Can’t pay your rent? 10 days to get out under new law

A new law modifying the desahucio express -express evictions- means that defaulting tenants who don’t reply to judicial orders to pay have just 10 days to clear off before the cops come round and throw you out.

In 2009, a law, nicknamed the desahucio express came into force which aimed to give landlords greater security if their tenants defaulted on the rent. From being almost impossible to throw out tenants, landlords saw judicial processes speed up. As of today, the average defaulting tenant can now be removed within just 10 months of missing the first months rent, according to industry bodies.

Of course, this is still a long time to wait, and in most cases the landlord can’t apply for damages, as the tenants bugger off the day before the eviction without leaving a forwarding address. In most cases, the tenant will refuse to receive the judicial order, as they know they will lose the case (of course, if they have a genuine grievance with the landlord, then they are usually eager to get to court). So, the standard process is for a complaint by the landlord to be lodged, then the process of trying to contact the defaulting tenant, then anything up to a six month wait for a court date. The judge will automatically order the eviction (if the tenant hasn’t appeared), but it can take up to three months for the order to be applied.

The new modification states that no court hearing is needed if the tenant refuses to appear. So, the new process is that the judge accepts the landlords complaint, gives the tenant 10 days to appeal, and if the tenant doesn’t appear or appeal, automatically orders the cancelation of the tenancy agreement, and sends round the baliffs.

Of course, if the tenant does appeal, then the whole process goes on as normal. Although the tenant has to have a damn good reason why they haven’t paid the rent. Also, if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent on time, paying in arrears doesn’t stop the process unless the landlord agrees.

Industry sources say that up to 15,4% of all tenants in Spain are currently defaulting. However, the same sources complain that the federal regions of Spain are so broke they can’t afford the staff to carry out evictions, so that even if the landlord does get the eviction order, the courts don’t have the manpower to turn up on the date to carry them out. (el mundo).

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