CONTRACTS ARRIVE WITH "COVID CLAUSE" IN CASE THERE IS ANOTHER CONFINEMENT
These annexes contemplate advance resolutions of the lease, a reduction of the rents or establish exceptions in the payment of the same.
The possibility of another state of alarm or confinement being decreed in Spain has brought with it the incorporation of new annexes to the rent. Although it is not yet a frequent trend, some owners are beginning to include "covid clauses" in housing contracts -especially for students or commercial premises- as a way to protect themselves against advance rental resolutions, to reduce rents or with the aim of establish exceptions in the payment of the same. “The exceptional situation that the coronavirus has generated has made new conditions appear in some rental contracts that aim to regulate and protect against a hypothetical new confinement or state of alarm. There are different types of clauses that, depending on the case, seek to protect the tenant or the owner ”, interprets the director of the service for studios de piso.com, Ferrán Font.
Thus, these new clauses specify the conditions to apply in the event that circumstances change in the coming months due to the coronavirus pandemic. From Legálitas they point out that these annexes can be beneficial for both parties since if a new confinement is decreed, the tenant - for example, a student who is left without face-to-face classes - could leave the apartment without penalty. In the case of landlords, the house would be available to rent to someone else as soon as possible.
However, the legality can be questioned in the event that they harm the tenant. «The 'covid clauses' are perfectly applicable with the Urban Leasing Law for the rental of housing as long as they benefit the tenants. But if this clause benefits the landlord, then it could be thought that it may be a null clause that violates article 6 of the LAU ", specifies, for his part, José Ramón Zurdo, general director of the Rental Negotiating Agency.
- Students and locals
Along these lines, students are the tenants who are asking the most for the incorporation of these annexes. «You can find references to the possibility of leaving the apartment if there is a new confinement in case of students or that the owner can enter the house, that a lowering of the monthly rent is agreed in advance or, even, a moratorium on payment », Specified Font.
Most of the "covid clauses" are included in contracts for seasonal leases or those for students, but also in those of commercial premises. "They are used in case the student is limited to the school season and cannot use the house and has to go to her place of origin", Zurdo points out. "Normally in housing lease contracts this 'Covid clause' is not used because 95% of the owners are not willing to include them. They are being applied in the leases of business premises, that is, in those for use other than housing. If the circulation of people is restricted again, businesses could not be opened and therefore, this clause makes sense in this context and not in the rental of housing, where if this limitation occurs, you can continue to use the home ", adds Zurdo.
- Lease for months
It is also derived from the pandemic that many owners now prefer to rent their home for months instead of years due to the increase in delinquencies. This option is legal and it will not be considered as tourist despite having a short duration. Thus, the duration of the lease can be agreed between the parties, although the reason for said temporality must be indicated in a clause.