Spain Explained

Stay legal when letting Spanish property

Last updated on October 28th, 2019 at 05:08 pm.

In the majority of cases, landlords and tenants in Spain get on well. They make mutually agreeable arrangements and both benefit from the business relationship. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work this way. Not all tenants in Spain are prompt with their rent and some landlords of Spanish property do not fulfill their obligations.

When it comes to a breakdown in relationships between tenant and landlord, landlords of Spanish property have tended to feel that they have been at the sharp end of the law. Powers of eviction have appeared to be limited and this feeling of powerlessness has led some landlords to take the law into their own hands, attempting to address their grievances through other means.

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Driven to despair or sometimes just because of inconvenience, they have tried to force tenants out of a property through cutting off the water or electricity supply. Some landlords in Spain have even resorted to entering the house whilst the tenant is still in occupation, removing their property and changing the locks.

There are several problems in acting this way. First of all, it is illegal and instead of the tenant finding himself in trouble it is the landlord who could be accused of wrong doing. A landlord in Spain taking this approach will be, at the least, in breach of contract and if he has entered and removed property without the tenant’s permission they could be charged with misappropriation.

If your tenant makes a profession out of renting Spanish property and then defaulting on the rent, he can benefit from a landlord’s illegal activities. The tenant can lodge a complaint with the Guardia Civil which then means that any eviction process that’s underway is hindered whilst this further complaint is investigated. Exemplary behaviour on the landlord’s part will be much more effective in getting a result.

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It is unnecessary to take the law into your own hands. It might have been more difficult before to evict a tenant in Spain but matters have improved from the landlord’s point of view and it is possible through legal means to have an obstructive tenant removed. Don’t spoil your chances, take the correct legal steps and make sure that the law is on your side.

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Glynn Shaw

3 May, 2021 4:49 pm

Can my Landlord in Spain go into the apartment and change the locks and demand rent owed to him as we have been paying reduced rent for the last 12 months and it was agreed we would pay an extra 50 euros a month when we could go back to spain we have paid in 400 euros a month for the last 12 moths what are our rights .

Oscar Paoli

4 May, 2021 1:13 pm

If your contract is in force, the landlord can not change the locks taking advantage that you are not in the property. In this case, he could incurr in a crime of coercion according act. 172 of the Spanish Criminal Code, so this is not legal. On the other side, if there is any rent owed, he has the right to claim it. To give you specific advice, we would need to cchek your rental contract and any other annex signed such as the agreement reducing the rent for the last year. You can contact us for further advice at
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers