The rental business in Spain needs to be regulated

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05 Oct 2007 00:00 by summer1010 Star rating. 63 posts Send private message

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The rental business in Spain needs to be more regulated and transparent.  At the moment its totally open to unscrupulous and immoral agents who are out to make as money as possible.

I wonder if anyone has experience of letting their property through an agent (British), where the agent did not get either a rental deposit or deposit against damage/breakage?

The tenant in my apartment is only paying the monthly rent and the water and electricity bills (and that's always 2 weeks late!).  Through my own stupidity I forgot to ask the agent to get 2 months' rent as deposit against the tenant doing a runner without paying or trashing my apartment.  But importantly the agent (Apartsol which is supposed to be a 'reputable' letting agency) did not ask the deposits from the spanish tenant.  He said the tenant is spanish, he knows his rights and the law!

The tenant paid one month in advance which the agent has taken as his commission.

I am now left without protection against unpaid bills, unpaid rent and damages to the property.  At the end of the contract the tenant expects not to pay the last month's rent so effectively I've let my apartment for 11 months and only got 10 months rent.

It could be that the tenant did pay another month's rent but the agent also took that as his commission.

Is there anything I can do or do I have to put up with whatever happens because of my own ignorance?  It would have been good if the agent had been more helpful to me since I was paying his commission!


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05 Oct 2007 16:42 by Rixxy Star rating in San Pedro. 2011 posts Send private message

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Hi Summer - sorry to hear your tale but it is quite common here in Spain.

Really you will have no idea what was or wasnt charged to the tenant but you need to get hold of the contract as if the tenants are spanish then you could be in for a huge problem. The spanish tend to assume a vivienda contract which means a 5 year term of permenant living.

Your agent should have a written agreement from you to allow them to handle the rental so you  may have a comeback with them on that ie here in Spain in order to enable to do anything for anyone, strictly speaking one needs to issue a power of attorney. With the power then they can issue a contract between you and the tenant - without it in theory you can say you havent rented the apartment BUT you would need to go to court to gain possession.

There is an arbitration system for rentals but it is very overloaded and takes time.

There may have been a notice to quit at the signing of the contract so without that document you have no idea what is going on

Also if the rental agent took cash and therefore didnt declare it, again you may be able to hold their attention as it were and they should help you

Try and get hold of the contract and then get this to a lawyer to find out what your rights are and hopefully you can do something.

if there was no written and signed agreement/contract and the tenant has only paid a months rent, then effectively it is a rolling month on month agreement and you can ask them to leave - give notice in writing.

All owners should ensure they know what their agents are doing and SHOULD sign an agreement with them so everyone is in the clear as to what is going on - it protects both parties against any arguments!


Quite frankly m'dear, I don't give a damn!

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09 Oct 2007 11:31 by summer1010 Star rating. 63 posts Send private message

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Hi Rixxy

Thanks for your support.  The reson deception is common in Spain is due to the lack of regulation and complete disregard for professional integrity on the part of those British people who think they can go to Spain for a wonderful life and make easy money.

In the Uk the large well established corporate companies such as the one I work in, have been around for years (120 years in this case) and they know that in order to survive they need to be totally honest and tranparent with their clients in order to maintain a loyal customer base.  The only way to build a business is maintain a reputation for integrity and clarity at all times.

People expect this kind of treatment in the UK, but as soon as they leave the country, they leave their brains at the airport!  No wonder the Costa del Sol has such a bad name as the place where crooks, and conmen operate.  Yes there are some honest people but unfortuantely they are not professionals either and although they mean well, they do not have the procedures and processes in place to ensure customer satisfaction.

It's staggering that some people never learn!

That's why the law needs to step in to  instigate regulations in order to protect everyone.


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09 Oct 2007 12:39 by Rixxy Star rating in San Pedro. 2011 posts Send private message

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I agree with most of your comments and many people here work illegally ie not registered for tax and iva either. Its a bit galling to say the least when you have become leagl to see others keeping an extra 30+% in their pocket as they are not!

