Royal Decree 11/2020 to deal with COVID, which came into force on April 2, 2020, provides for a series of extraordinary measures that affect rentals in different phases. It affects both the contracts that are in force and those that have ended -or will end- in an eviction procedure.
We will detail the main novelties:
1. Suspension of evictions
This measure only affects housing evictions. At the moment, there is no measure for the suspension of evictions of commercial premises.
The procedural terms and deadlines are suspended during the state of alarm. Once they are raised, housing evictions may be suspended in certain circumstances for a maximum period of 6 months from the entry into force of Royal Decree Law 11/2020 (term that takes us until October 2, 2020, except subsequent modifications) .
To suspend the eviction, the tenant, through his lawyer, must prove that he is in a situation of social or economic vulnerability (detailed below) caused by COVID that makes it impossible for him to find a housing alternative for himself and for people with disabilities. those who live
The accreditation may be made both within the term to answer the claim and within the term to hold a hearing and even once the date for the release has been set (expulsion of the tenant from the home). This accreditation must be made known to the social services.
The effects will be (i) the suspension of the launch for a maximum period of 6 months and (ii) that the social services may adopt the measures they “deem appropriate”. The law does not go into more detail in this regard. The measures adopted by the social services may be moderated (although this is also pointed out in an abstract way) if the owner proves that he is also in a situation of vulnerability.
The tenant will be considered to be in a situation of economic vulnerability as a result of COVID if they meet each and every one of the following requirements:
- That the person obliged to pay the rent becomes in a situation of: unemployment, Temporary Employment Regulation File (“ERTE”), or has reduced their working day for reasons of care, in case of being an employer (or other similar circumstances) that involve a substantial loss of income.
- That the combined income of the members of the family unit (defined below for the purposes of RDL 11/2020), in the month prior to the request for the moratorium, does not exceed:
- In general (that is, open to exceptions), 1,613.84 euros. (because the limit is three times the monthly Public Indicator of Income for Multiple Effects “IPREM” (537.84 x 3).
- The amount of 1,631.84 euros will be increased by 53.78 euros (537.84 IPREM x 0.1) by: (i) each dependent child in the family unit, (ii) for each dependent person over 65 years of age.
- The amount of 1,631.84 euros will be increased by 80.68 euros (537.84 IPREM x 0.15) in the case of single-parent family units.
- That the rental income, plus basic expenses and supplies (such as water, electricity, gas and even landline and mobile telephone), are greater than or equal to 35 percent of the net income received by all the members of the family unit.
The foregoing will not apply if the tenant owns any home, even if it was received by inheritance.
2. Extension of rental contracts
The tenant may request a 6-month extension of the rental contract in those contracts that end their mandatory extension period between April 1, 2020 and up to two months after the date on which the State of Alarm ends.
During the extension, the terms and conditions established in the current contract will continue to apply. In other words, no rent increase may occur unless otherwise agreed.
The measure is applicable to any tenant of habitual residence and, for the time being, will not be applicable to business premises.
3. Moratorium on the payment of rent
3.1. When the lessor is a company, public entity or large holder
The tenant shall have the right to request the landlord the temporary deferral of rent payment in the following cases:
- When the lessor is: (1) a company, (2) a public housing entity or (3) a large holder (one with more than 10 urban properties or a constructed area of more than 1,500 m2). A certificate of indexes from the Property Registry may be requested for accreditation.
- That a previous agreement between the parties has been tried without success.
Once the notification has been received by the tenant, the lessor will be obliged to notify the tenant, within 7 days from when the agreement was attempted, that one of the following two decisions has been adopted:
- Reduction of 50% of the rent while the state of alarm lasts and up to 4 months after its end.
- Moratorium on rent payment while the state of alarm lasts and up to 4 months after its end. The moratorium will be produced through installments for at least 3 years, without interest.
3.2. For all other tenants
Financial entities may offer financing, without expenses and interest so that lessors can pay the rent. It should be remembered that this measure is stipulated as a faculty of the banks and, therefore, in no case is it an obligation.
People who are in a situation of economic vulnerability indicated may apply for this type of financing.
4. Consequences of the improper application of the moratorium and public aid for habitual residence in a situation of economic vulnerability due to COVID-19
People who have benefited from a moratorium on the rental debt of their habitual residence and/or from public aid to attend to the payment of the same in a fraudulent way, will be responsible for the damages that may have occurred, as well as for all expenses generated by the application of these exceptional measures.
The amount of the damages, losses and expenses may not be less than the benefit unduly obtained by the lessee by the application of the rule.
This means that there is the possibility of initiating civil proceedings against the person who pretends to be in a vulnerable situation to claim the damages caused.
This publication does not constitute legal advice.
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