Measures on leases and eviction processes

Karina Castillo, Associate

Recently, the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning modifies Executive Decree 145 of 2020, which dictates measures on leases, launching and eviction processes through Executive Decree 314 of 2020.

Through Executive Decree 314 several articles of the previous Executive Decree 145 of 2020 are modified, namely:

A clarification is made on Article 2, specifying that eviction processes of real estate which Is used for residential purposes are suspended, leaving the rest of the article in the same terms.

Article 5 of the Executive Decree establishes that, as long as the State of Emergency is maintained and up to two months after the lifting of this measure, tenants who do not have the possibility of paying their rental fee due to the economic crisis, may avail themselves of the aforementioned Article 2.  In addition, the suspension of payments of the lease fees, the clauses of increase and those relating to interest for late payments, has been ordered during the state of emergency and the contractual obligations will be enforceable but not payable until two months after the lifting its lifting.

With regard to commercial leasing cases, the deferral of the lease fee will begin from the date of the declaration of the State of Emergency and will continue for up to two months after the lifting of restrictions on the blocks and respective economic activities.

Article 7 is modified to establish that the landlord and the tenant may settle by mutual agreement the conflicts arising from the unpaid rental fees. These agreements will have a duration of up to a minimum of two years since the registration at the General Directorate of Leases.

In the cases of leasing real estate subject to the Horizontal Property regime, the lessee must pay the part of the fee that corresponds to the monthly common expenses fee and said payment can be paid with prior authorization from the direct landlord to the administration; and it will be subtracted from the debt with the landlord.

Article 11 empowers the General Directorate of Leases of the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning to decide on the complaints that arise between the lessor and the tenant in relation to what is established in the Executive Decree, as well as to sanction those who fail to comply with it.