Due to the considerable increase in cases of Coronavirus and the high rate of infection of this virus, which is affecting us all, the Spanish Government has passed the Royal Decree RD 463 / 2020 which declares a National State of Alarm across all of Spain.
At Nova Mallorca we want to help answer some of your questions concerning the effects of COVID-19 for the real estate market and society in general.
Can we attend to our customers in person?
No. Article 7 of the “Royal Decree Law 463/2020, of the 14th of March”, which declares a state of alarm, establishes the limitation of the freedom of movement of people and does not allow it, since our activity does not fall within the exceptions provided. It is not possible to collect documentation or maintain contacts. This means that our offices/establishments must be closed to the public.
Can we arrange viewings?
No, for the above reason. The intrinsic characteristics of our work, which very often requires personal contact, would fall within the prohibitions of the Royal Decree Law and the health recommendations issued.
What effect does this have on the compliance of dates in signed arrangements and other contracts that require compliance within the time limit of the restrictions of free movement?
The contractual relations established have not received any mention in the Royal Decree Law, which is why, unfortunately, it will currently remain within the criteria of interpretation and the goodwill and willingness of the parties to reach an understanding. Only the Additional Provision 4 of the above-mentioned law suspends all limitation periods for all actions and rights during the period of validity of the state of the alarm and its extensions. We advise you, in this sense, to inform the parties and try to get both to give their consent to the suspension of the period, which can be resumed for the time remaining after the end of this period of restriction to the free movement of people. We also recommend that, exceptionally, you obtain consent by telematic means, given the impossibility of bringing together parties.
What about administrative and procedural deadlines?
All procedural and administrative time limits and all court orders are suspended during the state of alarm.
Can i make an appointment at the notary?
The notary will only carry out urgent actions. You will have to communicate with the notary’s office by e-mail or telephone and it will be the notary who asses the urgency of the matter. The General Council of the Notary’s Office has advised to reduce as much as possible the authorisation of notarial documents by removing serious situations that do not allow for postponement such as for example, situations of illness. In this case, they will have to adopt the required health measures.
Can i currently sign a contract?
No. Due to the impossibility of circulation, clients cannot go out to sign a contract nor can they arrange or hold meetings.
Can we electronically sign a contract?
It is possible, provided that all parties have means for electronic signatures, although, given the exceptional situation of the state of alarm, it would be advised not to do so. At this time, we would like to remind you that a scanned PDF is not an electronic signature.
Do i currently need to pay any fees?
As we have commented in other responses, all procedural and administrative deadlines and court orders are suspended during the state of alarm. The payment of fees falls under this section.
Due to the current circumstances, are landords obliged to accept a temporary rent reduction?
No. The LAU does not provide for a temporary reduction in rent. However, the landlord and tenant can agree to reduce the rent for an agreed period of time.
Notice has been given to terminate a lease and it coincides with the state of alarm. How should i proceed?
In this case, it will not be possible to hand over possession, nor verify the state of the property, nor agree to write down the details of the utility figures. Therefore, it is recommended that the tenant be asked to send a signed waiver*, a photo of the meters to which he/she may have access to and/or the last bill. The property owner will have to create a receipt advising that it is pending to verify the state, once the deadline for the state of alarm has been reached, and the return of the deposit, due to the suspension of administrative deadlines. The waiver implies that no further rent can be collected. (*) This is to create a principle of proof of the certainty of the communication which requires, for greater security, ratification as soon as possible.
The apartment is empty and the handing over of the keys coincides with the period of restriction of movement. What can i do?
This is where the greatest difficulty arises, given that the handing over of the keys is what finalises the delivery of possession and due to the limitation to free movement, this cannot be carried out, for reasons of force majeure, the delivery must be deferred to the moment when the restriction is lifted. It must be understood – following the presumption of good faith – that, during this period, the dwelling has not been accessed and that at the moment in which the delivery of keys is made effective, the dwelling presents the same state as at the moment of resignation. Otherwise, there is a problem of proof, if the delivery does not meet the expectations of the property and the tenant
Notice has not been given and would have been given during the state of alarm. What will happen now?
In this case, it would be necessary to analyse whether the contract can be tacitly renewed month by month. If this is the case, it is advisable to send the notice after the end of the alarm period. If you are not sure that the tacit renewal will work month by month, since it could be for a longer period, it is advisable to send the notification (we have reliable systems that do not require travel, such as online burofax by the postal services) of the end of the contract and inform the interested party that, due to a situation of force majeure, the delivery of the possession is postponed until the end of the end of the period of restriction of the free movement of persons, warning that the period that may elapse, beyond the one that contractually corresponded, will be considered as a period of extension. Once it is possible re-circulate delivery, the handing over of keys will have to be specified by means of a new notification.
Can i use the common areas of the building or the private residential complex such as rooftops and parks?
No. Despite the fact that the Royal Decree speaks of the public roads, the purpose of the regulation is to avoid the concentration of people and any joint activity in open or closed areas.
Can you visit properties to take photos?
No, the limitation of the Decree implicates going to work, not to make any management or actions derived from work that requires moving around on the streets. Despite the lack of specificity of certain situations, we must bear in mind the spirit of the rule, which aims to avoid mobility and reduce it to the essential minimum.
Cautionary note on malpractice
Taking advantage of the exceptional nature of the situation that affect us, bad practises have been detected in the sector that seek to capture product and transmit the possibility of closing operations. We remind you that the limitation of free movement prevents us from showing properties, signing documents in person, signing documents from the notary etc. We advise you to inform your clients, and especially those with whom you have signed documents, of these restrictions so that they do not trust anyone who gives them uncertain expectations.
Is it possible to view a property with Nova Mallorca?
Due to the countries state of alarm, the movement of people is very restricted. Which is why our team at Nova Mallorca is searching for solutions so that our clients if they wish to, can visit our properties using virtual means.
How can i contact my advisor at Nova Mallorca?
Our team of professionals at Nova Mallorca are carrying out their duties from home and are available for any consultation via mobile phone or e-mail.
Are our offices open to the general public during this period of state of alarm?
The whole team at Nova Mallorca would like to thank all health and security forces for their commitment, effort and the hard work which they are doing for the well-being of the population and visitors. We are aware that it is a global effort that affects us all and that together we will see the end of this situation VERY soon.
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