Advice for a quick eviction of bad tenants please!

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This topic contains 21 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of logan logan 2 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #57426
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have tenants in arrears of 2 months rent and also utility bills which are still in my name. A Burofax to reclaim the arrears was sent last week. I understand that it is a 4 week wait now until the judicial petition can be presented (assuming no action is taken).

    What is not clear to me is:

    a) how long the process is from that point. I´ve read that tenants can be evicted in a maximum of 3 months under the new express eviction law, so why am I being told that it could take up to 9 months? This hardly fits the description of an express eviction. The apartment is in Gerona province.

    b) I am told that in most cases the tenants appeal. Do they have to give reasonable grounds or is it just to buy more free-living time? If they appeal and therefore the case has to go to court how much longer will the process take, and does this mean they have to assume all court/lawyer costs, mine and theirs?

    I have been told that if the tenants are self-employed (as in this case), not to even bother with the separate court case of recouping payments and costs because they will simply declare insolvency and get away with it. If this is true (seems very unfair) I would really appreciate any advice on how to get the quickest possible eviction.

  • #84025
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The courts are clogged up with eviction cases. 9 months is about right I’m afraid could be longer. They almost always appeal and free living is the point.

    One thing you can do is terminate your contract immediately with the utilities if they are in your name. It will mean re connection charges later but they should remove the meters. The tenants are then faced with living there without services and may leave voluntarily. Your lawyer might argue against it but in my experience is saves money and solves the problem.

  • #84171
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The courts are clogged up with eviction cases. 9 months is about right I’m afraid could be longer. They almost always appeal and free living is the point.

    One thing you can do is terminate your contract immediately with the utilities if they are in your name. It will mean re connection charges later but they should remove the meters. The tenants are then faced with living there without services and may leave voluntarily. Your lawyer might argue against it but in my experience is saves money and solves the problem.

  • #84024
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @janem. Sorry to hear your position. This precisely why Spain not a good Country to buy to let, besides the yields.

    What is express is subjective as you are no doubt finding out. The Law in Spain is for someone to bind the act & place it a legal library & nothing more.

    Logan is correct in disconnecting the utilities. Yes the lawyer will advise you to not to it , as it is in his interest to string you along for a higher legal fee. This is not a fair Country & might is right.

    Even this issues goes to Court you could always use the defence that you did not have the funds to meet the utility bill & you paid up to a certain point & later you could not. Be prepared for the tenant thrashing up the place before they are thrown out. In short welcome to Spain, yes the sun only shines in Spain !!!!!

  • #84169
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @janem. Sorry to hear your position. This precisely why Spain not a good Country to buy to let, besides the yields.

    What is express is subjective as you are no doubt finding out. The Law in Spain is for someone to bind the act & place it a legal library & nothing more.

    Logan is correct in disconnecting the utilities. Yes the lawyer will advise you to not to it , as it is in his interest to string you along for a higher legal fee. This is not a fair Country & might is right.

    Even this issues goes to Court you could always use the defence that you did not have the funds to meet the utility bill & you paid up to a certain point & later you could not. Be prepared for the tenant thrashing up the place before they are thrown out. In short welcome to Spain, yes the sun only shines in Spain !!!!!

  • #84019
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The reason the lawyer may advise you not to cut off the utilities is because there is a law in Spain against tenant harassment and this could be argued in court as an example. However it would be for the tenant to counter sue you and you would have to decide yourself how likely that is.

    If you don’t disconnect them yourself by the time the tenant is evicted you will owe the utilities for the consumption the tenant used. Some companies let this run into considerable sums before acting some not.

    Because of the ongoing poor economic situation courts are getting increasingly reluctant to evict tenants in genuine financial hardship.

  • #84015
    Profile photo of The Australian
    The Australian
    Participant
  • #83884
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks for your replies.

    OK, I am now very tempted to cut off utility with immediate effect (despite clear advice from the lawyer not to do so).
    Logan Can you tell me what to expect next? If the meter is not removed, can they simply get supplied by a different company?

    Moreover, in terms legal stance, the tenants would almost certainly report me to the police. Can the police order me to reconnect the utilities or are we talking money and time in the tenants taking me to court (separate court order to the eviction or same?).

