Extension of the rental contract for a home, how does it work?

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The world of rental contracts is increasingly complicated. Laws and regulations are amended from time to time and, with them, everything they regulate. In March 2019, the latest reform of the legislative framework on housing leases was approved. We explain how it has affected the duration and extensions of your rental.

What is the duration of the contract?

After the publication of Royal Decree Law 7/2019 of March 1, 2019 on urgent measures in the area of ​​housing and rent, the legislative framework that regulated rental contracts and everything related to them has been modified

With its entry into force, as of March 6 of this year, the duration of the housing rentals will be affected according to the date of execution of the contracts and the different forms in force at the time of signature. The duration must be agreed by the parties, always respecting the legally established minimums.

The old Law 29/1994, of November 24, on Urban Leases established that the duration of the leases was freely agreed by the parties, being obligatorily extended for annual terms up to 5 years, in the event that said agreed duration was not reached. this minimum.

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With the 2013 Law on flexibilization and promotion measures for the housing rental market, the minimum duration was modified to 3 years. In this case, the same happens as in the previous one, when the minimum of mandatory extensions is not met.

In 2018 the panorama of apartment rentals changed again, recovering with Royal Decree Law 21/2018 on urgent measures, the minimum term of 5 years. However, the Resolution of the Congress of Deputies of January 22, 2019 orders the repeal of said decree-law and the previous regulation of 3 years minimum is retaken.

Finally, with the imposition of Royal Decree-Law 7/2019 of March of this year, the duration is modified again and the minimum is increased to five years, in case a landlord is a natural person or, seven years, in case that a landlord is a legal person.

LAU regulated rentals

The Urban Leasing Law is the legal framework that includes the extension of the rental contract. In June 2013, this law was amended, causing a legislative change that would have the consequence that contracts with a minimum duration of 5 years, with an option for an extension of 3 more years, would go to 3.

In the old contracts, the rent was indefinite if the tenant decided to terminate the contract and communicated it to the owner 30 days prior to the end date of said contract or, to subsequent annual extensions after the 3-year duration. It may also not apply if, after one year, the owner communicates that he needs the house for his personal or first-degree family use.

The current extension of the rental agreement

As we indicated previously, the reform of the Leasing Law that took place in March 2019, meant the extension of the duration of the rental contract from 3 to 5 years minimum, in the case of the landlord of a natural person. When a landlord is a legal person, the minimum is reached at 7 years.

It should be noted that the lease contracts may be extended over those 5 or 7 years, if the lessee so wishes, even if there is opposition from the lessor. It is a mandatory extension for the landlord but voluntary for the tenant. For such an extension to be applied, it will not be necessary to carry out any type of procedure or communication. Simply, the tenant must remain in the house with the payment of the previously agreed rent.

Are you going to sign a lease for a flat or a house? Now you know how it is extended and the regulations that apply.