Eviction in Spain: How Does it Work?

Others move there to live permanently as retired expatriates.

Regardless of your reasoning for moving to Spain, most living accommodations remain the same—and by that, we mean renting an apartment or home.

Of course, just like anywhere else in the world, renting a living space in Spain makes you subject to an eviction should you breach your rental contract.

Believe it or not, evictions are common in Spain. As the economy began to rise, so did the real estate market, which unfortunately left a lot of landlords left in the dust when their tenants failed to pay the rent.

In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about the eviction process in Spain. Keep reading to learn more.

Evictions in Spain

Evictions in Spain are more or less the same as anywhere else. They’re a legal procedure during which a landlord can evict their tenant for not paying the rent or other special circumstances.

Usually, with evictions—except for those special circumstances—the landlord will have attempted to resolve the issue with the tenant in question before it gets this far. However, when all friendly attempts fail, the landlord can (and will) file an eviction lawsuit where a judge will make the ultimate decision as to whether the tenant will be evicted.

Today, there are actually several different types of eviction in Spain. These would include eviction for non-payment, eviction towards the end of a contract period, eviction for precarious, and eviction for unauthorized entry.

Let’s take a closer look:

Eviction for Non-Payment

Eviction for non-payment is the most common type of eviction in Spain. These types of evictions usually crop up when the tenant, after some time, fails to make his or her contractual rent payment.

Non-payment evictions are also referred to as “desahucio evictions,” or express evictions.

End of Contract Period Eviction

End of contract period evictions occur when the tenant continues to live on the property they have been renting past the time that the rental contract has expired.

Eviction for Precarious

Eviction for precarious, aka “desahucio por precario” happens when the landlord gives a tenant permission to live in their rental property without a contract. This type of situation is most common when the owner of the property allows his or her friends or family to move in.

The eviction part typically occurs when the owner decides that their time is up—but the “family” or “friends” refuse to leave.

Eviction for Unauthorized Entry

“Okupación,” otherwise known as squatting also happens in Spain. When this happens, the landlord of the property being unlawfully lived in will immediately file for eviction to get the unauthorized tenant out.

The Eviction Process in Spain

The most common type of eviction in Spain occurs when a tenant fails to pay their rent. However, regardless of the type of eviction, each one always behinds with a lawsuit filed by the landlord.

The lawsuit in question must be signed by both a lawyer and solicitor, and it must include the court fees and rental contract on the day of filing.

The typical proceedings are as follows:

  • The court will issue an order—the right of admission—within a 30-day period. During this time they will admit the lawsuit to the judge, establish a date for the trial, and then another date for the eviction.
  • Once the admission and the trial date are set, the tenant will be sent a notification of the lawsuit, requiring the tenant to pay what he or she owes within a 10-day period.
  • Depending on the circumstance, if the tenant does not pay the required rent, the lawsuit is turned over in the landlord’s favor and the tenant will be legally forced to leave the property.

Now, the tenant also has options under these circumstances. Those options include:

  • They can pay all the rent due during their 10-day “catch-up” period. If they are able to do so, the process will be filed and the eviction will be annulled.
  • They can pay the required amount due before the trial date—even if the trial takes place after the allotted 10 days. In this case, the eviction will be annulled as well.
  • They can choose to file a writ with an attorney and a prosecutor should they disagree with the lawsuit for eviction. In this case, the trial would take place and both the tenant and the landlord would have to make their case with the proper documentation for the ruling.
  • They can do absolutely nothing—although this is a terrible idea. If the tenant does absolutely nothing, the eviction will take place, without a trial, and the tenant will now have a legal obligation to pay what they owe and leave the property.

In terms of having the eviction annulled, there are a few important exceptions to be aware of—regardless of whether the tenant pays within the 10-day period or not.

These exceptions revolve around the situation in which the lawsuit filed by the landlord is the second lawsuit against the same tenant. They also include instances in which the landlord has requested payment from their tenant through a burofax or notary, but the request has not been answered within 30 days.

When these circumstances occur, there’s no chance that the eviction can be annulled.

How Long Do Evictions Take?

The eviction process in Spain isn’t always a very timely affair.

However, the process depends entirely on the tenant’s actions (as in whether they answer to the notary or lawsuit) as well as how long the court takes to process the lawsuit and set a trial and eviction date.

It may also depend on the judge and the particular city in Spain.

This makes giving an exact answer a bit complicated. Most evictions in Spain can take anywhere from four to six months.