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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure ES-2020-14/605 Updated – measures in Spain

Extraordinary extension of the rental contracts for habitual residence

Prórroga extraordinaria de los contratos de alquiler de vivienda habitual

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 31 March 2020 – 28 February 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping or obtaining a safe home
Author Oscar Molina (UAB) and Eurofound
Measure added 14 April 2020 (updated 30 August 2022)

Background information

With the objective of guaranteeing the right to housing of groups whose rental contract expires during the state of alarm as a a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, Royal Decree Law 11/2020 establishes an extension of rental contracts.

The Royal Decree-Law provides for tenants in vulnerable situations, moratoriums on the payment of rent or waivers thereof, which will be mandatory or not, depending on the condition of the landlord of the home (small holder or company / large holder), and they establish a series of financial aids guaranteed by the State for those tenants in vulnerable situations who cannot agree to moratoriums with their natural person landlords and cannot face the payment of the rent for their homes.

According to the explanatory memorandum of the Royal Decree, regarding the situation of the rental market, three objectives are pursued:

  1. respond to the situation of vulnerability incurred by tenants of habitual residence as a result of circumstances arising due to the health crisis COVID-19, especially those who were already making a great effort to pay the rents, but also those who, without previously being in that situation, are now in it circumstantially;
  2. design balance measures that prevent vulnerability from being transferred to smallholders when solving the tenants' situation; and
  3. mobilize sufficient resources to achieve the objectives pursued and respond to situations of vulnerability.

Consequently, the key to having access to the measures approved by the Government is to be the lessee of a housing contract granted under the current Law of Urban Leases and to be in a vulnerable situation.

Content of measure

In the rental contracts of habitual residence in which, within the period from the entry into force of this royal decree-law until two months after the end of the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19, the mandatory or tacit extension of rental contracts may be applied, upon request of the tenant. This extraordinary extension of the term of the lease can last a maximum period of six months, during which the terms and conditions established for the contract in force apply. This request for extraordinary extension must be accepted by the landlord, unless other terms or conditions are set by agreement between the parties.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

27 October 2021

The measure has been extended multiple times, currently until 28 February 2022.

Use of measure

No data available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

Social partners were not involved in designing, implementing or monitoring the measure.

Views and reactions

Social partners were supportive of this measure.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Extraordinary extension of the rental contracts for habitual residence, measure ES-2020-14/605 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/ES-2020-14_605.html

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.