For many years, the demand for rental properties in Seville, Madrid, and other major Spanish cities has been increasing. This market segment attracts the most attention from expats and tourists. Therefore, the number of investors willing to achieve a stable rental income continues to increase. However, before starting to search for potential tenants, a property owner needs to take inventory of the property, determine who will be responsible for paying utility bills, draw up an agreement and many other things.
Below are 10 practical tips for new landlords.
Proof of ownership
Before looking for a tenant, the homeowner needs to check its condition and make sure that he has a certificate of ownership. This document serves as proof that the housing facility meets all the established requirements to rent it out. Buyers receive it during a purchase and sale transaction. The title deed will protect the owner if the tenant decides to unilaterally terminate the agreement and leave the property in an uninhabitable condition.
An inventory of movable goods
The next recommendation is to make an inventory of all movable goods in the house, from electrical appliances to furniture. This document will be annexed to the rental agreement. It will be useful to the owner if, he can identify any signs of damage to his belongings. If there is an inventory, he will be able to demand financial compensation from the tenant. It is advisable to attach this document with photographs.
Utility bills payment
Before signing a lease, the parties should determine who will be responsible for paying utility bills. There are several alternatives to this issue. The owner can do the following:
- pay bills independently, and then pass the costs to the tenant;
- provide the tenant’s account number to the utility firms (in this case, the landlord will not bear responsibility for possible non-payment);
- use the services of a specialised property management company. They will take over a number of tasks, including the timely bill payment.
Covering property taxes
One of the frequently asked questions about rental properties is who is responsible for paying property taxes like the IBI or garbage tax. Both parties should agree on this beforehand and identify their decision in the agreement to avoid future misunderstandings.
Adding additional terms to the contract
Most landlords have specific terms and conditions regarding how tenants must treat their accommodation. For example, some unit owners do not welcome pets or children. These requirements should be mentioned as terms of the contract.
Important! Be sure to include a no-sublease clause in the agreement so that the tenant won’t be able to re-rent the home to a third party.
If the homeowner requires the tenant to have a guarantor proving the timely rental payments, a guarantee agreement must be attached to the lease agreement. The person acting as the guarantor will be responsible for the tenant’s compliance with the following obligations:
- monthly rent payments;
- fine payment stipulated by the lease agreement in case of non-compliance with the deadlines for the fulfillment of obligations to pay the monthly fees;
- compensation for other losses resulting from the tenant’s failure to fulfill the obligations mentioned in the contract.
According to Spanish legislation, a long-term tenant must pay a deposit equal to one month’s rent. For short-term agreements, the deposit amount will be equivalent to two months’ rent.
Communication through e-mail
One of the best ways to make communication easier between the two parties of a rental agreement is to include a contact email address in the agreement. This will tackle the resolution of any problems and help avoid the use of bureaucracy or the need for face-to-face meetings.
Both parties are required to comply with the City Lease Act (LAU), which clearly defines deadlines. For example, the minimum rental terms and rent payment terms for the tenant.
Expense deduction when filing a tax return
Property owners should remember about the possible expense deduction when filing a tax return. Currently, the landlord can retain up to 60% of the rental income regardless of the tenants’ age. Deductible expenses may include real estate improvements (such as the purchase of new appliances), the property tax (IBI), or the garbage tax.
Assistance with the selection and purchase of rental property in Spain
One of the widest databases of Spanish residential units is presented on the official website of Spain-Real.Estate. Investors interested in purchasing real estate with the intention of renting it out afterwards can get in touch with the aggregator’s representatives for a thorough consultation. Customers of the company may also rely on top-notch after-sales service in addition to assistance with choosing the best unit and support during the entire transaction.