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-   -   Tenants did a runner! (http://britishexpats.com/forum/spain-75/tenants-did-runner-891472/)

Christiensen Feb 12th 2017 11:46 am

Tenants did a runner!
 
Help I need advice desperately.I rented my house in Bobadilla,Jaen,to a Spanish family July 2015 .A contract was drawn up by a local lawyer , tenants to pay double rent each month for 5 years and at the end of this term they were to pay the outstanding balance to me .
June 2016 I went to a branch of my Spanish bank to withdraw some euros to discover no rent had been paid into my account for several months .So I contacted the lawyer when I returned to UK and was told he was on holiday and that yes the tenants had left a few weeks before .Nobody had contacted me !
I eventually ,not being able to go sooner,went to my house in Bobadilla , to find many items missing including a double bed ,plunge pool and expensive pump,kettle , toaster ,Sun lounges , a LCD TV, bedding and much more .The brick outbuilding in the garden had one wall knocked out and bricks just left there.
Finally , the water bill and electric had not been paid .
The lawyer managed to contact the tenants in question .They offered me 800€ , 400€ into my bank and the other 400 end of February, which is an insult in itself , the lawyer advised me to take it,they still haven't paid 2 weeks down the road .
Could someone out there please ,please advise me as to where I stand with this fiasco .Should I go to police as it is theft and criminal damage, well in UK it would be anyway .

Rosemary Feb 12th 2017 11:52 am

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Hi and a warm welcome to the Spanish forum on BE. Myself and Fred James are the moderators for the Spanish forums whilst BEVS moderates Europe. Moderators are there to ensure that the site runs smoothly within the rules of BE. This is so that members gain the information that they are looking for and find their experiences on the forums to be friendly and worthwhile.

Problems and complaints should always be addressed to a moderator who will look into the matter and deal with it efficiently and fairly. Our members who post in the Spain Forums are usually friendly and helpful with a wealth of knowledge about the issues of living in Spain. I hope that you enjoy your time participating in the forums.

Please let me know if you need any further help.

Rosemary

Rotor Feb 12th 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christiensen (Post 12177660)
Help I need advice desperately.I rented my house in Bobadilla,Jaen,to a Spanish family July 2015 .A contract was drawn up by a local lawyer , tenants to pay double rent each month for 5 years and at the end of this term they were to pay the outstanding balance to me .
June 2016 I went to a branch of my Spanish bank to withdraw some euros to discover no rent had been paid into my account for several months .So I contacted the lawyer when I returned to UK and was told he was on holiday and that yes the tenants had left a few weeks before .Nobody had contacted me !
I eventually ,not being able to go sooner,went to my house in Bobadilla , to find many items missing including a double bed ,plunge pool and expensive pump,kettle , toaster ,Sun lounges , a LCD TV, bedding and much more .The brick outbuilding in the garden had one wall knocked out and bricks just left there.
Finally , the water bill and electric had not been paid .
The lawyer managed to contact the tenants in question .They offered me 800€ , 400€ into my bank and the other 400 end of February, which is an insult in itself , the lawyer advised me to take it,they still haven't paid 2 weeks down the road .
Could someone out there please ,please advise me as to where I stand with this fiasco .Should I go to police as it is theft and criminal damage, well in UK it would be anyway .

In some ways youre lucky, they have left! no rent payments and squatting tenants would be a bigger nightmare , personally I`d give them an ultimatum , pay up or get reported to the GC for theft/criminal damage and carry out the threat if they dont cough up, the courts may award you the money for missing items/ damage , as for the rent , write it off and move on.
Not noticing the lack of payments is sloppy on your part .
Bizarrely foreign tenants can be a better bet in some cases as they dont tend to squatt and usually pay the rent.
Good Luck.

PS Please explain you rent payment plan in more detail, it does sound odd.

