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Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law

Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law

Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law: Understanding Your Rights and Obligations

Real estate is a significant investment, especially in Puerto Rico, where the demand for rental properties continues to grow. However, being a landlord is not always an easy task, especially when it comes to the legal and regulatory framework surrounding landlord-tenant relationships.

The Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law governs the relationship between landlords and tenants. The law outlines specific rights and obligations for both parties, and it’s essential to understand these regulations before entering into a lease agreement.

In this article, we will explore the essential elements of the Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law, including the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, lease terms, eviction procedures, and other critical aspects of renting properties in Puerto Rico.

What is the Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law?

The Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos) is the Puerto Rico statutory law that governs the relationship between landlords and tenants. The law outlines specific requirements for landlords and tenants, including lease agreements, deposits, rent payments, eviction procedures, and other related matters.

The primary purpose of this law is to ensure that both landlords and tenants are aware of their respective rights and obligations. Landlords must maintain the properties in good condition, while tenants must pay the rent on time and use the property responsibly.

The Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law applies to all rental properties in Puerto Rico, including residential and commercial properties.

Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants under Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law

The Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law outlines specific rights and responsibilities for both landlords and tenants. Understanding these obligations is essential in maintaining a healthy landlord-tenant relationship.

Landlord’s Responsibilities

Under the Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law, landlords have specific duties they must fulfill to provide their tenants with a safe and habitable rental property. Some of these responsibilities include:

1. Maintaining the rental property – Landlords are responsible for maintaining rental properties in good condition. They must ensure that the property is safe, clean, and free from hazards.

2. Making timely repairs – If any repairs are necessary, landlords must attend to them promptly. If the repair requests were caused by tenants, the landlord may bill the tenant for the repair costs.

3. Providing utility services – It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the property has running water, heat, and electricity.

4. Security deposit – If the landlord collects a security deposit, they must return it to the tenant at the end of the lease term unless there are damages to the property or unpaid rent.

Tenant’s Responsibilities

Similarly, tenants also have certain duties that they must fulfill during the tenancy. Some tenant responsibilities include:

1. Timely payment of rent – Tenants must pay rent on time. Failure to pay rent may lead to eviction.

2. Maintaining the rental property – Tenants must keep the rental property clean and free from damage as much as possible.

3. Adhering to the terms of the lease – The tenant must comply with the provisions of the lease agreement.

4. Conducting reasonable behavior – The tenant must conduct reasonable behavior and not disturb the peace of other tenants or neighbors.

Lease Terms under Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law

A lease agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the rental property that both the landlord and the tenants must follow. The lease agreement is a crucial aspect of the landlord-tenant relationship, and it’s essential to read and understand it before signing.

The lease agreement typically includes information about:

1. Rent payments – The amount of rent, the due date of rent payments, and any applicable late fees.

2. Duration of the lease – The period of time the lease is valid, the start date, and the end date, and any renewal options.

3. Security deposit – The amount of the security deposit, the conditions for its return, and any deductions from the deposit.

4. Use of the property – The purpose for which the rental property may be used.

5. Maintenance – Responsibilities related to maintenance and repairs.

6. Termination of the lease – How the lease can be terminated and the notice period required for the termination of the lease.

Eviction Procedures under Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law

Eviction is the legal process of removing a tenant from a rental property. There are several reasons why a landlord might evict a tenant, including non-payment of rent, violation of lease provisions, and property damage.

However, eviction is a complex and often lengthy process. Under the Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law, landlords must follow specific procedures before evicting a tenant.

Firstly, landlords must provide the tenant with written notice of their intention to terminate the lease. The notice period depends on the reason for the eviction, and according to the Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law, the following applies:

1. Nonpayment of Rent – After the rent is unpaid for at least 15 days, the landlord can give the tenant 10 calendar days of notice to vacate the property.

2. Breach of Lease – If the tenant violates the lease agreement or does not comply with any of its provisions, the landlord can give the tenant seven days of notice to leave the property.

3. Sale of Property – If the landlord plans to sell the rental property, they must give the tenant 30 days of notice before their contract is being terminated.

If the tenant refuses to vacate the property after receiving the notice, the landlord can file a lawsuit to evict them. The landlord must prove the legal basis for the eviction to a court, and if the court sides with the landlord, the eviction process begins.


Understanding the Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law is essential for both landlords and tenants to safeguard their respective rights. Both parties must adhere to their obligations, and the lease agreement should be clear and concise.

It is advisable to seek legal advice before entering into a lease agreement. A competent lawyer can ensure that both parties understand their rights and obligations and can help resolve any disputes that may arise during the tenancy.

In summary, the Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law is a crucial component of the landlord-tenant relationship. Understanding the law can prevent misunderstandings and ensure that the tenancy period runs smoothly.

Guide to Puerto Rico Landlord Tenant Law

While most U.S. states have uniform landlord tenant codes that mandate many tenants’ rights and landlord responsibilities, PR landlord tenant law is still largely a matter of contract law.  This guide will only provide a basic review of Puerto Rico landlord tenant law.  In general, the lease agreement between a renter and the property owner will dictate most of PR landlord tenant law for a particular case.  Because of this, it is especially important to have an attorney familiar with Puerto Rico landlord tenant law review any lease before you sign it.

Security Deposits

If you pay a security deposit to your landlord, PR landlord tenant law requires that your lease contain information on how the security deposit is to be repaid to you at the end of your lease term.  In many situations, landlords will allow renters to use their security deposit as their final month of rent, but this is not guaranteed by Puerto Rico landlord tenant law and is entirely up to your landlord’s discretion.

If your security deposit is not returned by the time specified in your lease and no damage was done to your property besides normal wear and tear, PR landlord tenant law allows you to take your landlord to court for the deposit.  You may also be awarded attorney fees.


While some landlords may attempt to use “self help” eviction methods like shutting off a tenant’s utilities, changing their locks, or removing their belongings to force them out of their home, this is illegal according to Puerto Rico landlord tenant law.  Evictions are only allowed by PR landlord tenant law if the landlord has filed a lawsuit and has gone through the eviction process in court.  If your landlord is attempting to remove you from your property in violation of Puerto Rico landlord tenant law, you need to contact an attorney immediately to learn your legal options.


Before renting in Puerto Rico, you should make sure that your lease covers the habitability of your unit.  PR landlord tenant law does not specifically mention habitability, but in general, if your lease includes such a clause, your landlord must provide you with hot and cold safe running water, electricity, functional plumbing systems, and functioning doors and windows.  You may want to check with a lawyer who understands Puerto Rico landlord tenant law if you believe your landlord has violated any habitability clauses in your lease.

Lease Breaches

If a tenant or landlord breaches a lease in a material way, PR landlord tenant law allows the lease to be broken by the other party.  For instance, if your landlord is violating your lease by entering your home without notice, you may be able to leave your unit without paying any lease penalties (and may be able to seek your moving costs and attorney fees in court).  When tenants breach leases, Puerto Rico landlord tenant law only requires that the landlord notify the tenant before initiating eviction proceedings if the lease agreement provides for this.  Otherwise, tenants may not need to be notified before eviction proceedings begin.