Earlier this year I moved to Spain for 6 months as part of a work project. While there, I stayed in a rented apartment, which my company paid for. However, I had to pay for the security deposit out of my own money as that was my responsibility.

I've since moved back to the UK and have been repeatedly ignored by my ex-landlord regarding the repayment of the deposit. They've not claimed any repair or redecoration costs (the apartment was cleaner when I left it than when I moved in), they've just ignored the issue entirely in subsequent emails with them.

I feel like I may be chasing a lost cause here as I'm not even in the same country anymore, and land lords the world over seem to get away with screwing tenants out of money. Anyway, does any body have any experience with recovering these costs in a similar situation, particularly Spain?

I should note, I have a signed receipt and also an online record of the money transfer. I may try and get my company to intervene on my behalf if I can, but is there anything else I can try first?

  • 2
    If it is a significant amount, you can try selling the collection to pragroup.es They will chase the landlord if you qualify
    – Gayot Fow
    Sep 9, 2015 at 18:53
  • Thanks for the suggestion @GayotFow but out of the blue (I've not heard from them for months) the landlord has contacted me and is sending the money. It's not quite the full amount, but close enough for me to not quibble. :) Sep 11, 2015 at 12:37
  • 1
    For future reference, the standard practice in Spain is for the tenant to withhold the last month's rent. Since the deposit is normally for one month, this leaves everyone quits. Sep 19, 2015 at 19:45
  • For what it's worth: while getting ready to rent, I heard rumors of SIX-month deposits, but with the place I am about to get, I am told it is TWO months and is held by the government, not the landlord. This is in Catalunya.
    – WGroleau
    Nov 28, 2016 at 2:20

1 Answer 1


Legal alien here.
No, nothing to try afterwards, you should have tried before...
Sure you're entitled to a legal action, but, well, I foresee tears and lost money.

I have always lived in rented places in Spain. About 7 with full contracts and security deposits. Only one gave me back the full deposit but it was a short term rent.

Few returned part of it back. Those and the ones who didn't always said something akin to "for the damages". The very first one, yes, I was using an office chair that damaged the synthetic floor emulating wood, and place was brand new; payed without pain and lady was elegant enough to return a small part. On the next one, same floor, I bought an acrylic surface to put my chair.

Even before Spain, I'm really positive all my past landlords will write down "yes, this guy doesn't fail its payments". And I'm not a rockstar that goes on rage rampages over the furniture, I just live in the places and use my fair share but the fact of "living" does leave its marks.

I think the most successful strategy is, one month before leaving the place, call the landlord to visit your place and do a full review and assessment of the "damages". Put the place pristine beforehand.
Only then we're able to reach a fair final agreement because we'll try to exchange the last month payment for the guarantee deposit and that's a power position. Otherwise, better to consider it non-refundable and really don't hold your breath and have it accounted on your initial budget.

It's a crude reality: One Does Not Want to Enter Legal Battles on Latin Countries.
I cannot vouch for this or that country, but most of them in Europe and America, yeah, do not do that if you can avoid it. If not avoidable, go with all you have because at least there is some legal system in place (caveat emptor modus operandi).

  • (:sorry for my latin:)
    – brasofilo
    Mar 17, 2016 at 4:52

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