Royal Decree-Law 15/2020 of April 21 was published in the Official State Gazette on April 22, 2020, regarding complementary urgent measures to provide support for the economy and unemployment. The law came into force the day after its publication.
As had already been done for main residence leases, a series of new measures have been approved to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, but these measures are for the different use of leases other than residence, which had not been taken into account by the previous Royal Decree-Law 11/2020, of March 31.
Type of lease
It is the type provided for in article 3 of Law 29/1994, on Urban Leases (leases for different use other than residence) and industry leases. Moreover, the lease contract must be connected to the economic activity carried out by the lessee.
a) Company or public housing entity or a large holder, defined as a natural or legal person who owns more than 10 urban properties, excluding garages and storage rooms or a constructed area of more than 1.500 m2.
b) Person other than the above.
a) Self-employed persons who meet the requirements set forth in article 3.1, that is:
– Be affiliated and registered on the date of the declaration of the state of alert in the Special Regime of Social Security for the Self-employed or for Seafarers (RETA) or, where appropriate, with one of the RETA substitute mutual insurance companies.
That their activity has been suspended as a result of the entry into force of the state of alert. If this is not the case, they must provide evidence of a reduction by at least 75% in their billing of the calendar month prior to the one requested for postponement. The reduction must be demonstrated by comparison to the average monthly turnover of the quarter of said month from the previous year.
b) SMEs that meet the requirements set forth in article 3.2, that is:
– That they do not exceed four million euros in total assets, eight million euros in annual turnover and that the number of employees does not exceed 50.
– That their activity has been suspended as a result of the entry into force of the state of alert. If this is not the case, they must provide evidence of a reduction by at least 75% in their billing of the calendar month prior to the one requested for postponement. This reduction must be demonstrated by comparison to the average monthly turnover of the quarter of said month from the previous year.
a) Leases for use other than housing with large holders, company or public housing entity:
There will be a mandatory moratorium for the lessor (as long as an agreement between the parties of moratorium or rent reduction has not already been reached), it will consist in the deferment without penalty or accrual of interest of the rent payment. It will be applied automatically and in no case may exceed four months.
b) Other leases for use other than residence (when the lessor is not a company or public housing entity and is not a large holder):
– The temporary and extraordinary postponement in the payment of the rent provided that said postponement or a reduction in the rent had not been already agreed by both parties on a voluntary basis.
– The parties may freely dispose of the deposit, which will serve for the total or partial payment of some monthly payments and which must be repaid in one year.
Term for the exercise of these measures and accreditation of the requirements
The lessee may request these measures within one month from the entry into force of this Royal Decree-law and must prove the reduction of his economic activity by means of a sworn statement or the cessation of his activity by means of certification issued by the appropriate authorities.
Liability for improper use of these measures
The lessee who has improperly benefited from these measures shall be liable for any damages that may have been caused and the expenses incurred, notwithstanding responsibilities of a different nature that may have been incurred.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.