Renting a flat in Spain is often quite difficult for newcomers. But do not worry, the process does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. 

Of course, it all depends on your preferences. The more expectations you have, i.e. balcony, swimming pool, a window looking at the sea, accessible communication, etc., the higher the price. I used to live in various places, including an atico with solarium (atico – an attic from which there is an entrance to a large balcony and solarium, often situated at the roof of the building), in “normal” flats, in rented houses. I talked to many agents and property owners, and I attended multiple meetings. 

Therefore, I can say that I have lots of experience in renting properties in Andalusia. I will try to explain the most important issues related to this topic. I hope you will find it useful.

 

First of all – direct confrontation

My experience proves that it is very difficult to rent property online. In practice, the websites presented below in the article offer a form with a phone number of the agent or the owner right next to the property details. Filling the contact form does not bring the desired results. Maybe two out of ten agents will call you back, but I would not count on it. If you can speak Spanish – go ahead and call them. If you speak English – good luck. There may be a chance that somebody will be able to have a conversation with you, but in 98% of the cases, they will wish you a “good day” in Spanish :) Of course, you can contact an agency focused on providing the service for foreigners. There will always be someone who can present the offer in a different language than Spanish.

 
A family + a dog, A HUGE DOG

For three years, my family has been accompanied by a lovely wolfdog girl. Unfortunately, our love for the pet was not shared by the property owners and agents. That is the reason why we missed many attractive offers… Undoubtedly, an animal on the deck does not make the renting process easy. Often, young children are frowned upon by the agents, as well. And the large dog + small child combo crushes the negotiations at the very beginning.

What to pay attention while browsing offers?
  • Location facing the sun – it is important both during summer and winter. I do not recommend flats situated in shadowy and underexposed locations. During summer, you may think that it is a perfect solution, but in winter it gets… really cold, especially at night when the temperature drops to 2,4 degrees – buildings are not insulated here… a bit of sun and warm windows during winter days will make it cosy – it will come in handy… I will write a separate post about methods of heating flats during winter.

  • Air condition – it is good to have it installed. However, if the property seems to be perfect for you, and the only disadvantage is the lack of air conditioning or a different addition necessary for your comfort, especially if you are planning to stay longer, it is good to make an agreement, preferably in writing, with the property owner to divide the costs of installation, which will make the property value higher and your input will be settled, i.e. by lowering the rent. It is always possible to negotiate, and the owners I have met, very often accommodated us by caring about our comfort when renting the property.
     
  • I will not write anything about such trivia as location, swimming pools, and other attractions, the reputation of the province, closeness to services and communication – it all depends on your individual needs.
     
  • Cold and hot water – it is worth to pay attention to the water heating methods. Spanish constructions do not anticipate the need to install radiators or possibility to access to district heating water. So far, I have encountered three different ways of heating water:
  • Electric boiler – old models are not economic
     
  • Gas furnace – gas is delivered through a network. It is the best solution (this post CLICK includes websites that will help you choose the cheapest gas provider in your area).
     
  • Gas furnace – gas is delivered in bottles. I will pause here. It requires buying a new gas bottle from time to time. Usually, they are delivered by private companies that go once or twice a week on a tour across the provinces and replace the used bottles. It is best to have two bottles because you may forget to check how much gas is left in the one you are using now, and you will have a cold surprise like I did when in the middle of taking a bath I had to convince myself that I am trying to toughen up… Unfortunately, you need to have a place to keep the bottles in. In my opinion, it is not safe or pleasant to look at…

 

Number of rooms + a living room

In Spanish advertisements, three-room flats are really four-room flats. The living room is counted separately, so when we have a flat: 2 habitaciones, then we always need to include + a living room, therefore, the flat has three rooms. 

 

Strange practices of the estate agents

 

Many time when I tried to rent a place in a selected province, I went to estate offices, left my contact information, a list of expectations and I received, of course, an confirmation that someone will call me back. So I waited, and waited…. They really do not care about getting customers when it comes to renting properties. I am not sure what it is really all about, but I will try to find out – and maybe you know why they blow off their customers and do not call back. What is going on here ??? Please share your knowledge in the comments. 

When I expressed a negative opinion about an offered estate and asked the agency to send similar offers, only a few agents called me back. Generally, I noticed that the tactics of contacting customers revolve around the magical number 3. If you say three times you do not like the presented offer, you may be certain that you will be not contacted by this agency ever again…

A few times, the agent on the behalf of the property owner, asked me to bring a copy of my employment contract and bank documents proving that I receive payments…

After scheduling a meeting with an agent, usually, you will go to take a look at the property you are interested in. I like this practice very much. However, sometimes they may ask you to go to the office to sign documents, in which you agree (or not) to pay a forfeit if you come into an agreement with the property owner behind the agency’s back. So, if you do not want to waste your time going to the office – make it clear during the conversation.

My worst experience is related to Opau Malaga agency, which I found while browsing the internet. After booking an appointment, I went to the office, and got a surprise – the owner gave me a contract to sign, in which I was supposed to agree to pay 600 euro per month, and in exchange the agency would find me interesting offers – thanks but no thanks for such help :) Moreover, the agency does not have a positive opinion on the Internet.

 
Fees and media providers

It is good to ask what media are installed in the property and how would you be asked to settle with the owner. After renting the property, usually, the contracts between the previous tenants and the providers are severed, so you will have to select new providers of gas, power and sign contracts. This also includes paying all the fees related to installation, and those can cost a lot of money. In my case, the property owners always refunded us for it. This post CLICK presents engines that compare media, Internet, power, gas and phone providers.

 

Even more fees

Estate agents continue to increase prices. Usually, you need to pay them an equivalent of the monthly rent. In the past, it used to be half of the monthly rent. What is more, you need to add the deposit. The owners of properties situated in “nicer” locations set the deposit to the monthly rent x 2. 



The most important and recommended websites used to search for flats to buy or rent in Spain


The glossary on the side includes translation of the Spanish words that you will most likely encounter while looking for properties.

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