Renting For Members

Can I use my deposit to pay my last month of rent in Spain?

The Local Spain
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Can I use my deposit to pay my last month of rent in Spain?
Can I use my deposit to pay for my last month's rent in Spain? Photo: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels

If you rent in Spain, a common question that many tenants ask when they leave or come to the end of their contract is if they can use their deposits to pay their last month’s rent instead.

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According to article 36.1 of the Urban Leasing Law (LAU), " a cash deposit in an amount equivalent to one month's rent is required” (or two if it’s for a building used other than for housing).

This deposit should be kept safe by the landlord and lodged with the General Administration of the State or in the corresponding public administration in your region.

It is designed to be used as security for the landlord, in case tenants default on rent or damage the property in any way and it needs to be used for repairs. It can also be used to settle outstanding debts and even pay for services that have not been paid for by the tenant, such as an overdue electricity bill for example.

READ ALSO: What’s the law on getting my deposit back from my landlord in Spain? 

The landlord can also keep your deposit in those cases in which you have made some type of renovation or change to the property without written consent. The Urban Lease Law states that it must be returned "as it was when he rented it, unless the owner says otherwise”.

Likewise, if the apartment is very dirty, the landlord could also keep the deposit to pay for the cleaning service.

This means that it cannot be used to pay the monthly rental payments, even the one before you’re due to leave.

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By law, the main purpose of the deposit is to act as a guarantee to ensure compliance with the obligations established in the contract, and it cannot be used as a means to cover the payment of rent. The tenant remains responsible for paying rent in the agreed-upon time and manner, regardless of your security deposit.


Although it is not a legal practice, however, it does happen and some landlords may agree to let you pay your last month's rent with the deposit. Remember though, they are not obligated to let you do this and by letting you, they are losing the extra security they have, so many may not agree to it. 

READ ALSO: Is subletting legal in Spain?

In accordance with article 36.4 of the Urban Leasing Law, "the balance of the cash deposit must be returned to the tenant at the end of the lease and will accrue legal interest after one month has passed since the delivery of the keys by the tenant without it having received it".


This means that if there are no damages or outstanding payments, then legally your landlord should give you back the deposit, so if you ask for it to be used as a rental payment, they will be going against the law too. 

During the first five years of your rental contract for the same property, your landlord cannot ask you to increase the deposit amount. But, once that time has elapsed, the owner may ask that the deposit be increased or the tenant may do the same and request that it be decreased, until it corresponds to one or two monthly payments of the current rent, at the time of the extension.


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