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UNIFICATION OF CRITERIA OF THE COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE OF BARCELONA

Specialists in Administrative, Immobiliary and Urban Law

CLAUSE REBUS SIC STANTIBUS – 12/11/2020

On November 12, 2020, the Judges of First Instance of Barcelona have published the following agreements related to eviction procedures:

AGREEMENTS TO UNIFY THE CRITERIA OF THE COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE OF BARCELONA

The judges of the first instance of Barcelona (with jurisdiction in civil matters, excluding family, guardianship and disabilities), all meeting telematically, have adopted today, by a very large majority, the following UNIFICATION OF CRITERIA AGREEMENTS :
1.-) The mere presentation by the tenant of a claim requesting the revision of the contractual income (based on the doctrine “rebus sic stantibus”), or the reimbursement of income unduly paid (Llei 11/2020, of September 18, of the Parliament of Catalonia), or the granting of a social rental contract (Llei 24/2015, of July 29, of the Parliament of Catalonia), or the adoption of preliminary precautionary measures preparatory to the aforementioned lawsuits will not be sufficient reason by itself to agree to the suspension due to civil prejudice of an eviction procedure for non-payment.
However, and exceptionally, the judge may assess the suspension of the eviction proceedings, taking into account the set of concurrent circumstances, especially if the claims made by the plaintiff have accumulated to the eviction action the claim for income. , the monthly payments that appear as unpaid, or the existence of payments or consignments by the lessee.
Justification.- The purpose of this agreement is to provide an adequate response to each specific case. On the one hand, it is intended to avoid behaviors of abuse of the process by the tenant party, so that the mere presentation of a demand for an ordinary trial does not have the automatic effect of paralyzing an eviction trial for non-payment (which has a summary nature, but to which an income claim action is often accumulated, which according to the specialized Sections of the Provincial Court of Barcelona has a plenary nature). However, and on the other hand, the suspension of the eviction trial can sometimes be the only possible measure to avoid the serious damage that could occur, if the procedure is continued, for the tenant who has maintained a diligent and favorable position fulfillment of the contract, and that may have been affected by unforeseen situations beyond its control. The judge must have the possibility to analyze each case, and give the appropriate response depending on the circumstances.
2.-) In an eviction procedure for non-payment, and unless otherwise agreed, the defendant may terminate the action by paying 50% of the monthly payments in which the activity in the leased premises has been suspended, o the corresponding percentage in case of partial restriction of the use of the property, in accordance with Decree-Llei 34/2020, of October 20, of the Government of the Generalitat de Catalunya, with respect to monthly payments accrued from one month from the date of entry into force of the standard.
Justification.- Despite the constitutionality doubts that have been raised regarding the aforementioned Decree-Llei 34/2020, it is a current rule that sets the rent applicable to a contract, and therefore must be automatically applicable when the requirements set forth in the standard for this are met, also for the purposes of the enervation of the eviction action.
3.-) In an eviction proceeding for non-payment, it will not proceed to extend the object of the process to the invocation by the defendant of the clause “rebus sic stantibus” and the consequent claim to fix a new contractual income. In any case, this can only be analyzed through the exercise by the lessee of the corresponding action, to be aired in the scope of an ordinary trial.
Yes, it may be admitted, as a reason for opposition in the eviction trial, the impossibility of payment of income due to unforeseen and unforeseen circumstances derived from the declaration of the state of alarm by Covid-19 (in a manner analogous to the allegation of force majeure) .

Justificación.- Con independencia del carácter sumario de la acción de desahucio por falta de pago, la pretensión de la parte arrendataria de que se revise la renta contractual conforme a la aplicación de la cláusula rebus sic stantibus necesariamente tendría que dar lugar a un pronunciamiento judicial específico, y sólo podría ser suscitada en el seno de un juicio ordinario (art. 249.1.6º LEC). Por tanto, tal pretensión no podría plantearse en el ámbito de un juicio verbal de desahucio, ni como reconvención, ni mediante la petición de acumulación de autos. No obstante, ha de facilitarse al inquilino que se ha visto gravemente imposibilitado para el pago de las rentas, como consecuencia de la crisis sanitaria y económica derivada de la declaración de estado de alarma, alegar tal circunstancia vía oposición, sin más pretensión que la de que el juzgador no aprecie la existencia de situación de impago fundamentadora del desahucio, de forma análoga a la excepción de fuerza mayor, y en aras de evitar situaciones de injusticia material.

Los presentes Acuerdos no tienen carácter vinculante, al versar sobre materia jurisdiccional, pero muestran el parecer mayoritario de los Magistrado/as de los Juzgados de Primera Instancia de Barcelona, a los efectos de reducir la litigiosidad y de introducir una mayor seguridad jurídica en las actuaciones judiciales.

Notifíquese el presente Acuerdo a la Ilma. Jueza Decana de Barcelona, al Excmo. Sr. Presidente de la Audiencia Provincial de Barcelona, al Ilustre Colegio de Procuradores de Barcelona y al Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Barcelona.

En Barcelona, a 12 de noviembre de 2020.

Roberto García Ceniceros

Magistrado del Juzgado de Primera Instancia nº 30 de Barcelona

Delegado de la Jueza Decana de Barcelona, en el ámbito civil

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