Is my Spanish landlord responsible for the locksmith i’ve used to enter my apartment?


I rented an apartment through an inmobiliaria and faced a broken lock on my first night, trapping me inside. I urgently called a locksmith, costing me 440 euros. The inmobiliaria knew of the lock issue, and my Spanish landlord was informed but hasn’t responded about reimbursement. It’s been months with no resolution. Can anyone advise on my rights or how to recover the costs?


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“I’d take it out of the last rent payments, landlords need to fix stuff like that”

“Not paying the last months rent is terrible advice to give. Totally illegal as the deposit is for if anything is damaged. This is the very reason now landlords are asking for two months deposit. Also if you want to rent in future you could be blacklisted which pushes a person into the dark side of renting with many consequences. Please consider your advice”

“The only personal experience I have is renting for 5 years in several flats: landlords do have insurance and I’m always told to call them about any issues. I think this was a very expensive lesson for you, sorry to say.”

“My landlord calls the insurance company for everything. Even to change a light bulb once (I have very high ceilings and a tricky light fixture. After my very tall landlord attempted it himself on the tallest ladder we had, he gave up and said, better to call the insurance).”

“Make this month’s payment minus the cost of replacing the lock. Scan a copy of the bill with your phone and send it both to the landlord and the agency so that they can seek reimbursement from their insurance agencies.

Here is a lovely text you can send with it…Este mes pago el alquiler menos el coste del cambio de la cerradura del primer día que estaba en el piso cuando me quedé atrapada. Llevo desde agosto esperando el reembolso del coste porque no es mi responsabilidad tener una cerradura que funcione. Adjunto una copia del recibo para que usted puede pedir reembolso por parte de su seguro. Muchas gracias.”

“If it was enough of an emergency to call a locksmith then it definitely was enough to call your landlord, regardless of the hour. I totally get that it isn’t your fault about the lock, but it sounds like you really didn’t give them a chance to take care of it (possibly for far less money) and are expecting them to be fully saddled with the costs. Had you called and they not picked up, you would be completely in the right. In this case I would say offering to pay half of the cost might be more agreeable.”

“If you were locked in the apartment and could not get out, this is truly an emergency. In my opinion you did the right thing and the landlord should at least fork over half your cost.”

“Your landlord sounds like a total d********g. And since he has not bothered to respond to you and it’s been almost 3 months – THAT’S UNACCEPTABLE!! Though you probably should have called him at the time of the event (he probably wouldn’t have responded, anyway), that he has not bothered to even reply to you for so long is not right. I would absolutely withhold the cost of the lock replacement from your next month’s rent payment. Send him a note explaining why – again – and include a copy of your previously unanswered (and dated) correspondence. I would also be prepared to have a decent attorney waiting in the wings, in case you have issues getting any of your deposit back. And I don’t think you should have to pay for half, when your landlord can claim the full amount on his insurance.”

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