COVID19 – GOVERMENT MEASURES FOR PRIMARY RESIDENCE RENTALS
«3 measures, little practical help for most»
In our previous blog post (referring to leases on premises), we highlighted that “the goodwill of the parties is the key to minimizing the damage”, in this post, our conclusion remains the same.
What measures have been approved?
-MORATORIUM ON RENTAL DEBT: this moratorium can only be applied for by large holders of property (owner of >10 properties) or a company/public housing body. In our opinion, in the vast majority of cases, landlords do not meet these requirements and/or the tenant has no knowledge of whether they do or not.
If the landlord does meet those requirements, a tenant in a situation of vulnerability as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 (see art. 5 https://www.boe.es/diario_boe/txt.php?id=BOE-A-2020-4208), is entitled to ask the landlord for a temporary and extraordinary postponement in the payment of the rent. If, after a period of 7 working days, it has proven impossible to come to such an agreement, the landlord must inform the tenant which of the following he chooses to do:
- Reduce the rent by half, for a maximum of four months.
- Grant the postponement on payments (moratorium during the state of emergency with the possibility of an extension for a maximum of 4 months).
This moratorium will not involve any type of interest or penalty payable by the tenant.
-SUSPENSION OF EVICTIONS: the suspension will only take place if it is proven to the court that the tenant is in a financially vulnerable situation as a result of the COVID -19, thus preventing him/her from finding alternative lodging.
–EXTENSION IF THE RENTAL COMES TO AN END DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY: if a rental contract or any of its extensions as provided for under the Urban Rentals Law (LAU), have come to an end, the tenant has the right to request an extraordinary extension, for a maximum of 6 months and the landlord is required to grant that extension. The affected party can request this from April 1st, 2020, until two months after the end of the state of emergency has been declared.
In short, these 3 measures provide little practical help for most people and it is left in the hands of the parties involved to avoid greater problems.