A judge has ordered the Torrevieja council Prop and municipal registry to vacate their offices on 28 January and pay almost 65,000 in back rent to the owner.
He says that If the municipality does not leave the premises before that day – and does not achieve a postponement of the order through the courts, the judicial commission will carry out the eviction.
It also orders the local administration to make a payment to the owner of one year’s rent, amounting to 63,200 euros.
The City Council has said that is going to appeal the ruling, however the owner, a Torrevieja businessman, has said that he has done everything possible to avoid this situation. “They have not paid me for 20 months and despite all my approaches, first beginning some time ago, they are not answering my correspondence. I told them in writing that if they do not leave I will increase the rent but they just stopped paying. They have been so arrogant in their dealings with me. They believe that they can do anything they want so after fifteen months without any payment I have asked last October that they be evicted for non-payment of rent.”
The owner said that prior to the expiration of the previous contract in June 2017 he wrote to the council informing them that he would be increasing the rent from 2,497 euros to 4,500 per month, an increase of 121%. When he didn’t get an answer he implemented the change, a move upheld by the courts.
The City Council said that they didn’t want to negotiate another contract because they expected an imminent move into new accommodation, something that did not happen because the company carrying out the work abandoned the contract.
The courts have recognised the employer’s right to both increase the value of the lease, with the payment of the equivalent of one year’s rent, and to make effective the eviction.
The municipal staff who supervised the service -without contract- refused to validate the 4,500 euros invoices that were arriving and returned them. They demanded that the invoices be submitted according to the price for which the service was provided during the earlier contract -2,497 euros per month. It was then that the property owner filed the eviction lawsuit.