Can you agree on an infinite rent in time?

Do you like the house where you live for rent so much that you would like to stay all your life? Would you like to agree on an infinite rental over time? It can? Here is the answer

It is known, or should be, that from the Boyer Decree, May 9, 1985, the rental contracts in Spain ceased to have unlimited duration in time, if the tenant so decided.

However, taking into account the provisions of the current law on urban leases, art. 9.1: The duration of the lease will be freely agreed by the parties. Can landlord and tenant agree and agree on an unlimited duration for a rental?

Let's go by parts:

If in the section, duration of the contract, consign: Unlimited or indefinite, the effect will be just the opposite. That rent, unless it is a lease of housing, will last one month if the payment of the monthly rent is agreed or one year if it is agreed annually. It is obvious that if it is a lease of housing will have in any case a duration of three years, if the tenant so wishes.

However, if a certain duration is stated, "X" years with the power of the tenant to extend that rent without limitation in time, that is to say if it returns to the situation of the 1964 law, the answer must also be negative , since it must be borne in mind that the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court is contrary to this possibility, and the maximum time that can be imposed on the landlord in a contract, today, is thirty years, as explained below.

It is considered that one thing is that the legislator could impose, for reasons of legislative policy, the forced extension for the landlord, as effectively maintained for the urban leases from the year 1920 to the year 1985, and quite another that the parties can do it validly by way of article 9 of the LAU 1994 and 1255 of the Civil Code, without altering the very essence and nature of the contract itself must be fixed-or, at least, determinable-and without It must be accepted that a fixed duration of one year, renewable indefinitely at the will of the lessee for successive years, really means the fixing of a duration in the manner required by law.

an infinite rent in time

In short, it is not acceptable that the mere will of the parties allows to eliminate the essence of the lease, one of whose characteristics is the temporality, transformed into a rent that essentially is temporary in something of unlimited duration in time.

On the other hand, the timelessness that the fact of leaving exclusively to the will of the lessee, indefinitely, the time during which he will use the leased thing, violates the very nature of the contract to be set by the contracting parties themselves (...) nor can it be accepted that this should amount to an absolute lack of contractual provision that could claim the direct application of the provisions of article 1581 of the Civil Code and not even the consideration that the term of duration would be one year, leaving then the lessor the faculty of extinction at the end of the first and subsequent years.

The solution may be to resort to the analogy of the lease with the figure of the usufruct and, consequently, to understand that the maximum duration that can be imposed on the lessor, notwithstanding that the will of the parties can take the effects of the contract beyond the indicated time, is the thirty years that the law establishes as a time limit for the usufruct in article 515 of the Civil Code.