The law is pro-tenant
June 13, 2006
There is no explicit rule on the maximum amount of security deposit that a tenant should pay to the landlord. This would depend on the lease agreement between the two parties. The usual practice, however, is a security deposit equivalent to one month’s rent.
What rights do landlords and tenants have in Puerto Rico, especially as to duration of contract, and eviction?
Leasing agreement in Puerto Rico is relatively flexible. Lease may be daily, monthly, or yearly. Landlords usually allow tenant to use the security deposit as the tenant’s last month’s rent, but tenant must ask for the landlord’s permission first. The landlord may lawfully evict the tenant upon expiration of contract, default in payment of rent, breach of lease contract, or misuse of premises. A tenant who’s in the military service may want to include a clause in the contract, known as military clause that will permit him to cancel the lease prematurely because of military transfer, or early retirement from service when supported by military orders. Unless otherwise stated in the lease, the lease is automatically renewed if tenant holds over for 15 days with agreement by the landlord. If rent is on a yearly basis, renewal is for one year; if monthly, one month; if daily, one day.
There is no Landlord and Tenant Law in Puerto Rico. Instead, the basic legal arrangement between the tenant and the landlord is called a contract, and is regulated by the Puerto Rico Civil Code. Contracts or lease as is usually called may be verbal or written and are binding between parties. A lease is simply a set of agreement between landlord and tenant as to their respective duties and responsibilities. Basically, the tenant agrees to pay the rent on time for the use of the property and in return the landlord agrees to maintain the property for the tenant’s use.
Brief History: Recent changes in Puerto Rican landlord and tenant law
The passage of the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act of 1974