    If it went to court how much trouble am I in?

  • #83885
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    It is better that you don’t cut off the electricity etc. Just don’t pay the bills for gas, electricity & water & if this is used against you you can have the defence that you did not have the money & supplier disconnected you. clear your Bank account of funds besides paying the mortgage.

    If they report you to the police. You can blame the utility provider and if the Police requires you to reconnect or pay. You tell them you don’t have the money to do.

    If they approach another company they will need the rental contract to show. If the contract has expired than I do not think they will & even if they do at least you will not be responsible for the usage. This will help in financial damage limitations.

  • #83876
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    This very much depends on the type of tenant you have. In my experience if they are genuine people in difficulties they will accept the disconnection and move out.

    If they are people with a militant attitude determined to extract what they can from you get your actions have to be different.

    I agree with Shakeel in so far as not paying the bills will have the same effect as terminating the contract. ie: the utility companies will remove the meters. That also indemnifies you against action allegations that you are harassing the tenant but when you come to reconnect them the utility companies may demand a hefty deposit.

    If it come to them counter suing you for harassment the court will investigate your resources and ask why you failed to pay the bills. Be prepared to prove hardship yourself. The police will not intervene it’s a civil matter.

    Remember we are writing here about theoretical possibilities. Firstly the tenants would have to pay a lawyer up front a considerable sum to counter sue you. Ask yourself if that’s likely. Then consider any court fines for harassment and the likelihood of having your property embargoed by the courts against the inconvenience of having tenants not paying the rent etc pending the eviction in about 9 months time.

    It’s your call of course but I would base my decision on the kind of tenant you are dealing with. If you don’t know them then it’s more difficult. A good reason to know who you let a property to.

    Either way some risk is involved and it may be cheaper to stay meticulously on the right side of the law even though that galls. Good luck with it.

  • #83865
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Shakeel/Logan thanks once again!

    These tenants are definitely not genuine people in difficulties. They have been difficult and aggressive since they moved in. We are now on month 5 of a 5 year contract and they stopped paying on month 3.

    I believe I have been targeted and that they have looked for any excuse to stop paying me asap. I assume they will try and freeload for as long as possible and will put up a good defense in court: he has had 3 heart attacks apparently. Also, there are problems with the communal area due to lack of funds -dirty, poor light, entrance door that doesn´t require a key. It´s out of my control but I am concerned as to what extent they can use this. The only saving grace is the lift works!

    They are a Romanian couple who have intimidated me often with a menacing double-act. I am sure they are pros. I see that there is a web called FIM (fichero de inquilinos morosos). Out of curiosity I´d love to register and see if they are on this list. If there is a better web/list please advise. And if I find something can this be used against them?

    I assume there is no protection against them trashing my apartment and stealing everything movable.

  • #83852
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I can’t believe that people dare to do stuff like this to others? I’m not normal just so we get this out of the way but certain people can’t be handled in a civilized matter and these seem to be in that category. I have no moral qualms in using none legal means to deal with people like this. If the law and judiciary system can’t defend you against crap like this it’s up to normal people to take it into their own hands to get rid of the wermin. Wreck their car, call their work place and cause havoc “doubt they have one”, print up photos of them and plaster it all around the neighbourhood with some snide remarks, anonymously tip of the police that you overheard this man/woman talk to someone about how to make bombs, tell your neighbours about what they are doing. Just make sure you don’t get caught. These kind of people rely on you to go the normal route of dealing with things. I would even go further but I would rather rot in jail than having people like this taking advantage of me.

    *just a fantasy

  • #83827
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    As they are not Spaniards. The judge may look at your application kindly. As Romanians I do not expect them to go to the Courts as they may have been involved in other unsavoury activities.

    I am a law abiding citizens only in so far as the law protects me/citizen in a fair & timely manner. As this does not happen in Spain as many of the forum users have found out to their cost. I am in Ardun’s camp on this one.

  • #83823
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I don’t think the nationality will sway the courts or the five year contract issue. They will evict solely on the basis of breach of contract in failing to pay the rent.