Christiensen Feb 12th 2017 1:37 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Hi again ,sorry I went racing on a bit earlier , as I'm still upset about it .I have Parkinson's Disease and I don't cope well with stress .
Ok what I omitted to say was that the tenants signed the contract which was for them to pay 600€ a month double the average rent , to purchase the property and after 5years tenancy what they had paid up to that point would be deducted from the asking price and the amount remaining they paid me to complete the sale .This arrangement the lawyer said to me was normal in Spain.I had my reservations at the time and I took his word for it.
Regarding me being lax over the rent , on many occasions I sent emails to the lawyer for him not to reply .Phone calls the same .
Thank you for your reply and I hope I have explained myself better this time .

Rotor Feb 12th 2017 2:03 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Thanks , that sounds a bit more logical , as they have run off are you up to date in rent only terms?

snikpoh Feb 12th 2017 2:21 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Unfortunately this is quite common.

I am a landlord and have had this happen twice now - absolutely nothing you can do.

The last time, we went to the police and said that they'd done a runner but we were told that we couldn't even gain access until they had been gone for 3 months. Then it would have to go before a judge and MAYBE then we could go in and see what the place was like. I mentioned that they may have left all the lights on and the water running but all the police said was "bill them". Ha, useless.

Suffice to say, I broke the law and went in to find that the place had been stripped apart from the fridge/freezer which was full but turned off! YUK!

6 weeks later, I've now replasetered and painted the place costing around 1300€ plus electric and water bills.

Rosemary Feb 12th 2017 2:23 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christiensen (Post 12177761)
Hi again ,sorry I went racing on a bit earlier , as I'm still upset about it .I have Parkinson's Disease and I don't cope well with stress .
Ok what I omitted to say was that the tenants signed the contract which was for them to pay 600€ a month double the average rent , to purchase the property and after 5years tenancy what they had paid up to that point would be deducted from the asking price and the amount remaining they paid me to complete the sale .This arrangement the lawyer said to me was normal in Spain.I had my reservations at the time and I took his word for it.
Regarding me being lax over the rent , on many occasions I sent emails to the lawyer for him not to reply .Phone calls the same .
Thank you for your reply and I hope I have explained myself better this time .

Quite a few of my friends (Spanish) have done this when they wanted to move to another house and could not sell their old property outright. So it does seem to be an accepted method here.

A very stressful thing to have happened to you but on the bright side they could have done a lot more damage before leaving. I would have thought that it would be a good idea to report the event to the police so that there is an official record with a list of the stolen items and the damage that has occurred.

Rosemary

Pulaski Feb 12th 2017 2:44 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rotor (Post 12177736)
.... as for the rent , write it off and move on. ....

:goodpost:
Quote:

Originally Posted by snikpoh (Post 12177803)
Unfortunately this is quite common.

I am a landlord and have had this happen twice now - absolutely nothing you can do. ....

:goodpost:

Christiensen's rent deal is known in the US as "rent to own". It is a minefield, and often turns into the situation the Christiensen has now found himself in. On the plus side he has regained ownership of the property, subject to the provisions of Spanish law, but has a trashed property and loss of furniture and fittings.

Such are the risks of being a landlord, so the best advice is to write it off to experience because the prospects of the ex-tenants paying any more are slim, and indeed likely have few if any resources to pay court-levied restitution.

snikpoh Feb 12th 2017 3:20 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 12177820)
:goodpost:

:goodpost:

Christiensen's rent deal is known in the US as "rent to own". It is a minefield, and often turns into the situation the Christiensen has now found himself in. On the plus side he has regained ownership of the property, subject to the provisions of Spanish law, but has a trashed property and loss of furniture and fittings.

Such are the risks of being a landlord, so the best advice is to write it off to experience because the prospects of the ex-tenants paying any more are slim, and indeed likely have few if any resources to pay court-levied restitution.

I agree - it's also called rent-to-buy in Spain.

I wonder who was managing the property? If it was the lawyer, then maybe there's some comeback against him. Why weren't the rental payments being checked - very easy to do online?

