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Renting Property

Spain - Renting Property

Expats who relocate to Spain to work and live often rent first to familiarise themselves with the way of life and then move on to buy if they become residents. Locals generally own their own houses leaving only 17% in rental properties. A high percentage of foreigners who come to Spain to live also buy houses rather than rent. This information however isn’t to say that the rental market is weak, it is very much strong with new developments and a plentiful supply of rental properties on the market. Finding a property is usually done through online property portals, adverts in newspapers and word of mouth. Real estate websites from Germany or the UK are also options and going into an estate agent (inmobiliarias) in person is another route to try.

The average price of renting a one bedroom apartment located in a city centre in Spain is €538.31 pcm. For a 3 bed apartment in the city centre it rises to €875.93 pcm. Outside of the centre you would be looking at €402.61 pcm for a 1 bedroom apartment and €636.88 pcm for a 3 bed apartment. In Barcelona on average for a 900 Sqft furnished apartment the rent would be €875 pcm in an everyday area and in Madrid a 900 Sqft furnished apartment in an average area would cost around €853 pcm. In Ibiza in the Balearic Islands the cost of renting a one bed apartment in the city centre is €833.33 pcm and outside of the centre costs €666.67 pcm. Bilbao sees a one bed apartment in the city centre cost €740.91 and outside the centre is €590.00. Seville sees a one bed apartment rent for €513.64 in the city centre and € 366.67 outside.

There is an excellent site listed here which breaks down the cost of living in a city of your choice with the option to compare several cities against each other.

The typical lease term in Spain can be 11 months with an inbuilt clause wherein the tenant may renew if they wish. Many landlords offer 12 month contracts too. As of 2013 the minimum rental contract length is now 6 months and after this it is a rolling 1 month contract. When signing a tenancy contract (contrato de arrendamiento) which should be in Spanish it can be useful to bring a translator, an abogado (lawyer), gestor (notary) or Spanish speaking friend who can read the agreement through with you. Contracts may be verbal or written, but it’s best to get one in writing. Another alternative is to use an English rental company but this can come with high agency fees. Bare in mind that when registering for the Electoral Roll (Empadronamiento) a Residential card (Residencia) or opening a bank account you will need your contract to be in Spanish. When signing the lease make sure that the rent price includes all the taxes the tenant is responsible for paying. Be aware that the lease agreement should have the itinerary either included or in a separate document which you are able to assess. Check with the landlord that they are responsible for maintenance but and smaller maintenance costs (under €75) will most likely met by the tenant. Bring along pay slips and tax declarations as back up. If you’re hoping to be able to leave the rental period before the contract runs out, ask for an escape clause in the contract which allows for you to break the contract (check the contract it may already be in there). Ask to see previous utility bills to estimate costs as these costs are not included within the rental cost or in the lease agreement.

A tenant with a long-term contract of more than a year may renew annually for three years unless the landlord states they want to reside in the property instead. The landlord must state this after a year and give 2 months notice. The shortest period of rental is 3 months or less which are categorised as holiday lets/rentals (viviendas de uso turístico). Here the properties are fully furnished and are almost always leased via a holiday company on behalf of a business or sole owner. The property may be leased for summer lettings, winter lettings or short holidays and the lessor must have a holiday rental licence.Short term rentals usually amount to the same as holiday lets, up to 3 months. Sometimes they may include bills and would generally be furnished.

Long term rentals can be furnished or unfurnished. They range from 3 month rental contracts to 12 and after 12 they can be renewable as the tenants are given more rights.The owner/landlord must have a energy efficiency certificate to declare how expensive a property is to heat. A short term tenancy actually means that the tenant or tenants shouldn’t technically be living in the property as their first residence and therefore their notice period will be shorter. It may be built into the tenancy agreement so do check such terms and conditions. Long term rentals particularly after one year have strong rights to remain in the property and notice periods to leave given by the lesser are at least 2 months. For all types of rental lengths the lessor must declare their rental income to local tax authorities annually.

The deposit most landlords ask for 1 month's rent (which is the legal minimum), but they may also ask for 2 months. One month's rent is usually paid for an unfurnished apartment and 2 is paid for a furnished apartment. Payments are usually made electronically at the beginning of the month but if you pay in cash, keep a receipt/ evidence of the transaction and are held by a third party. The deposit should be held by a third party as arranged by the rental company.

Unfurnished can mean a number of things. The rental property may come with no white goods which means you will need to buy them. If there are white goods already present be very careful to check with the landlord who is responsible for them. Ideally, get the details it in writing within the contract. Furnished rentals in Spain means having furniture such as tables, bookshelves, beds, chairs, cookware, utensils and basic decorative items. As the prices go up the furnishings also increase in quality with a nicer finish and more detail.

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