We recently rented out an apartment to people we know. They agreed to pay €400 per month and contribute to electric, gas, and water. The house is up for sale and they promised to move out and to show the apartment to prospective buyers. All this was agreed verbally with nothing in writing. Then they demanded we buy them a new washing machine. When we refused, the people stopped paying rent and utilities.
Now their behaviour is turning to threats and intimidation.
My questions are:
A) Can we legally stop giving him electricity and hot water?
B) What is the best way to get him out? Can I just lock him out?
J.B. (Costa Blanca)
Even when a tenant stops paying rent, the landlord cannot legally use coercive measures like changing the locks or cutting off the water supply. To evict them you will need a lawyer to apply for an eviction order from the court. This is called desahucio in Spanish.
If you do not have a written contract, the procedure is basically the same. It will take six months or more and cost you at least €500.