Tenant Eviction

Eviction is the removal of a tenant from rental property by the landlord.

It is a well-known fact that one of the main risks involved in letting a property is the tenant’s default on paying the rent (rental arrears). Before a case of rental arrears is taken to Court, the property owner’s hands are tied.

In many cases, landlords have a mortgage on the property, and the property is being let to cover the mortgage/loan repayments, causing financial troubles when tenants decide not to continue paying the rent.

We will need to start a legal process to obtain the return of the property free of occupation, and recover any outstanding monies owed under the rental agreement.

The landlord will have to show a rental contract signed by the tenants, where payment conditions and length of the contract can be seen.

Documents you will need to have available before starting the claim:

  • Rental contract between landlord and tenants
  • Landlord and tenant’s contact details
  • Statement of unpaid rental.

NEGOTIATION

Once the tenant has defaulted on payment(s), the Landlord has to send an official notification to the tenants to let them know that the rent is overdue.  It is advisable to send the document via ¨Burofax¨ through the post office (Correos) as this is recognised as a legal document.

This ¨official¨ document can be used in court as evidence that you have notified the tenant of the outstanding debt.

According to recent changes in Law, a court hearing can be arranged within a month of application.  However, it is always advisable to negotiate with your tenants with regard to arrears payments to avoid court action saving you court fees, Lawyer´s costs etc….  A court hearing can always be cancelled if the arrears are paid in full or you reach a satisfactory, voluntary agreement with your tenants.

EVICTION LEGAL ACTION

If no response is received from the tenants, the landlord will apply to the Court for an eviction order and for the outstanding arrears.  However, you may agree the cancellation of full or part payment of the arrears from the tenants if they leave the property within the agreed number of days to avoid legal action.

Should legal action be necessary, a date will be arranged by the Court to execute the eviction whereby the tenants are given 10 days to pay the arrears in full before they are evicted.  This can only be stopped by action from the tenants by paying in full the outstanding arrears.

If the tenants oppose the eviction order, a court hearing will be necessary.

The landlord can claim the Court costs, rental arrears and late payment fees as stated in the rental contract.

An eviction Court Order can be dealt with by an Oral Court and sentence can be obtained within 5 days.

Once an eviction notice is granted by the Court, the rental contract is declared cancelled and the tenants are forced to leave the property on the date given by the Court.  On this date the property will be visited by the Judge´s secretary, the police and a locksmith (in case the locks need to be changed) to ensure the landlord has access to the property.

Other things to consider when considering renting out your property:

  • In the event the landlord needs to move into his property as a main residence, he won’t face any penalty clauses so long as one month’s notice is given.
  • If you buy a property which has existing tenants with a rental contract, the new owner is obliged to honour the tenancy for this period of time.
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