A bank guarantee necessary to rent?


I rent an unfurnished property in Estepona.  I have held two 11-month contracts, continuously, and my existing contract expires in February.

I recently purchased your book, You and the Law in Spain 2011, in which you explain the difference between Vivienda or long-term residential contracts, and Temporada, or short-term rentals.

Now I want to make sure that my new contract is a genuine #i#Viviend#i#a contract, with the right to extensions up to five years but I am unclear as to the best way to achieve this.

My other problem with my present contract is that the company that owns and rents my flat has required the establishment of a bank guarantee, an aval bancario, for the total amount of the rent.  This guarantee must be renewed every six months, for which the bank charges me €200 each time.

Is this legal?  I live and work here and I have no intention of leaving the flat, which I like.

C.S. (Estepona)

First, if you have occupied the property for a continuous period of 22 months, you have already established your right to continue for a full five years total.  If your landlord refuses to give you a five-year contract, you can simply sign your new 11-month contract, secure in the knowledge that any attempt by the landlord to get you out will fail.

The ‘aval’ is perfectly legal and protects the owners from tenants who do not pay the rent and then disappear. In the new contract, try to insist that the ‘aval bancario’ is not necessary as you always pay your rent. Once it is in the contract you sign, it is then impossible to get rid of it.

One ploy, if you have the cash, is offering to pay the year’s rent in advance.  Tell the landlord you will pay the full amount in advance, in exchange for a discount of 10 per cent.  If you can swing it, this will save you 10 per cent of your year’s rent, plus the aval costs.



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