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Billing in Spain

Billing in Spain

Old Nov 4th 2014, 6:28 am
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Post Billing in Spain

Hello! This is the very first time that I´m renting a flat in Spain. I was asked by my real estate agent to provide her with my bank account number so that she could give it to the water and electricity companies, as they will charge my account directly with whatever amount I must pay. The only thing that worries me is that there is no document that would authorize the companies to do so, and I am afraid that they will keep charging me even after I move out. My agent assures that this is the normal way to do it in Spain, but I have my doubts. Should I? Thanks and cheers!

P.M.
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Old Nov 4th 2014, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Billing in Spain

Originally Posted by mazurpaulina11
Hello! This is the very first time that I´m renting a flat in Spain. I was asked by my real estate agent to provide her with my bank account number so that she could give it to the water and electricity companies, as they will charge my account directly with whatever amount I must pay. The only thing that worries me is that there is no document that would authorize the companies to do so, and I am afraid that they will keep charging me even after I move out. My agent assures that this is the normal way to do it in Spain, but I have my doubts. Should I? Thanks and cheers!

P.M.
This is the normal way to do it in Spain, yes.

That said, the last time I changed apartments, I noticed after about a month that I was still being charged for utilities for my old apartment. My bank's website has the option to reverse the charges for a direct debit, so all I had to do after I noticed this was to just select the offending direct debit transaction and mark it as Refused. The money was returned to my account within a few days or weeks, and I never got another charge like that. I am not sure if every bank will do this, but you could always ask your bank about their policy in such cases.
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Old Nov 4th 2014, 7:01 am
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Default Re: Billing in Spain

Companies can do this in Spain without a signature or any form of permission.

Utilities usually REQUIRE direct debit, but technically and legally, you have no obligation to give it to them.

Many people set up a separate account at their bank, specifically to pay such bills. You can usually set up a separate acoount in about 1 minute through your internet banking. Then, put only enough on that account to pay the bills, so they cannot "mistakenly" drain it and put the onus on you to get it back, which can take months.

For electric bills, I simply had my bank block direct debits to Endesa (perfectly legal, and there's nothing they can do about it). Best thing I ever did. Now I pay the bill ONLY after receiving the factura and verifying it's somewhat accurate. Endesa has a habit of draining bank accounts "by mistake". Can take months of fighting to get it back.

Anyway, back to the point: if you block direct debit for any supplier, be sure to tell the bank to apply it to all of your accounts including your spouse's accounts. If they can't get it from one account, they can and will find any account with the service address and take it from whichever one has enough money in it. It happened to us... No authorisation whatsoever.
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Old Nov 4th 2014, 8:03 am
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Default Re: Billing in Spain

Originally Posted by mazurpaulina11
Hello! This is the very first time that I´m renting a flat in Spain. Thanks and cheers!

P.M.
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.

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