Risk of letting a relative stay in a property rent free?

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04 Aug 2017 12:13 AM by Nikolai Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Hi everyone, I inherited a house in Spain, which I am going to let a relative live in rent free. They will have to pay all running costs such as utilities, local taxes and charges, the idea being that it will cost me nothing. In exchange I want to be able to use the house exclusively a few times a year. At those moments they will go to another relative's house nearby. Is there a model contract I can use for such an arrangement? Any help much appreciated.

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04 Aug 2017 8:32 AM by windtalker Star rating. 1902 posts Send private message

You will still need a legally binding contract drawn up and charge rent  otherwise.... what you are creating is rent free sitting Tennant's ...I don't think you have put any thought into what you intend doing ..for instance who is going to pay for the building maintenance ...you will find  this is the biggest expenditure you will have especially if it is a villa.




This message was last edited by windtalker on 04/08/2017.

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11 Aug 2017 3:38 AM by Nikolai Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Thanks windtalker, sorry for the slow response, I just registered and the alert emails were getting directed to junk mail. You're right, I haven't given it enough thought yet, how to share the cost of building maintenance is an aspect I had been mulling over but not decided on. I can't charge the relative rent - does that change the occupant's rights over the property? The idea is they live out the rest of their life in the property. My only conditions are that I be allowed to use the place a few times a year, and she moves out during my visits and that she pays all the running costs on the house.

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11 Aug 2017 6:14 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5240 posts Send private message

You will still need a legally binding contract drawn up and charge rent  otherwise..remnt.  

Legal services in Spain are extremely unreliable.   If you get advice from several professionals, I would be very surprised if you did not find that it varies from one professional to another and it could also be that none of it is correct.

Probably the vast majority of owners, who at present are having problems with the legalities of their properties, some under threat of demolition, had ‘good’ legal advice:   It is of little use to them now,


A little 'light reading'     'https://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/legal/renting-in-spain-top-10-mistakes/

This is an extract :  Many problems can be traced to the fact that landlords remain largely unaware of the legal implications of renting out a property in Spain. What renting entails is actually losing possession of the property for a certain pre-agreed period of time in exchange of perceiving a regular income. This means you can no longer enter the property for the duration of the rental if it is not with the express permission, preferably in writing, of your tenant, regardless if he’s up-to-date or not with the rental; that is not an issue. Landlords cannot enter their own property even if it’s just for ‘inspection’ purposes without the said permission. This frequently overlooked blunder is single-handedly responsible for stemming most of the letting misunderstandings.


This message was last edited by johnzx on 11/08/2017.

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12 Aug 2017 3:06 PM by Nikolai Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Thanks for your reply johnzx and the article. It still isn't clear to me whether the arrangement I'm seeking (a sort of joint use of the property) is possible. Also, don't understand how charging rent might protect my interests. It sounds counter intuitive, if I let someone stay rent free, doesn't that weaken any residence claim they have?

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12 Aug 2017 4:02 PM by windtalker Star rating. 1902 posts Send private message

Just like the UK you will have to convince the Tax man ...that you are letting your property for nothing.... and just like the UK the Spanish Tax man will demand a percentage of what the rent would have been if rented out ass norm...this is what happened to me when I let my son and daughter have one of my properties rent free in the UK . ...it does not matter if the Tennant's are living in your property rent free or not you in the eye's of the law you are a landlord and will have legal obligations to the Tennant's .  go and get some advice.


This message was last edited by windtalker on 12/08/2017.

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12 Aug 2017 5:02 PM by baz1946 Star rating. 2312 posts Send private message


This has absolutely nothing to do with any renting laws as in Spain, (before anyone says that)  but you would be well to check out the news in todays Daily Mail under the article about a couple helping someone out and charging them rent.

As I say nothing to do with Spain but then I guess this couple also thought our English laws wouldn't be like this either.

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13 Aug 2017 2:30 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5240 posts Send private message

Just like the UK you will have to convince the Tax man ...that you are let your property for nothing....

May be my son has been lucky.   For just coming up for 5 years he has a let a friend of mine live rent free in his apartment in Spain. 

We gave the friend a ‘private contract’ clearly stating he is living there rent free so that he could sign on the Patron, which he did.  We up-dated the contact  last year when he was buying a motor scooter.

We have continued to pay the 410 tax on the property and have had no contact   from Hacienda

I guess in theory my friend  may be liable to  pay some tax on the fact that he has free accommodation..

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