Case Study – Questions Regarding Problem Tenants

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Tenants have left?

I have a tenant that has left my apartment not giving notice, not returning the keys, and with outstanding bills and rent. What do I do?

In this case, it depends whether you know where the tenants have gone and also whether you are aware if they have any money/assets (particularly in Spain). You would need to send a formal legal letter to them but if you do not know where they are and believe they have no money, then you unfortunately will not get anywhere. As long as you are sure they have abandoned the property, you should change the locks and investigate any future tenants closely.

Tenants left with items in the property?

My tenants left the property without saying anything and not paid utilities or rent, but they have left items in the property. We have changed the locks but they are saying they will come back to collect them and to pay what thety owe. Can we throw out the items so we can re-let the property?

The correct thing to do here is to send the tenants a burofax letter requesting formally payment of the debt and asking them to collect the belongings and pay the money owed. Some effort needs to be made to trace the tenants and get them to collect their items.

Tenant Left For UK, no notice, with debt?

The tenants in my apartment have left for the UK, not told me anything, and owe me a lot of money.

This is similar to the first question above except when we know the tenant has gone to another country, it adds another layer of problems. The landlord would have to be sure that the tenants have sufficient assets and money for the clients to take the step of a Court Action in Spain and then having to enforce that Judgement in the UK. It would be expensive and take a long time, so the loss would have to be worth it.

Tenant in Apartment and Contract Ended?

My tenant is still in my apartment but the contract has ended. I am stuck in the UK unable to come to Spain, what can I do? Can I get someone to cut off the electricity and water to get them out?

If the tenant has been paying bills and utilities and is up to date, then the contract is automatically renewed. You need to inform with proper notice and in the proper way you do not wish to continue with the contract or it will be extended. Then a local lawyer to the property would need to start an eviction case unfortunately. However, and this is very important, we must advise never to cut off electricity or water. It can be considered by the Police and the Court as a criminal action and the law protect the tenants for this, so it can cause a lot of legal problems for owners.

Deceased Parent’s Partner will not leave Spanish Property

My father passed away in Spain and his partner of a few years lived with him. He left the property in Spain to me in his Will. Now his partner will not leave the property and is not paying most bills. What do I do?

As a side point a probate would need to be done in Spain for the property to be passed to the heir. With regard to the partner she could be offered a long term legal rental contract if they wished. Alternatively an eviction process would unfortunately need to be started.