Anyway, many out here have a short term look at things as well, not for the longer view. I would hate the thought of someone knocking on my door after money or a bad service - we do all make mistakes (even me at times but dont tell anyone) but should then put things right.

There are professionals out here but in many cases, not all, I would say the smaller companies are better as sometimes staff dont give a monkeys! For property management when I did it, it was my husband and I who did everything that we were able to as I could never find a cleaner who would be as thorough as me or go that extra mile without charging for it - you cant charge sometimes for all the tings you do as it comes under costomer service.

A good husband and wife team who are mature and take pride in their work are your best bet and there are ones out there. The UK also has bad companies and it is by word of mouth in Spain that companies flourish.

Hopefully others reading this will not fall into the same trap as you and get carried away by flash cards, talk and offices.


Quite frankly m'dear, I don't give a damn!

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09 Oct 2007 14:15 by Smiley Star rating in San Pedro de Alcanta.... 2478 posts Send private message

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"you cant charge sometimes for all the tings you do as it comes under costomer service."

was that a typo or a brilliant piece of editorial


Smiley -

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09 Oct 2007 15:13 by Rixxy Star rating in San Pedro. 2011 posts Send private message

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Oh crikey! I darent post what I WAS going to say!!!

So I will just say ooops meekly and admit to it being a typo or three!!

To be sure!


Quite frankly m'dear, I don't give a damn!

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09 Oct 2007 15:56 by summer1010 Star rating. 63 posts Send private message

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 I guess it's all about attitude and what kind of reputation you're trying to build for yourself.  I used to run my own property management in Marbella a few years ago with my partner - he used to work till 9pm at night to go that extra mile.

We were always upfront with clients so they knew exactly what they were paying for and no nasty surprises!

Anyway, unlike the UK, there seem to be no industry standards that act as model and anyone can get up and open a business without a single thought to what it means to 'build a business'!

I left Spain 6 years ago now and when I came back to the UK it was such a culture shock.  I felt as though I had been living in a black hole down there and the amount of learning I had to do to catch up to the 21st century was incredible.  The difference between southern spain and the UK is a vast chasm and that's why so much mediocrity prevails unfortunately.





This message was last edited by summer1010 on 10/9/2007.

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09 Oct 2007 15:58 by summer1010 Star rating. 63 posts Send private message

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unfortuantely my love affair with Spain has died and I really need to sell my apartment in Arenal Golf.  Anyone interested can take a look at

It's sad but I need to move on.


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09 Oct 2007 16:41 by summer1010 Star rating. 63 posts Send private message

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As an example of the kind of thinking that goes on is this:

I enquired of ApartSol in Benalmadena about renting a 2 bed apartment in Benalmadena and what kind of fees and advance monies they were looking for.

One of the guys there, Malcolm told me they were looking for 4 months up front, which would include their fees.  When I told him this was too much money to tie up and I knew of people who had paid only 2 months in advance with the property owner paying the agent's fees, I didn't hear from him again.

It goes without saying that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable and these people are taking advantage of foreigners who may not know any better.  I have no doubts that these agents take a commission from both the tenant and the property owner, which means their service is compromised as they are working for no one but themselves and as such are not interested in solving any problems to paying the owners the rent on time.  Late payments really screw up the bank balance when mortgages have to be paid!

That's why a contract has to be totally upfront and transparent - including which party pays the commission - they can't both pay it, that's just greedy!



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10 Oct 2007 09:10 by Rusty2712 Star rating in Benalmadena Costa. 71 posts Send private message

Hi, OK this is how it should be.

I have had rental properties from two agents, one English the other Spanish.

Firstly the Spanish one was 3 months charged, one month in advance, one month deposit and the agents (finders) fee.

Secondly the English one, 2 months charged, one month advance, one month deposit, they do not charge a 'finders' fee and must charge the owner a % of the rent. The owner will of course know this as he has rented his apt out for years with them.

I know I keep posting good things on these posts but I just wanted to say that there is good out there. Always remember when looking for somewhere to rent or to place your property it is your choice.



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