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Thread: Shameful Tenant Tactics To Avoid Eviction

  1. #1
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    Default Shameful Tenant Tactics To Avoid Eviction

    Hi All

    Just to show how tenants can manipulate the legal system at the expense of Landlords:

    1. Our letting agents let my father's Spanish flat out to a tenant in 2008. They didn't draft a written contract (like they did for previous tenants) and was verbal.
    2. Tenant paid rent for over 2 years, including Comunidad
    3. Tenants mother (president of block ) found out that the deeds on our flat had not been officially amended. Told her son to stop paying us rent until deeds changed.
    4. Our letting agent went out of business.
    5. Taken us many years to track down the original agent who sold us the flat (we have a contract of purchase dating back to 1979). He was willing to attend court to prove we were the owners since 1979 and then got the deeds amended to my father's name . This was done in Feb 2016
    6. Our lawyer then tried to evict tenant as if there was no written contract - lost that case - our lawyer made a mistake - cost us £4.5k court costs. Tenant was using a 'free-legal aid' lawyer at the time.
    7. We then tried to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent - statute of limitations meant we could only go back 5 years - so tenant has got away scot-free not paying 5 years rent (18k euros). Won the case and judge gave a date last year for formal eviction , that the tenant would have to pay 18k up front before lodging any appeal.
    8. On the day of eviction, the tenant paid 18k to the court and lodged an appeal (still using a free legal aid lawyer). Huh!!!
    9. The date of judgement was yesterday and we were waiting for our lawyer to advise us about the outcome. Now we hear that on that same day, the tenant made a formal complaint about his free-legal aid lawyer asking for a replacement . This meant by law the appeal judges could not deliver a judgement until a new free legal representative has been hired for our tenant.
    Therefore ,judgement and possible eviction date delayed yet again (maybe another 6 months - I don't know).
    10. Our lawyer is lodging a formal complaint against tenant for 'contempt of court' . Hoping that the court sees sense and will agree that the tenant is 'playing the system' . How can he still be getting free legal aid after paying 18k ?

    Now you can see how the law in Spain is terribly biased towards the tenant no matter how dishonest they are. We think the tenant is subletting our flat and making an absolute fortune on the side while also getting free legal aid to use every trick in the book to delay his eviction (probably also going to trash our flat before we finally get rid of this scumbag).

    Be warned, letting out your flat in Spain isn't worth all the hassle and pain.

  2. #2
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    For anyone interested here is the summary update

    1. Went through courts to evict tenant for non-payment of rent.
    2. Courts decided in our favour - judge instructed tenant to pay 18k euros before he could lodge an appeal.
    3. Tenant paid 18k the day before the eviction and raised an appeal.
    4. 4 months later , the court of appeal judged in our favour again - gave the tenant 20 days to appeal to the 'Courts Of Madrid' .

    Now awaiting to find if this tenant will be given even more 'free legal aid' by the Spanish state to appeal to the 'Courts of Madrid' . If they do agree to fund the appeal , the case could take 18 months - 2 years before a decision is made.

    So there we have it. The Spanish state offering free legal aid to tenants to live 'rent free' at the expense of the landlord.

    If the State does provide free legal aid to allow this tenant to appeal to the highest courts in Spain , then it will make a mockery of these new 'quick eviction' laws. It would mean there would be no point in landlords using legal means to evict the tenants .

    Seems that the Spanish courts have failed landlords who have used the correct legal processes. What we have now is a biased system favouring tenants who do not pay their rent , can trash the property and run up sky high utility bills for the landlords to pay later. The state even pays free legal aid for them to use the appeal process to delay eviction, leaving landlords no other option but to use 'alternative' ways to get rid of this tenant. I think there are some companies that offer these alternatives services in Spain (using their 'negotiation' skills) and maybe this is the quickest and best way going forwards.

  3. #3
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    Okay here is the status update for any Spanish Landlord who might be interested.

    Firstly , I need to correct my previous post .

