Dispute resolution

Changes to the eviction process in Spain

Published on 25th May 2023

The Housing Rights Law introduces far-reaching amendments to the eviction process

Statue of justice, Old Bailey court

On 25 May 2023 the Law for the Right to Housing was published in the Spanish Official State Gazette. This law seeks to establish, on the basis of the Spanish state's competences, a uniform regulation of some important issues relating to housing.

Date of eviction and notice to the relevant public administrations

Section 4 of article 150 of the Spanish Civil Procedure Law is amended so that when a court order fixes a date for an eviction, it will be sent to the relevant public authorities, in all cases and without need to obtain the consent of the interested parties, in  case any action must be taken by the competent administrations.

In addition, any eviction process and any court decree and resolution ordering the eviction of the occupant must specify the exact date and time at which the eviction will take place.

New procedural requirements

Paragraphs 6 and 7 have been added to article 439 of the Spanish Civil Procedure Law. They introduce new requirements for the filing of lawsuits seeking the recovery of possession of a property. The claim shall specify:

  • whether the property is the occupant's primary residence; 
  • whether the claimant is a large property holder (if not, a certificate from the Land Registry with a list of the properties they have in their name must be provided with the statement of claim); and
  • when the claimant is a large property holder, whether the defendant is in a situation of economic vulnerability. In order to comply with this last requirement, the statement of claim must include a document issued by the social services of the relevant public administration specifically designated for this purpose with the consent of the occupant. This certificate will valid for three months.

In addition, according to the procedure set forth in numbers 1, 2, 4 and 7 of article 250.1 of the Spanish Civil Procedure Law, if the claimant is a large property holder and the property is the primary residence of the occupant that is in a situation of vulnerability, the claimant must go through a mediation or conciliation procedure, which will be established by the competent authorities.

The scope of protection is extended when situations of vulnerability are identified

In the old text of the Spanish Civil Procedure Law, the scope of protection included vulnerable people affected by claims for amounts for non-payment of rent or expiry of the lease of a property under and ordinary or financial lease or in sharecropping.

The new text extends the scope of protection to vulnerable persons who are being evicted from their primary residence following a claim (i) under which the landlord, the usufructuary or any other person with the right to possess a rural or urban property under a tenancy at will seek to recover its possession; (ii) which seeks the summary guardianship or possession of a right or thing by those who have been deprived of them or disturbed in their enjoyment; and (iii) brought by the holders of rights in rem registered in the Land Registry who demand the effectiveness of those rights against those who oppose them or disturb their exercise without having legal title.

A new decision-making system and extension of the suspension periods in evection processes

The law incorporates paragraphs 6 and 7 in article 441 of the Civil Procedure Law, which introduce, among other things, a system that leaves the court to decide, after a weighted and proportional assessment of the specific case, whether to suspend the eviction process.

The suspension periods have been extended in eviction processes to two months for individuals and four months for legal entities (previously one and three months, respectively).

Osborne Clarke comment

Spain's Housing Rights Law introduces some important amendments to the Civil Procedure Law. These changes are aimed at making evictions of people in a situation of economic vulnerability more difficult, especially when the claimant is a large property holder.

It is advisable that large property holders who intend to initiate eviction proceedings take advice in advance to ensure that all legal requirements are met, thus avoiding a possible inadmissibility of the claim.


* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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