We know that the decision to rent your own home can be difficult. The possibility of finding delinquent tenants is one of the biggest reasons why many owners have doubts when it comes to renting their homes. However, from AB Apartment Barcelona, we want you to enjoy the peace of mind of renting your apartment through an agency and not face too many headaches. This is why we bring you all the necessary information on how to proceed and what to do in case of delinquent tenants.
How to avoid bad tenants
Although running into delinquent tenants is not the most common, there are always exceptional situations. The ideal before renting an apartment and avoiding defaulters is prevention. However, it is not always possible to detect if your tenant is going to have delinquency problems. For this, a great support is to consult the FIM, a national registry of rent delinquencies that has a collaborative database between owners and professionals in the real estate sector.
To obtain greater certainty before renting your apartment to the person concerned, it is also advisable to request certain documentation, such as:
Personal income tax and VAT declaration
Last 3 payrolls
What to do when the tenant does not pay the first rent?
In situations like these it is important to control impulses. We can try to talk to the tenants and make them see reason, or try to reach an agreement. If the tenant does not show signs of collaboration, the only remaining solution is the complaint for non-payment.
When a landlord does not pay rent, the landlord has two legal options: claim the unpaid rent or remove the tenant through a lawsuit. What is not advisable as an owner, since it could bring you legal consequences is:
- Opt for a forced eviction or threaten
- Change the lock when the tenant is away
- Cut supplies
- Sell the property
- Not maintaining habitable condition
Any of these options could take you before a judge and even favor the delinquent tenant!
How to evict a delinquent tenant legally
Once a non-payment of rent occurs, the owner of the home has the right to claim several things in court:
- That the amount corresponding to the unpaid installments be returned
- That the house be returned to you, through an eviction process
- That the house be returned to you and, in addition, the payment of the unpaid rents
1. Issue a burofax
The first step is to make a formal communication to the tenant and send him a burofax with the amount owed and the period of days he has to return it (usually one month is granted). If after the term, the defendant has not deposited the money, the owner will have to go in person to the court to request the payment process. This procedure will leave a legal record of your intention to solve the problem in a good way.
2. File a lawsuit
Another option that you can exercise, if the previous one has not been successful, is to sue the tenant and start the payment process. Said demand will have to be admitted by a judge. Once admitted, the court clerk will grant the tenant 20 days to repay the debt or oppose the claim before continuing with the process.
In order for the claim to be processed, you will need to provide the following documentation:
- Rental contract
- Registry or property deeds
- Proof of sending the burofax
- Bills pending payment by the tenant (electricity, gas, water…)
Once the demand is issued, it will be notified to the tenant. From there, two situations can occur:
- The tenant accepts the demand: The judge has the power to seize his accounts until he returns the monetary amount that he owes
- The tenant does not accept the demand: In this case, the intervention of a lawyer will be necessary (and a solicitor in the event that the debt exceeds €2,000). Then, the order for payment process would end and the owner could initiate a verbal trial.
In the event that the tenant cannot be located, the monitoring process will end. In this case, the owner may go to a verbal trial, issuing a new demand.
3. Evict the tenant
If all avenues for dialogue have already been exhausted, the only remaining avenue is to start the eviction process to recover the home. This is the least convenient route, not only for the tenant, but also for the owner, since this does not always mean that he will recover the amounts owed. The services of a lawyer will be required,, however, it is the owner who must pay for his services.
It must be taken into account that each process is different and there can always be exceptions, but the approximate average time for an eviction is between 4 and 8 months.
From the filing of the lawsuit until the judicial process is resolved, the tenant will be living free in the property, so we recommend that you try to avoid this situation at all costs.
The cost that it will have can also vary depending on the professionals involved in the process, since each one establishes its own fees, including the cost of the locksmith if the bolt change is necessary. The cost can cost around €1,000.
Each person reacts differently in stressful situations, below we see some possible reactions in which the owner can be found:
- Passive, the defendant may act calmly without objecting, and will be evicted at the appointed date and time
- You can draw out the eviction: pay the rent, but continue to occupy the property
- Cooperative, the tenant pays the debts and also vacates the property
- He can vacate the flat, but he hasn’t paid the debts
- Position yourself against the eviction, which would lead to the trial
How to protect yourself against delinquent tenants?
Undoubtedly, the best way to avoid these situations is to prevent them. To do this, we recommend that you take out rental insurance to be well protected. In addition, at AB Apartment Barcelona we take care of managing and insuring your monthly rent, saving you trouble and providing you with a secure rental.
If you want to avoid delinquent tenants at all costs, you can read our article on how to find the perfect tenant for your apartment!