish rental market to pick up from the ground as in the rest of Europe.
In the meantime we will regrettably have to continue waiting until a law is passed that will boldly challenge this unfair situation once and for all allowing for express evictions instead of politically ill-conceived piecemeal attempts aimed to satisfy everyone.