Laws on the “Gran Tenedor (large property holder)”
In Spain, the term Gran tenedor (“large holder) is commonly used to refer to a natural or legal person who owns a large number of real estate properties, especially in the field of rental. Being a “Gran Tenedor” has advantages and disadvantages.
Regarding the legislation applicable to “large holders” in Spain, there are several laws that regulate their activity, including:
Law of Urban Leases (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos, LAU):
This law regulates the lease contracts for homes in Spain. In its March 2019 reform, it protects tenants and limits the power of large holders. For example, a minimum term of five years was established for rental contracts (seven years if the landlord is a company), and the guarantees that landlords can demand from tenants were limited.
State Housing Plan
The State Housing Plan is a set of measures and financial aid aimed at promoting access to housing in Spain. In the latest edition of the plan, measures were included to incentivize the construction of social housing and limit the power of large holders.
Law on urgent measures in the field of housing and rent
This law included measures to strengthen the protection of tenants and limit the power of large holders. For example, it was established that large holders must offer affordable housing to municipalities to allocate them to social housing programs.
Law on urgent measures to protect consumers in the field of floor clauses
This law, approved in 2017, forced large holders to eliminate clauses from rental contracts that contained important restrictions, thus guaranteeing greater transparency in relations between landlord and tenant.
Civil Procedure Law
This law regulates civil judicial procedures in Spain. In the event that there are conflicts between the “large holders” and their tenants, the procedures established in this law will be followed to resolve them.
Horizontal Property Law
This law establishes the rules that regulate the ownership and use of common areas in residential buildings and commercial premises under the horizontal property regime. “Grandes Tenedores (large holders)” are also subject to the provisions of this law if they own homes or premises in buildings of horizontal property.
It is important to note that the regulation of “Grandes Tenedores” in Spain is still the subject of debate and that the laws that regulate it may vary depending on the autonomous community in which the rented property is located.
Regulations relating to Covid-19
As of March 2021, Spanish legislation includes a series of specific measures to protect tenants of large holders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of these measures:
Moratorium on the payment of rents
Tenants living in homes owned by large holders can request a temporary moratorium on the payment of rent, as long as they are in a situation of economic vulnerability due to the pandemic. This moratorium can last up to four months and must be agreed upon between the landlord and the tenant.
Automatic extension of rental contracts
Rental contracts that expire during the state of alarm or their extensions will be automatically extended if the tenant so requests. This extension will have a minimum duration of six months and will also apply to housing contracts owned by large holders.
Suspension of evictions
During the pandemic, evictions of vulnerable tenants, including those living in homes owned by large holders, have been suspended. This measure has been extended several times and is currently in force until May 9, 2023.
It is important to note that these measures have been adopted in response to the economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and that their application is limited to a certain period of time. In addition, the measures may vary depending on the autonomous community in which the rented home is located, so it is advisable to consult the specific legislation of each region.
If you are a property owner or a Gran Tenedor
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