The Law of Rural Leases has many particularities and differences with the Law of Urban Leases. In fact, the fact that the regulation it contains is divided into two different legal texts is not a mere whim. Due to its special complexity, here we want to explain its fundamental aspects.
What is a rustic lease?
To begin, in this article we are going to try to break down what is explained in Law 49/2003, on Rural Leases, which was modified by Law 26/2005, of November 30. This was done with the aim of adding certain points of interest that we will talk about later. In your first article you already define exactly what a rustic lease is and how it differs from an urban lease.
Specifically, the law says that a rustic lease is a farm or part of it that, through a temporary assignment contract, is rented by the owner to a subject in order to exploit it in terms of livestock, forestry or agriculture . This lease must always be made in exchange for the payment of an agreed price or rent.
The duration of the rustic lease
The duration of this type of contract has always been one of the most controversial points of this law. Specifically, at these times, the specific regulation that said duration will be, in all cases, 5 years or more. In fact, any clause that provides for a shorter duration will be automatically null.
The rent obtained by the rustic lease
The legislation is much more flexible in this matter. In fact, it clearly specifies that it will be the landlord and the tenant, that is, the owner and the subject who wishes to rent the property, who will agree, by mutual agreement and with complete freedom , the amount and form of rent payment. Furthermore, said payment must be in cash . It is true that the door is left open to the opportunity to pay this remuneration in kind. However, the relevant conversion into money must be made in order to be executed.
Obviously, the amount of rent to be paid by the lessee is not fixed. In fact, this aspect was represented in the Rural Leasing Law after its amendment in 2005.
Specifically, what was done was to add an additional article. It specifies that the two parties must establish the income review system that they consider most convenient. In the event that this does not exist and is not reflected in the contract, the law takes the tenant’s side by reflecting that “the rent review will not apply.”
For their part, the lessor and the lessee have the option of availing themselves, to carry out said rent review, at the legal index they deem appropriate. The most common in this type of case is the Competitiveness Guarantee Index . In any case, the value will be updated with the expiration of each annuity of the contract, that is, each time 12 months have elapsed since its signature.
Is it possible to carry out works on a leased rustic property?
This legal text also contemplates the possibility that the leased property may need works at a certain time. In fact, it requires that the owner be the one who, during the entire duration of the contract, is responsible for carrying out said works, provided they are essential for the exploitation and exploitation of the property for the use agreed in the document signed by both. parts. Obviously, this does not entitle you to raise the agreed rent for the purpose of offsetting the additional expense.
However, there are not a few cases in which the lessor refuses to carry out said works, delegates that responsibility to the lessee or, simply, tries to delay their execution as much as possible. In these types of cases, the lessee has the following legal rights:
- Resolve the contract of your own free will and without the need to indemnify the lessor.
- Request that the amount of the rent be reduced by an amount proportional to the cost of the works.
- To demand, by judicial means, the execution of the pertinent works to the lessor.
- Assume the cost of the works and carry them out himself, and subsequently request their reimbursement by means of compensation through non-payment of the amount of income that is necessary.
Exceptions provided for in the Urban Leasing Law
As usually happens in the texts that regulate leases in general, this law provides for a series of exceptions that are not obliged to comply with what was previously dictated. Specifically, these are the following:
- Contracts that exclusively cover a season of less than a full agricultural year.
- Rustic farms acquired on the basis of social interest or public utility.
- Rental of land that has already been tilled by the lessor with the aim of being planted or sown by the lessee in a specific period.
- Farms or communal assets that belong to local forests or local corporations. In these cases, it must be governed by its specific regulations.
In addition, the Rural Leasing Law is also not applicable in the case of farm rental contracts that are concluded with the following objectives:
- To hunt animals.
- Take advantage of fallows or seeds.
- Use secondary grasses, stubble, montaneras and broken meadows.
- To carry out livestock operations of an industrial nature.
- For the purpose of carrying out any activity that cannot be defined as livestock, agricultural or forestry.
On the other hand, in the legislative modification carried out in 2005 and to which we made reference previously, a series of circumstances are also included that entail the non-application of the Rural Leases Law. These were specified so that there would be no interference with the Urban Leasing Law that is currently in force.
Specifically, the most important of them is their inability to act in the event that the lease has been concluded under the conditions provided by the Urban Leasing Law. This usually occurs in the case of those farms that have a house that is rented, solely and exclusively, with the purpose of residing in it, but without exploiting the agricultural land.
Some conclusions about the Rural Leases Law
Undoubtedly, these are the most important details that you should know about the Rural Leasing Law in force the moment and what, mainly, differentiates it from the Urban Leasing Law. As you may have seen, the fundamental element is found in the fact that the rustic farms to which it refers must be focused on agricultural, livestock or forestry exploitation, that is, not for residence.
We hope we have been helpful in understanding such complex legislation. In addition, we want to recommend that, in case of any doubt or conflict, it is always best to put yourself in the hands of a lawyer specialized in the matter. This is the only way to enjoy all possible legal guarantees.