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Can the delivery of the keys to the landlord mean the termination of a rental agreement in Spain?

With the return of the keys and subsequent delivery of possession of the property to its owner, the lease of the property in question can never be understood as terminated.

We must start from one of the fundamental principles of the Spanish legal system, contained in article 1256 of the Civil Code, which states that: "The validity and compliance of contracts cannot be left to the discretion of one of the contracting parties".

In these matters, what our courts understand is that the provision of the keys in favor of the landlord by the tenant, only implies the waiver of the tenant's contract, but not the waiver of the landlord to collect the rents for the period of duration agreed in the contract.

In short, the delivery of the keys to the landlord by the tenant does not free the latter from any obligation. The lessor will have the right to collect the compensations that have been agreed in the contract.

For example, in a housing rental contract in which the tenant withdraws 3 months after signing, unless there is a justified cause for termination and the relevant documentation is signed (we recommend the assistance of a lawyer for this), the landlord will have the right to collect the rent until the mandatory 6 months have expired. Not as rent, but as compensation.


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