Must he pay in cash?

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QUESTION:

We have lived in our rented apartment for five years. We have paid our rent monthly by bank transfer and declared this to Hacienda when making our tax return, which gave us a refund. We now have a new owner who insists that the rent is paid in cash to the estate agent and also that we do not declare to the Spanish Tax Agency that we pay rent to him. We do declare the rent automatically through our accountant. I suffer from arthritis in both knees and find it difficult to walk the 1.5 km to the estate agency. Our question is: are we legally entitled to pay our rent by bank transfer?

P.M. (Costa del Sol)

ANSWER: 

No, you cannot oblige your landlord to accept only payment by bank transfer.  He is within his rights to insist on cash payment. However, he has no right to ask you to break the law by not declaring the payment on your tax return. I suggest you tell the estate agency that, if they want payment in cash, that they come to you and collect the rent.

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