FAQ Before Signing a Rent Lease

A discount on the rent, fewer warranty months, guarantees, penalties for ending the contract before time… There are so many subjects on which a tenant can and should negotiate. But it’s very important that this negotiation within the parties – the tenant and the owner – works in the prevailing legislative framework.

Anyway, the best option on these circumstances is recurring to a law professional to write, or at least review the contract, but it never hurts that the parties involved inform themselves. Below, you will find some of the most common doubts before signing a lease.

Can the Owner Get Access to the Property?

Never, without the express permission of the tenant. The inviolability of the residence is a right, although some owners insist on including clauses in the contract that allow them full access to check the status of the place or in case of repairs.

In any case, the tenant shouldn’t accept these claims or endure clauses in the contract that violate this right. In fact, the only way the owner can access, including in situations of non-payment, is through the court.

How Many Monthly Payments Can be Requested as Bail?

A question that raises many doubts. In many places, the law stipulates a bond equivalent to the payment of a month, whether the property is furnished or not, and two in the case that the building is not used as a residence. The deposit of this amount must be agreed by both parties and establish what would happen to it, in case of termination of the contract.

How Long Can the Rental Agreement Last?

The duration of the lease can be freely agreed between the landlord and the tenant. It’s usually estimated for one year, for those who don’t specify its temporary validity, this will be the mandatory period until the lease reaches a minimum duration of three years, always if neither party claims otherwise.

Isn’t it Possible to Agree on a Rent Reduction in Exchange for the Tenant’s Assumption of Works in the Dwelling?

Yes, always if the deal is made through a mutual understanding, leaving it on paper and agreeing to not affecting the structural elements of the property. On this scenario, the tenant can assume some obligations that can be compensated with some extent of the rent payment.

Both parties can agree on a discount or commutation during a number of months according to the value of the investment. Keep in mind that if the tenant doesn’t fulfill the stipulations of the agreement, the owner could demand the end of the contract and the eviction of the dwelling in its original state without compensation.

What are the Obligations of the Tenant?

The small works derived from deterioration due to the normal use of the property. In the event that the works are to adapt the home to a disabled person or person with special needs, the tenant can make this remodeling works, although if by the end of the contract the owner demands to return the place to its original state, is obliged to do so.

Is the Revision of The Rent Always Made According to the Annual Consumer Price Index?

It’s very common to use this index as an objective reference, although in any case, the price of the rent can only be updated annually. Since in this index the costs of basic household expenses are valued, it’s usually an objective reference.

But the truth is that the owner can establish any other official reference, a percentage on the amount of rent, fixed amount or other formulae, provided that the parties agree on this by contract.