Leases and Rental Agreements

Understand what to expect from the tenancy agreement when renting property in Spain...

When searching for a property, prospective tenants may choose to use the services of a letting agent or through private advertisements through local press and internet.

The Lease Agreement (Contrato de Arrendamiento)

The following provisions must be contained in the rental contract/lease agreement:

  • Identification details of the landlord (arrendador) and tenant (arrendatario)
  • Address and description of the property
  • The contract term
  • Amount of rent and payment terms
  • Any other legal provisions that the parties agree
  • Detail of property expenses and who is responsible for them
  • Terms for late payment
  • Terms for subletting
  • Jurisdiction

The rental contract may be made before a notary and recorded at the Spanish Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad).

The contract time period

Both parties must agree the term for which the property will be rented. Property may be rented long-term or short-term. The distinction is very important, as Spanish law provides fewer rights to short-term tenants.

Short term rental contracts: Short-term or seasonal rental contracts (contrato de arrendamiento de temporada) require that the tenant vacate the property when the contract ends. This type of contract is normally used for holiday letting and may run for up to one year.

The short-term condition must be specified in the contract.

Long-term rental contracts (arriendo de vivienda): Long-term rental contracts exceed one year in duration. A domestic property rental contract is an arriendo de vivienda.

If the contract does not exceed five years duration, it is automatically renewed on expiration for a period of one to five years, unless the tenant is not willing to renew it. The landlord is obliged to accept these renewals, except if they have previously stated in the contract that they need to recover the property for their own use before running the five-year period.

After the five-year term, the owner may end the contract, provided they have given the tenant 30 days' notice before the end of the contract. If not, the contract will be automatically renewed for three years, unless the tenant refuses this renewal.

If a rental contract does not state its duration, it will run for one year.

  • For an example of a lease agreement: Click here (PDF in Spanish)
Extract adapted from an article by iAbogado Servicios Jurídicos SL (Madrid, Spain). Visit for more original content like this. Copyright © iAbogado Servicios Jurídicos SL (Madrid, Spain)