March 25, 2023

When we talk about the risks of renting, the most common thing is to put yourself in the landlord’s shoes and think about the economic inconveniences that your tenants can cause if they do not pay their rent for a month, or if the situation lasts for a long time. One of their ‘weapons’ of protection is to collect a deposit in advance in case this situation of non-payment occurs or if at the time of leaving the tenant has left the house in poor condition. But what if the landlord refuses to return the tenant’s security deposit even though the tenant has made all the payments and has not done any damage?

With rental prices more expensive than ever, families already allocate more than 30% of their income to pay for it in 17 Spanish cities. In Barcelona, ​​that figure shoots up to 58%, while in Madrid, Ceuta and San Sebastián it exceeds 40%, according to a recent study by Idealista on the effort rate for leases. Given this scenario, tenants are somewhat suspicious of owners who request more than a month’s deposit in advance. Thus, the rental contract for a home generates certain conflicts at the time of signing. The law obliges the owner to enter the deposit in a deposit authorized by each autonomous community, although this is not always fulfilled.

What to do if the landlord does not return the deposit?

At a legal level, the deposit is nothing more than a guarantee by which the tenant agrees to respond to the obligations of the contract, both economic and maintenance of the home. Upon completion of the contract, this amount must be returned. The courts do not consider reclaimable damage to the usual deterioration that arises when a person or family lives in a house (paint, wear or similar). Hence the importance of recording possible damages at the time of signing the lease to avoid possible claims.

The Urban Leasing Law indicates that the cash deposit must be returned within a month from the end of the contact. If this is not met, the tenant can request interest. The steps to claim that the deposit be returned are the following:

Request a refund in a friendly way. Send a burofax with the same objective, warning of possible legal actions. Tenants different models to fill out without the need for a lawyer or solicitor. Keep in mind that up to 6,000 euros, an amount that is rarely exceeded in a bond, the claim will be processed by verbal procedure.

How many months can a deposit be collected?

According to article 36.1 of the Urban Leasing Law (LAU), it is mandatory to provide a cash deposit of the same value as one month’s rent for the home. In the case of the lease of commercial premises or offices, it is two months.

In addition, an additional guarantee can be added to the lease, if both parties agree, so that the amounts are higher. Although in the case of homes, it can never exceed a figure equal to two monthly rents.

When is it not mandatory for the owner to return the deposit?

Mainly, there are three cases in which the tenant loses the right to have the deposit returned when the rental contract ends.

When there is a non-payment of the installments agreed in the rental contract. When there are damages to the furniture or electrical appliances that are not considered within their normal use. hire a company and return only the excess part.

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