Renting Your Property - The Legal Aspects Part 4

Published on 9/17/2007 in Renting Your Property

For part 1 in this series visit Renting Your Property - Part 1

For part 2 in the series visit Renting Your Property - Part 2

For part 3 in the series visit Renting Your Property - Part 3


Renting propertyThe Sale of a Rented House and Cancellation of Rental Contracts

Sale of a rented house. Pre-emption and buyout rights

If the owner of a rented house wants to sell it he must offer the sale to the tenant first, indicating to him the price and the rest of the sale conditions.

The tenant has a preferent buying right over the house: pre-emption, and will have 30 days to opt for the purchase.

If the owner doesn’t make the offering to the tenant and sell the house on his own at a price lower to the communicated one, or break any of the requirements, the tenant can challenge the sale and buy the house under the same conditions this was sold to the third party. This is called buyout right and can be practised by the tenant in 30 days time from he receives the notification of the sale of the house.

The agreement by which a tenant renounces the rights of pre-emption and buyout will be valid if the contract has been signed for a renting period over five years.

The tenant will not have the pre-emption and buyout rights if the rented house is sold together with the rest of houses/ premises owned by the landlord belonging to a same estate or if the common owners of a estate sell to the same buyer all the apartments and premises belonging to that estate.  

The buyer of a rented house acquires the same rights and obligations of the seller, therefore he is obliged to respect the conditions of the contract till it reaches 5 years of rental period; cancellation can be performed after this period.

Cancellation of rental contracts.

First cancellation cause of a rental contract is the expiration of the rental period.

It must be commented that, even when parties can freely establish the duration of the contract, if the agreement was for a period under 5 years, the tenant can stay at the house up to the 5 years period, without any possibility of valid opposition by the landlord. After this period, the landlord can communicate to the tenant on his cancellation will.

Secondly, both landlord and tenant can ask for the cancellation of the rental contract if they fail to meet their respective obligations.

This way, landlord can cancel the rental contract if the tenant: 

  • Failed to pay the rent or the guarantee.
  • Subletted or assigned the house to a third party without the consent of the landlord.
  • Caused intentional damages to the house or made works without the consent of the owner.
  • Performed annoying, unhealthy, noxious, dangerous or illegal activities in the house.
  • Stopped occupying the house as a first place of residence.

The tenant can cancel the rental contract if the landlord:

  • Didn’t make the needed reparations to keep the house in the appropriate habitability conditions.
  • Disrupted the tenant when using the house.

Finally, the rental contract can also be cancelled if the house is destroyed by causes beyond the control of the tenant (for instance, an earthquake) and because an official declaration of the house as a ruin done by the competent authority.



Written by: Maria de Castro

About the author:

Maria de Castro is a Spanish Lawyer and the Director of the Law Firm

Costa Luz Lawyers are contract and consumer real estate law specialists covering all parts of Spain. You can contact Maria at

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