    1. The tenant had to hire his own lawyer for the 1st appeal . It seems that free legal aid is not made available for appeals . So he had to use his own money.
    2. The tenant decided he would appeal to the Supreme Court of Spain - he fabricated falsely paid invoices for building works done in the interior of the flat up to 10.5k euros (in the month he moved into the flat in 2007).
    3. The Supreme Court pushed back his appeal saying they could not accept the appeal unless the tenant had proved he had paid all rent arrears up to date (which he hadn't).
    4. Tenant made up some story that he'd paid our rent to some charitable organisation .
    5. The Supreme Court ruled that his appeal was to be rejected and allowed the tenant another chance to appeal against their rejection
    6. The tenant did appeal , knowing full well that by doing so , the Supreme Court would take over a month to reply because they go on holiday for the whole of August.
    7. September arrives and we hear from our Lawyer that the Supreme Court rejected the case and pushed it back to original court that raised the first eviction notice.
    8. As soon as that happens the tenant is allowed free legal aid again , so he sacks his current lawyer.
    9. The eviction order is fast tracked and we are told the tenant will be evicted in 7 days.
    10. 4 days before eviction , the eviction order is suspended by the courts because the tenant has not got legal representation.

    So to all you potential Spanish Landlords out there , DO NOT RENT YOUR FLATS!!!!

    The current Spanish Court system is institutionally biased towards tenants and provide so many loopholes to avoid eviction. They also provide lots of opportunities for appeals and even 'appeals against appeals' to make you pay extra court and legal fees.

    So now we have to wait for the tenant to get legal representation while he still lives rent free in our flat . It has taken since May 2016 to try and evict him so don't believe all this rubbish about quick eviction laws in Spain - its all lies.
    Last edited by Humbug; 09-27-2019 at 12:34 AM.

  4. #4
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    Since my last post dated 26th Sept, here is the update in all its glory :

    11. 8 days ago the Courts ordered that a legal aid lawyer support the tenant. That was done!
    12. Now today we received notification from the Courts that the tenants lawyer refuses to support the tenant as he wants the lawyer to use yet another 'appeal' process called “recurso de queja”, but the lawyer considers this appeal not viable and does not wish to continue with the case. The period for this appeal has been suspended, and the Court has given the lawyer 10 days to make allegations. The Court will decide what to do; but obviously this issue will delay the eviction for some time.

    So here we go again with the Spanish Courts still allowing the tenant the right to delay by appealing against the 'Supreme Court ' procedures for denying his appeal to be considered .

    What a joke the Spanish Court system is !!!!

    Now isn't my sorry history of events enough proof for all you potential Spanish Landlords to rethink renting your properties to Spanish tenants . The rental market will just keep crashing down the drain and more Spanish people will have no choice but to live on the streets.

  5. #5
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    Hi Humbug

    Thanks for the update. I'm sorry for the predicament you are in. Spanish eviction laws are indeed a joke, as they fail to protect landlords from abusive tenants. I hope everything is sorted out soon and you can recover your property, which I doubt you will want to rent out again.

    There are companies that offer a rental insurance for landlords, perhaps this is something to explore in the future if you ever decide to put the property in the rental market again.

    Kind regards

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifv View Post
    Hi Humbug

    Thanks for the update. I'm sorry for the predicament you are in. Spanish eviction laws are indeed a joke, as they fail to protect landlords from abusive tenants. I hope everything is sorted out soon and you can recover your property, which I doubt you will want to rent out again.

    There are companies that offer a rental insurance for landlords, perhaps this is something to explore in the future if you ever decide to put the property in the rental market again.

    Kind regards
    Many thanks .

    Here is the current update

    13. The Courts have ordered the tenants free legal aid lawyer to provide legal representation.
    14. The tenant has instructed the lawyer to appeal against the Supreme Court's decision to not allow his 'original appeal' to be considered (because he hadn't paid the backlog of rent in full). The tenant has claimed that his previous lawyer gave him wrong advice to pay the backlog of rent to a third party organisation and wants the appeal reconsidered.

    Now we are awaiting the Supreme Courts decision and if they decide for the tenant , then every single court case decision where appeals have been rejected can be disputed claiming 'the lawyer mucked up and gave the wrong advice'. This is ridiculous and shows what a 'joke' Spanish Law has become where the State does its best to destroy the livelihoods of honest landlords by giving free legal aid to support the obvious delaying tactics of tenants. It seems like the Spanish Courts and State system are supporting 'criminality' rather than delivering justice.

  7. #7
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    Update:

    15. Still waiting after 2 months . Tenant living there free of charge, probably still trashing the place or subletting it, while we cannot even enter or view the state of our own property. I've asked abogados what is the internal process used by the Supreme Court before it is even considered for presentation to the Judges , but none of them seem to know. Is it all a secret then? That one cannot even ask the offices of the Supreme Court whether this “recurso de queja” appeal has actually been received into their offices and workstack ? That one cannot even ask which official is dealing with this request or how long it will take for them to say either yes or no that the appeal is invalid .

