Questions and expert answers for terminating a lease or rental agreement
1.- Can I finish the rental agreement at any time?
The first thing to check is if the lease can end. It seems a simple matter, but it is one of the most complex and relevant issues that should be taken into consideration. Usually for contracts signed after 2013, the mandatory period ends at the 6 months after the signature of the lease contract. In case you would like to end the tenancy before the term expires, the tenant will be entitled to require an economic compensation of 1 month of the rent for each year of contract duration. In example: if you end your 3 years contract before those 6 mandatory 6 months expires and you have 2 years and a half of duration, the tenant can request an economic compensation equivalent to 2 months of contract.
By all means, you can end a tenancy agreement before the fixed term expires if: there’s a break clause that lets you give notice early or your landlord agrees you can leave (‘surrendering the tenancy’)
After the mandatory month, the termination notice must be done within one month before the termination date.
2.- How the termination should be communicated?
In case you have the right to terminate the contract, it is essential to make a written communication to the other party indicating the will to terminate the contract. The communication must be written not only because the Law says so, but also because in case our counterpart does not accept the termination, we made our intention known in advance with sufficient notice.
3.- What to do between the communication and the termination of the rent?
-Pay the Rent: The tenant cannot decide unilaterally not to pay the last month because “the landlord already has the deposit”. This practice will only hinder the termination of the contract.
4.- What to do on the day of the delivery of the keys?
On the day the lease ends, the parties must sign an agreement to terminate the lease, where the most important issues of the termination are collected and regulated in detail:
– Delivery of keys.
– Obligations pending of the tenant: Pending incomes, damages, etc. It is necessary to review the house with calm and detail, in order to include in the document all the relevant issues, as it will serve as a basis to determine the obligations of the tenant.
We recommend bringing a pre drafted document to that date, which states:
– No damages: Yes, both parties recognize that there is no damage or
– Damages: Yes, both parties recognize that there are flaws: after having reviewed the current condition of the property, both parties, by mutual agreement, state that the defects detailed in the document have been detected, make a list of the defects and sign it “in situ”.
– Change of supplies: If the ownership of the contracts was changed, it is time to make the change of ownership again. To do this, just make a reading of meters to give it to the services companies by telephone. Until that reading, the payment of the expenses will correspond to the tenant and, from there on, to the landlord again.
– Refund or retention of the deposit: It is also the moment to specify what happens with the deposit, if it is returned or retained, in whole or in part, as well as the mechanisms for quantifying the outstanding obligations.
5. – What to do after handing over of the keys?
After handing over the keys, the obligations stated in the agreement signed to the date of delivery of the keys, will govern, so the agreement cannot be a simple receipt of the keys.
As far as the landlord is concerned, if the bail has been withheld for certain repairs or payments of supplies, he/she must prove the pertinent repairs with invoices, remembering that, after one month, the bail will generate interest if is not refunded on time.
For its part, the tenant is required to pay all repairs that correspond (usually for the bad use or intentional damage caused), included those that exceed the amount of the deposit.
In Spain, landlord-tenant laws require the landlord to return a security deposit within 30 days, but deadlines range from 14 to 60 days. Within the deadline, a landlord must transfer to the tenant:
The entire security deposit, plus interest if required; or
If the landlord used the deposit for unpaid rent, to make repairs, or for cleaning, an itemized statement with a list of deductions, plus the remaining security deposit and interest if required, must be sent to the tenant.
If the landlord fails to return the security deposit, we recommend you to send an itemized statement within the legal time limit, and the applicable interest, if after the receipt of the letter the tenant don’t get a satisfactory response, he is entitle to sue the landlord for the refund of the deposit and damages. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was written by a proud BWN sponsor, Klev & Vera International Law firm http://www.klevvera.com/.