Search:     Go  
The Spanish Lawyer Online
The Spanish Lawyer Online
Results 1 to 1 of 1

Thread: Statute Of Limitations -Confused

  1. #1

    Default Statute Of Limitations -Confused

    Hi All

    I am confused about 'Statute Of Limitations' laws regarding :

    1. Unpaid rent due to landlords.
    2. Time limits that tenants can offset Community Fees

    If a tenant stopped paying rent in 2010 and we have only been in a position to evict him via the courts in 2018 (long story) , is there a limit on how far back we can backdate the rental debt? I first thought it was limited to 15 years but now heard it has changed to 5 years. Is that correct?

    Now if that same tenant was paying the Comunidad and other 'Community' fees for the maintenance of the building how far back can he offset those fees against the unpaid rent ?

    Here is another little conundrum

    3. If we only had the Title Deeds updated in 2016 to show us as legal owners (although we bought the flat in 1980) would any verbal tenancy agreement we had with the tenant back in 2008 be invalid?

    4. If the law decides we are only legal owners of the flat since 2016 does that mean the rental debt can only be backdated for 2 years?

    5. If the law decides we were only legal owners from 2016 , can the tenant still offset his Comunidad and other 'Community' fees from the date we became legal owners (in 2016) or can he backdate it to 2008 (when he first occupied the flat)?

    Although he agreed at the time to pay the Comunidad as well the monthly rent , there is no way to prove this in court because there was only a verbal agreement . So obviously he is using that fact to try and offset all those fees against outstanding rent.

    The tenant we are trying to evict knows virtually every trick in the book and is basically saying that we were only legal owners in 2016 . Therefore he is claiming he only legally owes us 2 yrs rent but we owe him for Community Fees backdated to 2008.

    Him and his lawyer are claiming that the Community Fees paid (period 2008 - 2018) is greater than the rental debt (period 2016-2018) and that we owe him money and therefore eviction is null and void.

    I have never heard of this scenario before and have a horrible feeling that the judge is going to sway towards the tenant (who by the way is getting free legal aid).

    Now if the judge decides with the tenant then this could open up a 'whole can of worms'. Why you may ask?

    After the deeds were changed to our name in 2016 , our lawyer tried to evict the tenant as if there was no tenancy agreement (en precario) . If we were not the legal owners back in 2008 then any tenancy agreement (verbal or written) would be invalid . The tenant would effectively be someone illegally occupying our premises.

    The case was won by the tenant because he used our 'demand for payment letters' (we sent to him in 2010) as proof , plus he produced payment rental receipts from our letting agent. The judge decided that there was a tenancy contract in place , therefore trying to evict him 'en precario' was the incorrect process.

    So to summarise , the tenant won the 1st case because he proved there was a tenancy agreement with us back in 2008 and the judge agreed with him.

    Now if the new judge in the upcoming court case favours the tenants claim that we were only legal owners in 2016 , that contradicts the first court case where the judge decided we did have a contract with the tenant in 2008.

    Okay , we don't care if the judge decides to use 2016 as legal date of ownership , but surely he cannot agree that the tenant can offset paid Comunidad fees before 2016.

    PS. I've been thinking about the repercussions if we lost the 2nd case and it was made public. Every tenant who lived in rented accommodation could , within the last 5 years , do a Land Registry Search and find out if their previous landlords names were on the Title Deeds for the period of their occupancy. If the names weren't on the Deeds then any 'Community Fees and Building repairs' that may have been offset against any rent owed could be reclaimed back. In fact , if the landlords were not legally the owners of the property as per name on 'Title Deeds' , couldn't the tenant demand payment of their rent back too? The legal implications would be phenomenal.
    Last edited by Humbug; 05-01-2018 at 02:52 PM.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts