The duration of the tenancy agreement can be freely negotiated between the landlord and the tenant, but if the lease does not set a fixed term agreed by both parties, the national tenancy conditions apply (Real Decreto-Ley 7/2019, 1 de marzo). Whenever you decide to enter into a contract, no matter how easy you think the agreement is, it is always advisable to have a lawyer to determine it or verify it for you. This can save you money and headaches if the other party breaks the contract. The first is the “simple” written contract. See below the related formalities. Contracts – written or oral, long or short, important or not so important – are pretty much central to much of our private and commercial life. How do they work in Spain? How do you know if a contract is valid? What happens if things go wrong? For centuries, lawyers have been advising clients that oral contracts are not worth the paper they are written on! Indeed, although oral treaties are valid, it is so difficult to prove even their existence or exactly what has been agreed. If a party challenges it, it would be very difficult to prove that the treaty and the conditions were derived from it. Leases can also be terminated if a party does not meet its obligations, such as paying rent or depositing.

For more information, see national rental law (Ley 29/1994, 24 de noviembre, arrendamientos Urbanos.) Lease agreements must provide the tenant with the full tenancy conditions and formalize them in writing. Make sure you understand all the clauses before signing and if something is not clear, seek legal advice. The written agreement must provide the full name and identification number (DNI for Spanish nationals, NIE or passport for foreigners) of the landlord and tenant, the full address of the accommodation and the specific conditions agreed by both parties, such as the amount of rent, the method of payment, etc. Many people who want to buy a second home in Spain decide to rent before buying. Private rentals are governed by the national rent laws (Ley 29/1994, 24 de noviembre, Arrendamientos Urbanos and Real Decreto-Ley 7/2019, 1 de marzo) which define and protect the rights and obligations of the landlord (arrendador) and the tenant (arrendatario). Before entering into a lease agreement, be sure to be clear about the agreed amount and check whether the terms of the contract include additional expenses such as Community taxes (see “Community of Owners”) or impuesto de Bienes Inmuebles (IBI), an annual tax that, unless otherwise stated in the contract, must be borne by the owner of the property.