July 21, 2017 at 1:37 pm #214271
New user here so apologies if this has already been covered!
I would appreciate any comments or advise from experienced people.
I am troubled by a recent experience so would welcome independent views on my particular problem to gauge wether I am over reacting.
I have let an apartment to a friend (Mr X) on the basis that he pays a regular monthly fee + bills and although he will not be living there permanently he has a ‘bolthole’ here in Spain that he can visit as often as and whenever he likes. With strictly no sub letting agreed and as part of our agreement and I am able to access the apartment at any time to carry out inspection/repairs etc.
To my disappointment when I went around there yesterday to inspect a reported problem with the oven, having knocked several times with no answer (even though from the noises within it was obvious someone was in there) I tried to enter the property but was unable to get in.
Alarm bells immediately started ringing as another owner in the same block has had problems with squatters resulting in him losing his flat.
I decided to contact Mr X in England who informed me that it was his cleaner, who happens to be the daughter of a mutual friend of ours who pays the rent to me on behalf of Mr X.
This morning I went through the same process of trying to enter the flat with the same results but this time as there was washing drying on the veranda inc bras and pants I therefore went to see ‘the cleaners’ mum to see if she could enlighten or reassure me but was amazed and a bit disappointed by her response as I mentioned previously I consider her a good friend.
The ‘cleaners’ Mum informed me that her daughter was spending some time there and not only was this nothing to do with me but I had no right to enter the property anyway.
I then asked for the money for the bills which had been submitted the week before to which she replied she was not paying them as Mr X (my tenant, remember him?) had a query over how much electric he could have used in the brief periods he had been there. Not wanting to argue with her I said “see you later” and returned home to collect my thoughts.
Once home I rang Mr X to get his take on things during which discussions he denied having any conversation about the bills.
I am now in a position of not knowing who is using my flat and when, how many keys may now exist and all sorts of crazy stuff running thru’ my head.
As I have said I am dealing with people I have always considered friends and have no wish to fall out with them although some of the replies and reactions I have received must now bring that into doubt.
Sorry this has been so long winded but I am using this as a reminder for myself as well
July 23, 2017 at 2:54 pm #214337
What a pickle. A salutory lesson to all.
It reminds me of a situation where a friend of mine bought a flat owned by his sister and brother-in-law after they got into financial difficulties so they could continue living there with their college-age son and daughter, in exchange for rent to cover the mortgage and bills. I believe the deal was properly formalised on paper.
The parents moved out, the son and daughter stayed but no more money was paid. My friend ended up having to sue his own sister and her family to get possession of his flat.
Seems clear that the cleaner has squatted your flat. The cleaner and the cleaner’s mum have put blood before friendship, knowing that your position will be now extremly difficult.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Chris Nation.
July 24, 2017 at 11:21 am #214373
Yolanda P. – Ypama AbogadosParticipant
Hi. I’m sorry to tell you this, but you do need a lawyer.
The longer you let this situation go, the worse for your rights.
The problem with verbal contracts is not having evidences of whatever has been agreed. But, don’t you have any email, or whatsapp message?.
On the other hand, this problem is for both of you, the “tenant” doesn’t have any document to probe his right to sub-let.
Under these circumstances, I’m sure a good lawyer will be able to help you.
July 24, 2017 at 12:10 pm #214374
Yolanda is absolutely right. You need good legal muscle on this. Friendships are out the window. My friend used lawyers recommended by me – their stationary included the line “Agents to The Privy Council” – and reported later, “expensive, but boy, did they get a result!”
The cleaner is not a sub tenant, it seems to me, but an out and out squatter. How that goes in Spanish law, I have no idea. But it is down to legal action, without delay.
July 30, 2017 at 1:18 pm #214536
Oh dear! As others have said you need a good lawyer as this is the ‘correct’ route to take.
There are a couple of more direct options I can think of though:
Have the utilities disconnected they may well move out when there is no water or electricity. Ensure that these cannot be reconnected without your authority though.
Another option would be to work out when the squatter is likely to be out of the property for a few hours, enter your property, change the locks and fit additional security locks top and bottom of the door, pack up the squatters personal possessions and put them outside.
Obviously you would need to check the legality of doing the above but there are a number of legal friends who frequent these pages who might comment on any legal downside of such actions.
August 7, 2017 at 11:18 am #214657
Yolanda P. – Ypama AbogadosParticipant
Exactly. It is not good to take any actions before the situation can be studied in depth by a lawyer.
Having the utilities being disconnected can be found as the minor criminal offence of coercion. Entering a rental property without tenant’s consent can be found as the criminal offence of infringement of property.
August 13, 2017 at 10:33 am #214834
Yolander is i am sure quite correct, however, there is no tenant involved here because there is no tenancy contract! The owner has allowed a friend to stay in his flat from time to time that is all.
Now we find that a cleaner who has keys to the property is illegally living there.
Out of interest what action has the author of this post taken?
November 11, 2017 at 3:45 pm #217883
Unfortunately you have to take the law into your own hands in Spain. Everybody totally ignores the law.
It is illegal to have the utilities cut off if someone is living there…..even living there illegally….but so what..!! Get them cut off a.s.a.p. Say no-one is living there and the apartment is up for sale.
The law is an ass…..ESPECIALLY in Spain. And nobody takes any notice of it anyway.
Also, personally I would gain entry and change the locks and dump her belongings outside. And I would take the consequences. It´s YOUR flat…!!!!
November 21, 2017 at 3:09 pm #218167
Has anyone heard back as to how this case is going? Friends or not you need everything in writing when doing any kind of business which involves an exchange of money. Lawyers are expensive so the cheap way round is the most expensive in the end. Contracts are easy to draw up youself, just a letter with a few lines and terms & conditions and a place at the bottom to sign. I have heard the Spanish Authotrities can get non payers evicted but of course if they are paying the rent and there is no contract, this is going to be difficult.
Lesson to us all here…
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