What Is a Rent-To-Buy Contract in Spain

In the world of real estate, the decision to rent or buy is an eternal dilemma. But what if there was a middle ground that offered the best of both worlds?

Renting with an option to buy is a unique arrangement that allows tenants to lease a property with the potential to purchase it in the future.

This increasingly popular alternative to traditional renting or buying presents a range of advantages and drawbacks, creating a nuanced choice for those seeking housing flexibility and long-term ownership prospects.

Here, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of renting with an option to buy in Spain. 

Rent to buy in Spain: the tenant’s perspective

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, an investor, or simply exploring different paths to homeownership, renting with an option to buy can be an attractive option for many reasons:

  • A part of the rent paid, plus the premium, is subsequently deducted from the final purchase price of the property.
  • Completion of the purchase is guaranteed, should you opt for it.
  • You can purchase the property at any time during the rental period.

However, there are downsides for the tenant as well:

  • You’ll lose the premium you paid initially if you don’t buy the house.
  • If, during the rental period, the value of the property falls, you won’t be able to benefit from the price drop, as the price is fixed in advance.
  • The tax burden is significant. The contract is subject to double taxation:
    • The lease. The tenant is obliged to settle the ITP tax within a maximum period of 30 days from the signing of the contract, with the landlord being liable if the tenant fails to do so.
    • The option to purchase. This is subject to Transfer Tax, with the taxable base being the price paid for the option. This must also be paid within 30 days of the signing of the private document, in accordance with the rate applicable in each autonomous community.

Read more: Your Guide to Rent-to-buy Contracts in Spain

Rent to buy in Spain: the landlord’s perspective

As a property owner looking to sell, rent to buy could be an appealing option for many reasons:

  • You earn rental income from the very beginning.
  • You have good insurance against non-payment of rent due to the high initial premium that’s usually paid.
  • It’s a way of immediately making the most of the property without renouncing a future sale.
  • You’re still entitled to tax benefits for renting your home.
  • If, in the end, the tenant doesn’t buy the house, you keep the premium paid.

That said, there are some pitfalls too:

  • It can be a waste of time if you want to sell the property but the tenant eventually decides not to buy it.
  • For the duration of the contract, you cannot sell the property even if you get a better offer than the one you signed with the tenant.
  • If the value of the property increases during the course of the agreement, there’s no way to capitalise on this as the sale price is fixed in the contract beforehand.

Costaluz Lawyers are experts in housing contracts

If you need help with a rent-to-buy contract, our team of experts is here to guide you through the process and provide the support you need.

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, we can help you understand the intricacies of rent-to-buy agreements, draft comprehensive contracts, and ensure a smooth and secure transaction.

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. Contact us today and take the first step towards your dream home or a reliable investment property!

Maria Luisa Castro

Director and Founder
María founded CostaLuz Lawyers in 2006 and is the Firm’s Director. María is registered Lawyer number 2745 of the Cadiz Bar Association and is licensed to practice in all areas of law throughout Spain. Working closely with her team, María has developed the firm into one of the most highly regarded and trusted Spanish Law Firms acting for English-speaking clients with legal problems in Spain. We’re here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation, initial legal orientation.
María Luisa De Castro - Costaluz Lawyers
 

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