    They may argue ill health and hardship that is why in this instance it’s very important to stay on the right side of the law. Retain the moral high ground otherwise the court will not support the landlord.

    Gut reactions are one thing, sensible actions are another. There is an old saying “if you find yourself in a hole stop digging.”

    You will get judgement in your favour eventually. However you will most likely have a trashed apartment left and a great deal of expense. C’est la vie I’m afraid.

  • #83811
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan, I did not mean that there are two laws in the Country i.e. one for the Spaniard & the other for the rest. We all know that that Spanish legal system is bias.

    I have very close Romanian friends not only them but their families to and I am not generalising in England/UK there are 80k Romanians out of them 30k has police record i.e. more than one third !!! No, I have not joined the UKIP

  • #83813
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Yes they are a social minority in other countries and subject to discrimination. So life chances get reduced. I’m not excusing the behaviour of these tenants just explaining the mechanics of why it happens.

    The Spanish courts do discriminate I agree but that’s not something you can count on and advise this poster to take certain actions on that expected basis.

    Incidentally you will not get any sympathy from the courts with the utility costs you are incurring. They will simply take the view that a five year let allowing the utilities in another name is foolhardy and your fault entirely.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing but never ever do it.

  • #83166
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan – are you a lawyer? You seem very well informed, therefore a good contact in case I have any future doubts about dos and don´ts with this case….please tell me if/how I can get in touch directly. My email is

    Does anyone know if paying for a good lawyer is likely to get a quicker eviction?

    Ta!

  • #83167
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Janem – You can always send me a private message through this web site.

    Yes I would advise getting a good lawyer local to your property especially if you live in UK. The difficulty is finding such an animal with emphasis on the ‘good’. There are many who are useless and simply interested in extracting money from you.

    Best thing is to do some research among local people you trust and on the web. Don’t take any agents recommendation.

  • #83136
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    A friend rented to a british couple who stopped paying after only a few months. They had changed the locks and rented it out to someone else! They hired a lawyer for about €2000 but it still took at least a year. Another friend rented to a Spanish family. After they hadn’t paid for some months he had the utilities cut off. The family denounced him and he was ordered to re-instate them. Not only were they living rent free but my friend had to pay their utility bills too 🙁 Went on for about 2 years…never rent to Spanish families! Some find a couple of heavies does the trick 8)

    We had 2 apartment we rented out. One the same couple for 5 years and no problems. The other one we took the law into our own hands, had the locks changed when they were out. Called in their office with a burly guy, told them their stuff would be outside for collection at 5pm and threatened them with revealing they were working on the black…sorted! We sold after that, too much hassle. They did us a favour really as it was 2003 and top of the market.

  • #83130
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I love it katy, everyone needs a burly bloke or three to go round and sort things like Ardun mentioned too, you can’t beat it, much quicker than the 5 year wait for the Spanish legal system to get into gear only to find the person you’re after either skips the country or goes bust. Job done, sorted, ‘simples’ 😆

  • #118970
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Janem – You can always send me a private message through this web site.

    Yes I would advise getting a good lawyer local to your property especially if you live in UK. The difficulty is finding such an animal with emphasis on the ‘good’. There are many who are useless and simply interested in extracting money from you.

    Best thing is to do some research among local people you trust and on the web. Don’t take any agents recommendation.

    Hi, I’m new to this site. Just wondering if you sorted out your non paying tenants. I’ve had a tenant in my apartment since last April who only paid a couple of months. No one is paying electricity but the bills are ongoing and not yet been cut off. I’m paying water bills as I’ve been told I have to and will no doubt have a huge electricity to pay if the tenant ever leaves, she is Russian. I’ve now put it in the hands of a Lawyer (6 weeks ago) but nothing has moved on, not even the power of attorney has been sent out to us for him to act on our behalf. Just wondering were you are up to with yours? Any help would be appreciated.

  • #118971
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    If the electricity is in your name write a registered letter to the electricity company claiming hardship, can’t pay etc and request the meter removed. Be prepared to support hardship claim with empty Spanish banks accounts.

    The tenants will leave if there is no longer a free ride.

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