“The blind in the room is broken”, “The toilet does not work”, “The washing machine does not spin well” etc. Like these, there are many circumstances that might occur daily when you let your property and know who should pay the repairs (tenant or landlord) often leads to conflict between both parties.
The answer is in many cases complicated, although the Urban Rental Law in Spain addresses these situations in the article 21, there are many cases where it escapes and it’s important to almost clarify them point by point.
1) Initially, you as a landlord are required to make and pay for all repairs to ensure the regular maintenance of your property.
2) There are few exceptions: if the tenant is the one who has caused the damage or if the issue is concerning a minor repair.
With this in mind, as a landlord, you are responsible for repairing the installation of the light if this is too old and has caused the bulb to melt. You must also undertake the repair or replacement of old appliances that have broken or the maintenance of paint and varnish on the floor that has been deteriorated over the time.
Then the tenant is responsible for…
According to the article 21.4 of the Urban Rental Law in Spain: “Minor repairs that are required for the ordinary use of the home will be the tenant’s responsibility.” This means that in the event that your tenant breaks a window, drop the tablewares and breaks them, does not use the appliances properly and this leads to breaking them…s/he must be responsible for the cost of the repairs, in the cases that are considered minor repairs.
What is the limit between a minor and a larger repair?
It is very difficult to determine the border between the two cases, but it’s in the common sense and good understanding between the two of you to differentiate each specific case and try to reach an agreement that will always benefit both parties.
Bottom line, the best way to solve all these issues is honest dialogue and common sense so it is highly recommended to make use of them.