REGULATION OF THE LONG TERM RENTAL CONTRACT IN SPAIN.
The rental contract for a dwelling shall have the duration freely agreed between the lessor and the lessee.
In the case of leases for which no term has been stipulated or the term is indefinite, the contract shall be understood to be concluded for one year, without prejudice to the extensions indicated in the following paragraph.
The contract shall be tacitly extended by annual installments until the lease reaches the duration of the contract or a minimum of 5 years (7 years if the lessor is a legal entity), in the event that the duration of the lease is less than 5 years (or less than 7 years if the lessor is a legal entity).
The lessee may request the non-renewal of the contract provided that he/she notifies the lessor of his/her wish not to renew it at least thirty days before the date of termination of the contract or of any of the extensions. This notice must be given in a reliable manner, i.e. in such a way that the lessee has proof of receipt of the notice by the lessor.
Thus, the lessor is legally obliged to extend the rental contract until the duration of the contract reaches 5 years (7 years if the lessor is a legal entity), with the sole exception that the lessor, provided that it is before the expiry of these 5 years and one year has already passed since the beginning of the contract, needs to use the property permanently for himself or his relatives in the first degree of consanguinity or by adoption or for his spouse in the event of a final divorce or marriage annulment sentence. For this, the lessor must have expressly stated in the contract the need to occupy the dwelling before the expiry of the 5 years for himself and his family members.
If the expiry date of the contract, or of any of its extensions, arrives after the expiry of the 5-year term of the contract (7 years if the lessor is a legal entity), and neither of the parties has notified the other of its intention to renew it, the contract will necessarily be extended for a further 3 years.
The contract is deemed to be renewed for lack of notice if the lessor does not give four months’ notice (from which it follows that the lessor may unilaterally withdraw from the contract after 5 years of the contract), and two months in the case of the lessee.
The deadlines are counted from the date of the contract or from the date the dwelling is made available to the tenant if this is later than the date of the contract, i.e. the duration of the rental contract and extensions.
The tenant has the possibility of unilateral cancellation by the lessee at any time, once at least six months have elapsed since the beginning of the contract and the lessor is notified at least thirty days in advance. The possibility of the parties being able to agree on compensation in the event of termination is recognised.
Finally, once the lease contract has been terminated due to expiry of the contractual term or of all possible legal or agreed extensions, a new contract called tacit renewal contract may arise between the parties, which we will see in more detail in another article dedicated to the tacit renewal contract.