An increase in the number of properties being re-possessed in Spain is creating a problem for foreign tenants, many of whom have no knowledge of their legal rights, it is claimed.
Over the last year Hudson International Properties and other agents have seen a drastic increase in the number of owners loosing their homes due to non payment and eventual repossession.
In many cases property owners have continued to rent their properties and ‘pocketed’ the rent leaving their tenants to face harassment and possible eviction through no fault of their own, according to Louise Cant from Hudson International Properties.
Often these tenants are foreigners living in Spain with little knowledge of their legal rights or the legal system and property laws in Spain, she explained.
She advises all new clients enquiring about long term rental properties in Spain to obtain details of the owner’s financial status and also proof that their mortgage has been paid.
‘It is standard procedure at Hudson International to ensure before listing a property that the owner is not facing repossession, however, private owners are still offering their properties even when repossession is imminent,’ she warned.
Tenants do, however, have rights under article 13.1 of the Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos, or Urban Rental Law. It states that if during the first five years of the duration of the contract, the right of the landlord to the property is removed due to mortgage or court sentence, the tenant has the right to continue the rental contract up to five years.
They must have a valid rental contract. ‘To safeguard against any problems it is advisable to use a reputable letting agent or property finder such as Hudson International who can also provide legal advice for existing tenants in the above situation,’ Cant pointed out. The authorities need to address this issue as soon as possible before investors lose confidence and begin to look elsewhere.