The legal provisions on renting property Spain are contained in the “1994 Urban Renting Act “(Ley de arrendamientos Urbanos de 1994), which applies to rental contracts dated from January 1st 1995 onwards. One of the most important provisions contained in this legislation is the tenant’s right to buy.
Should the landlord be willing to sell the property during the life of the rental contract, the tenant shall have what is called “derecho de adquisición preferente” or “derecho de tanteo”, according to the provision 25 of the afore-mentioned Act.
This gives the tenant the right of refusal to buy the property in preference to other purchasers. In other words, landlord must first offer the property for sale to the tenant stating the conditions of the sale (this is what is called “derecho de tanteo”). The tenant, for his part, shall give a response within 30 days.
Should the landlord fail to make this offer, or if the property is later sold at a lower price than the one offered to the tenant, the tenant can within one month of completion, by means of exercising his right, bring an action in a civil Court so the Judge will make an order stating the sale is annulled and the tenant can purchase the property for the price declared in the purchase Deed.
The tenant would be able to renounce “a los derechos de tanteo y retracto” only for rental contracts which exceed 5 years period.
Anyone who buys an occupied property must be aware that he acquires the rights and obligations of the vendor under the rental contract. Therefore, not until the rental contract terminates (5 years) can the new owner rent to a different tenant or sell the property nor can he rescind the contract with the sitting tenant.
Ana San Miguel is a Lawyer at De Cotta McKenna y Santafé, a law firm specialising in dealing with all aspects of Spanish Law for English speaking clients. The Nerja office is at:
Calle Diputación 6, 2A
Tel: 952 52 70 14
Fax: 952 52 34 28