Juan Torres, managing director of Spanish rental company TST.

Juan Torres, managing director of Spanish rental company TST.

Spanish rental companies are still facing 270 to 300 day payment periods when working with the country’s largest contractors, despite legislation that stipulates a 60 day period.

IRN understands that some contractors are requiring rental companies to sign letters stating that they wish to be paid within 270 days rather than the 60 days, and that they will not win contracts unless they sign these letters.

Juan José Torres Munoz, managing director of TST (Torres Servicios Tecnicos), a power and temperature control rental business based in Barcelona, told IRN; “We are not happy with the large contractors. After the crisis they paid lower and lower rental prices, and payment delays are still 270 to 300 days. It has been like that for eight years. We feel we are being exploited.”

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Spanish competition law makes it very difficult for industry associations, such as the rental organisation ASEAMAC, to lobby on issues related to price and payment.

In any case, said Mr Torres, the size and influence of the contractors - in comparison to rental businesses - makes it very difficult for rental companies to get their voice heard.

Although the delayed payment practice originated in the construction sector, since the crisis some of the major contractors have diversified into other sectors such as facilities management, and the same payment practices are now spreading to some of these non-construction sectors.

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