Christiensen Feb 14th 2017 1:05 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Thank you for offering your help.
First of all I would like to confirm the annual fee for advice is 98€ a year not as your website states double that price.
I am in England at the moment .Could somebody email me regarding my problem as I have had mixed opinions on Wethers I should just put it down to experience because nothing will be forthcoming from the tenants .I am well out of pocket .

avocados Feb 14th 2017 3:56 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christiensen (Post 12177660)
Help I need advice desperately.I rented my house in Bobadilla,Jaen,to a Spanish family July 2015 .A contract was drawn up by a local lawyer , tenants to pay double rent each month for 5 years and at the end of this term they were to pay the outstanding balance to me .
June 2016 I went to a branch of my Spanish bank to withdraw some euros to discover no rent had been paid into my account for several months .So I contacted the lawyer when I returned to UK and was told he was on holiday and that yes the tenants had left a few weeks before .Nobody had contacted me !
I eventually ,not being able to go sooner,went to my house in Bobadilla , to find many items missing including a double bed ,plunge pool and expensive pump,kettle , toaster ,Sun lounges , a LCD TV, bedding and much more .The brick outbuilding in the garden had one wall knocked out and bricks just left there.
Finally , the water bill and electric had not been paid .
The lawyer managed to contact the tenants in question .They offered me 800€ , 400€ into my bank and the other 400 end of February, which is an insult in itself , the lawyer advised me to take it,they still haven't paid 2 weeks down the road .
Could someone out there please ,please advise me as to where I stand with this fiasco .Should I go to police as it is theft and criminal damage, well in UK it would be anyway .

Do you have proof (real proof) that they stole the items ? damaged your property?

If you didn't have a proper, detailed inventory written up when they moved in, signed by both parties, it really is your word against their word. They will deny everything. They could have taken the kitchen , bathroom and everything else and you wouldn't get a conviction in court.

As a former tenant, I always ensured that I knew more about the law than the landlords I was dealing with. Landlords are so caught up in ego, arrogance and condescension towards tenants that the latter like to teach them a lesson every now and again.

Be happy u got your house back!

P.S. This is Spain.........nobody respects anybody nor their property!

Pulaski Feb 14th 2017 4:01 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christiensen (Post 12179463)
Thank you for offering your help.
First of all I would like to confirm the annual fee for advice is 98€ a year not as your website states double that price.
I am in England at the moment .Could somebody email me regarding my problem as I have had mixed opinions on Wethers I should just put it down to experience because nothing will be forthcoming from the tenants .I am well out of pocket .

Honestly, retaining a lawyer is unlikely to get you any restitution, and will necessarily leave you even further out of pocket. Court fees will immediately start to add to the cost over and above the €98.

In any case, any lawyer worth their salt isn't going to do anything useful for €98 anyway, other than entice you with additional services for which you will have to pay extra.

Christiensen Feb 14th 2017 6:15 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
If you read additional info about contract the 'tenants ' were renting to buy in 5 years time .So no inventory was made as all in it was included in sale . Having breached the contract all those items they had no right to .

Pulaski Feb 14th 2017 6:21 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Christiensen (Post 12179824)
If you read additional info about contract the 'tenants ' were renting to buy in 5 years time .So no inventory was made as all in it was included in sale . Having breached the contract all those items they had no right to .

That makes no sense, why wouldn't you inventory and specify what you're selling? :confused:

In short, you have no evidence to prove what you sold, and on what terms you sold the items, as such there is no chance of you alleging that the things were "stolen". Sorry. :(

philat98 Feb 14th 2017 6:51 pm

Re: Tenants did a runner!
 
We had the same situation in Italy. The tenant, an ex policeman stopped paying the rent. We went to court to get him evicted. He offered to leave straight away if we paid him several thousand euros. We didnt do that so he stole most of the items in the flat. He even replaced items like beds and the tv with old things taken from the local rubbish dump and filled the garage with enormous broken tvs. Our lawyer gave the same advice as Rotor. Pay up and move on. The scoundrel is renting another flat now only a few km away. Live and learn!


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