When Do You Need a Rental Contract

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An interesting enquiry lately for customers was this:-

We have a French family wanting to rent our apartment near Cabo Roig and we would like to know about contracts. They want the grandparents to use it regularly for a month at a time, especially over the winter months and then they and their children would also use it for school holidays and 4-6 weeks over the summer. They plan to keep the apartment for 5 years until the grandfather retires, and although they have asked for a 5 year contract, I have said it would be 1 year renewable, is that correct? Also, is this classed as a short or long term contract? Am I right in thinking we may not need a tourist license for this?

We are obviously extremely concerned that if they stop paying the rent, it could take a very long time to get them out. Please advise about contracts. Would we be responsible to pay or should it be split between both parties?

Our answer was as follows:-

If you want to rent the aparment for a long time (even if they are only going to be there a short season each year) the most convenient thing would be to make a normal rental contract but it all depends on what you wish to do.

With this type of contract (long-term contract/usual home), if the tenants fulfill their obligations (paying the rent above all) the law in Spain grants them 5 years to stay in the property, even if it is a one year renewable contract drawn up, although by mutual agreement you can terminate the contract before those 5 years.

In case they do not fulfill their obligations and do not pay the rent then you could, if ever needed, request an eviction which usually takes some time (9 months at least).

If there is a problem, you will be the one who ends up assuming the legal expenses.

Usually the owner pays for a contract, as it is your property. Although you could ask if they would pay half. Holiday lets for only certain weeks would be different. They would not have the same rights, but you would need to arrange a tourist licence.

You also need to check and pay taxes on both sources of income.

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