Two recent changes in legislation on evictions have helped property owners to recover property from squatters, occupants who fail to pay and anyone who does not have a legitimate right to stay in a property. Firstly the law on Urban rentals was changed in March 2015. This law reduced the amount of years a tenant could stay in a property if they could show they had been paying rent over a period of 12 months or more. The period had been five years but was reduced to three years.
The other recent change in legislation (Ley 5/2018) has accelerated the proceedings for eviction. We recently took an action for a property owner who was able to have a squatter removed under the criminal law and within a week of commencing the action. Whilst this may still be relatively rare, what is clear is that there more protection for property owners where there are squatters – ocupantes – in the property.
Rural properties can be particularly vulnerable to illegal occupiers, although we have seen cases of coastal communities where an empty flat can be taken over by a neighbour or by someone who is aware it has been empty for some time. The best protection for property owners is ensuring that someone is a key holder and is in regular contact, property maintenance companies can play an important role. It is always better to prevent the situation arising but when it does at least now there are faster and more effective remedies.
It is also important to have a valid and effective contract for both parties whether you are renting for a few months or for an 11 month period or longer. Both sides then know their obligations and rights. Holiday rentals are a separate matter and we can advise on, and draft, any contract required for your circumstances.
For more information contact us on 952 527 014 or email on [email protected].