Can you raise the rent what you want and when you want?

Are you one of those who fears a next rise in your rent? Would you like to know when, how much and how can it be? Here are the answers

The effervescence in the prices of rental apartments makes many tenants think about when, how much and how they will raise their rent. Can the landlord raise the price whenever he wants? Should he do it according to some rule? .. The best thing is that our lawyer and expert of The Community, Pedro Hernández del Olmo, take us out of doubt.

There are our questions and their answers. All yours.

Can the landlord raise the rent at any time because the rentals in the area are going up?

It is worth making a point: In Spain the erratic legislation that we have suffered in terms of urban leases, has produced some false opinions that should be dismantled. On the one hand, the tenant who thinks that since he has been living in a house for ten years has acquired rights over it, on the other hand the landlord believes that the current legislation allows him to modify the economic conditions of the lease when he pleases.

With that premise, the answer to that question must be negative. The increase in rents in the area is not a legal reason that allows the landlord to raise his to adapt it to the market price, he must abide by the contract he has signed, under the principle pacta sunt servanda, the agreements have to be respected.

Different issue is the power that the law grants, both to the landlord and the tenant, to update the rent in each annuity of the contract. This update can be up or down.

When can the landlord raise the rent?
Clock on the beach

The landlord can increase the rent when the contract lasts its duration, that is, if you signed your contract before June 6, 2013 will be five years (or eight years if there has been an extension) and if you signed later it will be after three years (or the four if there has been an extension).

Actually it is not that 'raise the rent' is that a new contract is signed and the owner understands that you must ask for a higher amount for your home, regardless of whether the rents have increased or not.

Of course the tenant can accept that rise, try to negotiate to make it less 'steep' or look for another house. What will never be able to invoke that it takes I do not know how many years rented, paying religiously, to avoid that rent increase.

In addition, the landlord can update the rent each year according to the IPC, according to the Competitiveness Guarantee Index or according to what the landlord and tenant negotiated privately and has been reflected in the rental contract. Of course, it depends on when you have signed the rental agreement to apply one form or another of updating.

It is clear that everything said above does not affect the contracts called 'old rent' ie those signed before 1985 and those of the 'Boyer Decree' in which forced extension was agreed in favor of the tenant, in which the landlord can not go up rent, although you can update it according to the IPC.

How much can the landlord raise the rent?
Euros hanging

On the one hand there is the 'rise' of the rent for a new contract, as we have said before, which will not be subject to any other criterion than the agreement reached by the landlord and tenant.

It seems however that the Government plans to enact measures against abusive rents, which is not good news, as in my opinion, this type of measure distorts the market producing more damage than benefits.

On the other hand there is the annual rental update that follows different criteria depending on the date of signing the contract:

A.- Before June 6, 2013: the rent can only be updated according to the variations of the General Consumer Price Indices (IPC) during the first five years. In the sixth year, the landlord can request an increase in rent as a condition to extend the contract for another three years, if it does not do so, the CPI will continue to apply during those years as well.

B.- As of June 6, 2013: landlord and tenant can freely agree how to do the annual rental update. If the contract does not include this agreement, the rent will be updated according to the General CPI.

C.- As of April 1, 2015: landlord and tenant can freely agree on how the rent is updated. If the rental agreement does not include that agreement then the rent can not be updated. If the contract does include updating the rent but it does not say how it should be done then the Competitiveness Guarantee Index is applied.

Can rent be lowered at any time, how and how much?
lower rent

It has been relatively frequent that due to the 'real estate bubble' landlords have agreed to reduce the amount of rent in current contracts.

This is perfectly legal, however it is advisable, and