What does it consist of?
According to data from the INE, around 17% of Spanish families rent . This figure is below the European average (33%), since traditionally in Spain they tend to opt for the acquisition of a home that they own.
Despite this, due to the economic crisis, the difficulty of access to housing or social changes, many citizens, especially the youngest, adopt rent as a way of life.
Being a tenant has some advantages. For example, it involves less paperwork and paperwork, and it is not necessary to have initial savings.
Rentals also give us greater flexibility, since, if necessary, we can look for a home in another place, with other characteristics or that better fits our budget.
From an economic point of view, by paying rent we can afford to live in apartments in central areas that we might not be able to buy and we have greater control of our economy by not assuming spills or taxes (IBI, insurance, municipal taxes, etc.).
What happens if my tenant decides to sell the apartment that I have rented?
Of course, renting has drawbacks, too . To begin with, we must negotiate with the owner questions such as who assumes the breakdowns or consult him every time we want to paint or make any reform.
In addition, the lease has a specific duration and, when it ends, we will have to sign extensions, with their corresponding price or condition revisions.
Renters are also concerned that the landlord may decide to stop renting the home or want to sell it to a third party.
In this second case, it is usual for the owner to offer his tenant the possibility of buying the property . This is what is known as a “right of first refusal”.
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This basically means that if the owner of the house you have rented wants to sell it while your rental contract is still in force, you, as a tenant, have the right to buy it , if you wish, for its current sale price.
This can be beneficial for both parties, especially if you have been living in the same house for a long time: the current owner sells the property without losing money and you have the opportunity to own your home.
In what cases can I claim this right?
To make this right effective, the tenants have 30 calendar days , from the reliable communication of the intention to sell, to declare their interest in buying the home according to the conditions stipulated by the owner. The latter must communicate them to you in a written document that also includes the sale price .
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If there is no response in these 30 days, the owner can sell the house to a third party without problem.
In leasing contracts after June 6, 2013 , the tenants' preferential acquisition right is operative in nature . This means that you can exclude yourself from the rental agreement if both parties (tenant and landlord) decide to do so.
In contracts signed before this date, the waiver of the acquisition right will be effective immediately and without carrying out specific procedures when the duration of the rental contract exceeds five years .
Related concepts: right of first refusal and right of withdrawal
The right of first refusal of a tenant is closely related to two other concepts: the right of first refusal and the right of withdrawal.
The right of first refusal is the power that a tenant has to acquire the property that he has rented before another buyer does, with the same conditions and at the same price. To do this, the landlord only has to inform his tenant well in advance of the intention to sell it to reach an agreement.
The right of withdrawal , on the other hand, is exercised when the sale of the home has already been carried out , and allows the tenant to acquire it with the same conditions and price at which it has been sold to a third party. This right is included in the Civil Code and is also known as the « right of subrogation» .
When a person has the right of first refusal, he automatically has the right of withdrawal. However, it is only necessary to resort to the second when:
The reliable notification of the intention to sell (related to the right of first refusal) has not been made to the tenant on the dates stipulated by law.
The price at which the property has been sold to a third party is lower than that which had been offered to the tenant.
The owner omits information or any legal requirement about the sale to his tenant.
The buyer is a different person from the one communicated to the tenant.
In the same way, the tenant will not be able to avail himself of this legal figure as part of his preferential acquisition right in these two cases:
The rented house is sold together with the rest of the properties of the same property (for example if a complete block of flats is sold).
An individual sells all his properties to the same buyer, including the apartment he has rented.
What happens when I exercise my right of withdrawal? What does the law say about it?
When a tenant exercises his right of withdrawal, he becomes the buyer and the sale of the property remains in the same conditions.
The right of first refusal, the right of first refusal and the right of withdrawal are included in the Law of Urban Leases (LAU) as legal rights of the tenants and can be applied in the private sphere or in the public sphere, that is, by part of the administrations.
For any questions in this regard, you can consult article 25 of the LAU. Likewise, the right of withdrawal is also reflected in article 1518 of the Civil Code.
Finally, both the trial and the retraction of the tenant will be favored over any other similar right , with the exception of the withdrawal recognized to the co-owner of the house or a possible conventional withdrawal registered in the Property Registry when the rental contract is signed.
Is a preferential acquisition the same as a rent-to-own? What is the difference between them?
Right of first refusal and rent with right to purchase are two concepts that, although they can be confused, differ greatly from each other.
While in the first case (preferential acquisition) the right applies only when the tenant decides to sell the apartment he has rented , the second (rent with option to buy) is a contractual modality composed of two subcontracts: one for rent and one for purchase.
This means that when we rent an apartment with an option to buy the supposed sale is already contemplated at the time of signing the rent. After the time of the lease, the tenant has the right to acquire the house by deducting part of the rent paid during that time from the final price.