    Why is it so difficult for the Supreme Court admin officers to reply back immediately to say that the tenants appeal is invalid because he didn't pay the outstanding rent ? That there was no error in the process and that his original appeal failed the 'acceptance criteria' for presenting a case to the Supreme Court.

    WHY HAS IT ALREADY TAKEN 2 MONTHS ? WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE 'RUBBISH/FAILING/NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE ' SPANISH LEGAL SYSTEM?

    I think we have no option but to consider alternative ways of getting this tenant out of our flat . I understand that there are some companies that work within the law that can 'negotiate' with the tenant to leave. Maybe that is the only solution if this joke of a legal system cannot be trusted to deliver justice (ie. completely biased for the tenant , while ripping off landlords with enormous court costs).

    If anyone is reading this , there was a company that employed people to negotiate with tenants to leave the property but I can't find them on the web anymore. Have these companies now been stopped from operating by new regulations to protect tenants rights? If yes, then how convenient of the Spanish legal system to protect their revenue streams.
    Last edited by Humbug; 01-04-2020 at 05:40 PM.

  8. #8
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    Out of desperation , I have sent a complaint email to the Spanish Minister Of Justice : Dolores Delgado García

    I have advised her that after this court case is over , we will be telling our story to the Spanish Newspapers about how a 'Provincial President' of a Political Party (ie. our tenant) could be given many thousands of euros in free legal aid when he had enough money (ie. 18k) to stop his eviction so that he could raise an appeal. I've asked her whether she thought this was 'Spanish Justice' and why would a Landlord consider renting their properties to Spanish residents.

    I have also found out (and I wish the Abogados would actually explain the law more clearly to their clients ) that any outstanding 'Fuel' utility bills are not linked to the property but to the name of the person whose name/NIE is deemed the 'Contract Holder' with the energy company.

    Therefore, if the 'contract holder' is in the name of the tenant , then they are legally liable to pay any outstanding fuel bills , not the property owner.

    So now us Landlords can use Spanish rules/laws to our own advantage bypassing the rubbish Spanish legal system to get rid of tenants defaulting on their rent.

    1. Contact the energy company and ask for the 'Contract Owner' to be changed to us the 'Landlord'. Give them a copy of the deeds , provide them your NIE, open up a Spanish bank account and complete a direct debit mandate.
    2. Then once the contract owner is changed , empty your bank account , cancel the direct debit.
    3. Any electricity charges accrued by tenant of flat will not be paid
    4. Advise the energy company , that you don't have enough funds to pay the bills because the tenant is not paying the rent.
    5. Energy company will cut off the electricity and remove the meter.
    6. Tenant will leave the property

    Okay the electricity company might delay cutting off the electricity and allow a substantial debt to increase which the landlord will have to pay , plus a hefty re-connection charge. Isn't that better than paying tens of thousands of euros to the Spanish legal system that will drag out for years (in our case over 4yrs at a total cost of 24k euros in lost salary due to travel back and forth to Spain, court costs , etc etc)?

    I cannot envisage the electricity company allowing debts increasing into the thousands before cutting off the supply.

    The above seems to be the easiest way to get rid of tenants who default on their rent while still being allowed free legal aid to appeal and delay eviction for years.

    Time for landlords to fight back

  9. #9
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    Still nothing after nearly 3 months .

    I have complained direct to the Minister of Justice in Spain 'Dolores Delgado Garcia' and also direct to the Supreme Court offices.

    Have now heard that there is a new Minister Of Justice 'Juan Carlos Campo' who has assumed office on the 13th Jan 2020 (sigh!).

    Here we go again trying to find someone in authority in Spain who will seek out and enforce some degree of sanity in the insane Spanish Judicial system.

  10. #10
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    Hello Humbug

    I wouldn't put too much hope in the letter you wrote to the former Spanish Minister of Justice. On the other hand, if your tenant happens to be a provincial leader of a political party, as you state, then perhaps you shouldn't wait until the court case is over to tell the Spanish press about it. Newspapers are eager to publish stories that involve politicians, especially those that don't share their ideology. If Spanish justice isn't working for you, other less orthodox means might.

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