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How to formalize a real estate contract between individuals

Do you have a property that you would like to rent and you are wondering how to formalize a real estate contract between individuals, are you worried that it will not be legally valid if a notary’s office is not involved in its elaboration? Don’t worry, you don’t have to worry because a lease contract made between individuals is completely valid.

Nevertheless, in this procedure a series of advices must be taken into account. First of all, it is advisable to write  the contract, either on paper or in digital media. And, secondly, it is important that those involved know the regulations governing leases in Spain and their possible updates: the main ones are the Urban Leases Law (LAU) and the Civil Code (CC).

Types of lease contracts between individuals

Before going into how to formalize a real estate contract between individuals, we must know the types of lease contracts that exist.

Thus, the typology can be categorized in:

  • Rental contract for habitual residence. As it is intuited, this type of contract is used when the tenant will use the property as his habitual residence. In this scenario, it is essential to adhere to the provisions of the Urban Leases Law (LAU). However, not all the regulations of this law are applicable. That is to say, there are some points of the lease contract that both parties are obliged to respect, but there are others that are not.
  • Rental contract for use other than as a dwelling. In this case, the property will not be the tenant’s habitual residence. It is, for example, the case of the rent of a commercial premise, office, seasonal housing, etc.

How to draw up real estate contracts between private individuals

Drawing up a real estate contract between individuals may seem complicated, but nothing could be further from the truth. Although it is a procedure that involves several steps, with the right guide you can easily draw it up:

  1. Write first the place of signing and time.
  2. Identification of both parties through full name, ID and address.
  3. Indicate the reason for the contract carried out
  4. Identifies the property by its address and name of the owner.
  5. It ends with the clauses of the contract. Generally they usually focus on the duration of the contract, the price of the rent, deposit of the deposit, guarantees or procedure in case of non-payment, among others.

As an extra note, it is recommended that the landlord make a prior inventory of the belongings with which the property is handed over. This list will be the evidence to rely on in case something breaks. The tenant, for his part, should take photographs of the state of the property and check that everything is in good condition for use.

Validity of the signature of the real estate contract between individuals

In Spain it is not necessary to sign the lease in a notary’s office or to register it in the Land Registry. It will be sufficient for both parties to make a private document, either in digital media or on paper, and sign it. It will have full validity between both parties.

Is it legal to make a real estate contract between individuals?

Although a lease contract can be formalized between both parties with a private document, it must comply with a series of requirements in order to have a legal guarantee:

  • It must comply with the Law of Urban Leases (LAU).
  • The property must have an energy certificate.
  • The landlord must deposit the security deposit with the corresponding regional body and if he fails to do so, he may be sanctioned. For regular housing, the deposit will be of one month; on the other hand, for non-housing use, it will be of two months.
  • Two copies must be made: one for the landlord and one for the tenant. Both parties must keep this copy and present it in case of litigation.

Check the integrity of the contract with the validity of signature

If for you the signed document is not enough and you want to go one step further (although, as we have pointed out, the agreed document is a completely valid document), you may need to resort to digital solutions of electronic signature.

In our case, Viafirma’s solutions allow the real estate sector to check all the information at the moment of validation. Of course, it goes without saying that the document must be electronic. It is possible to know this information because the electronically signed documents contain metadata related to the collected evidences. Thus, with signature validation, all parties involved in the process will be able to check the integrity and validity of relevant aspects such as:

  • Document signature status
  • Signatory data
  • Certificate validity or repudiation
  • Obtaining the public key
  • Among others

Besides, we know that doing this kind of procedures requires a lot of time, displacements and efforts. For this reason, if you use Viafirma, you don’t have to worry about it. Our digital solutions of electronic signature allow you to sign contracts remotely, avoiding displacements and saving valuable time that you can use for other activities.


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