We have said it on the radio; it is in my book 'You and the Law in Spain', and we have written about it many times over the years. Even so, many people seem convinced that, under Spanish law, a Spanish rental contract made for 11 months protects the landlord from an unwanted extension of the contract into a five-year vivienda contract. It is simply not true. If the tenant can justify to a court that the place has become his real home, the tenant will win his case and become entitled to yearly extensions of his contract up to 5 years*. This can happen even with a contract for 6 months. The 11 month contract demonstrates the landlord's desire to avoid a full residential contract but that is all.
There are two basic types of rental contracts in Spain. One headed por vivienda, which means short-term. The other is called vivienda, or residential, because long-term tenants have rights which short-term tenants do not.
The temporada contract might even be as long as one year. There is no specific time limit past which a contract becomes long-term. However, unless otherwise specified in your short-term rental contract, the landlord may put you out at the end of the stated period, or he may offer you a new contract increasing the rent as much as he likes. These short-term contracts are designed for holiday rentals, not as long-term or permantent residence.
The vivienda contract, on the other hand, is meant for those long-term lets when the tenant truly makes the property his home. The tenant is much more protected and Spanish law requires that a vivienda contract be renewable each year for a minimum period of five years, This gives the tenant some stability, as he knows that he has at least this period. He must be officially notified well in advance of the end of the period if the landlord does not intend to renew the contract.
You can consult David Searl through lawyers Ubeda-Retana and Associates
Fuengirola - Tel: 952 667 090