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Illegal clauses in a rental agreement

20% of the population lives today for rent. And every day, there are thousands of people looking for apartments for rent. Once located the property that fits our budget, taste and needs, it is time to sign the lease. A document that not everyone pays too much attention, which can lead to signing clauses that limit the rights of tenants and, in many cases, are totally illegal. 

These are, the most abusive and illegal clauses most frequent in rental contracts.

The non-return of the deposit

The Urban Rental Law (LAU) regulates the deposit as a deposit that the tenant must deliver to the landlord at the beginning of the rental as a guarantee of compliance with their obligations in the contract (such as returning the property in the conditions in which it was granted. Bearing this in mind, it is illegal to establish the non-return of the deposit as a contractual clause if, once the agreement has been finalized, both parties have complied with the provisions.

Prevent the tenant from extending the rental contract

The LAU states that "the duration of the lease will be freely agreed by the parties. If this is less than three years, on the day of expiration of the contract, it will be mandatory for annual periods until the lease reaches a minimum of three years, unless the lessee manifests the lessor, at least 30 days in advance to the date of termination of the contract or of any of the extensions, its willingness not to renew it ". That is, the extension is mandatory for the landlord (owner) and voluntary for the tenant. There is only one exception to this mandatory extension if, after the first year has elapsed, the landlord informs his tenant that he needs the home.

Oblige the tenant to take responsibility and take charge of all the repairs in the house

The LAU specifies regarding the repairs in the leased house that the tenant has to take care of the breakdowns caused by misuse and the usual maintenance of the dwelling, while the owner has to take responsibility for the necessary arrangements for the dwelling to keep in good condition and that are caused by the passage of time and usual use. Therefore, in no case can be specified in a clause that the tenant must be in charge of all the repairs of damages or breakdowns

Require the advance payment of more than one month's rent

In accordance with the provisions of article 17.2 of the LAU, in no case may the landlord require the advance payment of more than one month's rent.

Requirement of permanence

According to the latest reform of the LAU, the tenant will have the right to desist from the lease agreement 6 months after the start of the same, it is legal to establish in the contract a penalty clause when the tenant leaves before that time the property, in case the landlord wants to be rewarded for this withdrawal. This means that a landlord can not force his tenant to stay for more than 6 months by means of a contractual clause of permanence that extends, for example, to one year.

Annual update of the deposit

It is one of the most abusive clauses included in this nature of contracts. And is that the landlord only has the right to demand the update of the deposit after the first three years of the contract, or at the time of extending the agreement.

Permission to access the home

Here it is not even necessary to resort to the LAU, but to the Spanish Constitution itself, which in article 18 declares the inviolability of the residence. While the lease is in effect, the leased house will be the tenant's address and, therefore, the owner will not be able to access it without express permission.

Credits: elconfidencial.com, ilisastiguiabogados.com

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