The consumer association Facua has carried out a sample among 114 agencies of eleven provincial capitals of Spain and, of them, the 41% they keep telling the futures tenants who will be charged an amount in concepts such as ‘fees’, ‘management expenses’ or ‘commission’. The new Spanish Housing Law, approved in May, introduced a modification to article 20 of the Urban Leasing Law of 1994, which indicates that “real estate management expenses and those for formalizing the contract will be borne by the landlord”. .
This new prohibition has also caused some agencies to resort to different “tricks or tricks to mask” They continue to charge these expenses to future tenants. In tracking him, Facua has detected real estate companies that mention the completion of a “feasibility and economic solvency study” of the tenant -which he imposes without his request and that he really does not need-; others use anglicisms to refer to these fees, such as fees -which translated literally means fee-; or they say that they are charged for services “provided to the tenant” but that they do not detail and whose payment they impose, among others.
Agencies usually they usually ask for a monthly of the rent of the house in question, but there are also those who charge a fixed fee, or 10% of an annual rent. Facua has announced that it foresees expand the complaints filed against real estate for this behavior, after a first battery that he already did against 31 of them last June. The entity has reminded users that they are forced to pay for this concept so as not to lose the opportunity to rent the apartment to request an independent invoice for the concept paid or that the payment be made by transfer indicating the concept.
Once the rental contract is signed and you are living in the apartment, you can go to the real estate agency to request reimbursement of said amount. If the agency refuses, they can go to the association to take action in defense of their rights and claim a refund on their behalf. In addition, they can file a complaint with the consumer authorities regional authorities requesting a fine against the company for violating the regulations. If the agency persists in its refusal, consumers can also resort to the courts. As it is a claim that, as a general rule, would not exceed 2,000 euros, they can do so without the need for a solicitor and lawyer.
The tracking has been carried out in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Palma de Mallorca, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela Toledo, Salamanca, Valladolid and Zaragoza. The analysis reveals that Madrid and Palma de Mallorca are the cities with the highest degree of non-compliance by real estate. In the Balearic city, five of the six companies analyzed ask tenants for some type of fee or commission. Seville occupies the third position, with 53% of agencies that violate the legislation. On the opposite side, there are Santiago de Compostela, Toledo, Valladolid and Zaragoza, where none of the analyzed attempts to charge said fees to the tenants.
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