Renting in Spain: the ultimate viewing trip

Posted on 15 June 2017

Want to know what it’s really like to live in Spain, before you finally commit to buying that property on one of the costas? Try renting somewhere to live for a month or two in the area you have your eye on and you’ll truly know if it’s the right move for you. Use it as an opportunity to immerse yourself in local life, use the amenities, see what the area is like out of season – the benefits are numerous and will help you focus your property search.

How do I find rental property?

Online portals are a popular tool for finding rental property and in Spain there are many. With over 70,000 properties listed one the biggest is En Alquiler, which can be viewed in English by clicking on the ES in the top right corner and scrolling down. Other property sites such as Fotocasa and Idealista also have a good selection of rental properties.

Local newspapers are a good source of rentals but make sure you brush up on your Spanish because the owner often won’t speak English. Another option is to keep your eyes open for boards outside properties saying “se alquila” (to let) or in Catalonia “lloguer.”

How long can I rent?

The growth of websites like Airbnb have revolutionised the long-term rental market in Spain. Previously you would probably have found yourself paying the higher tourist rate unless you could negotiate with the owner who might lower the price offseason. These days, however, there are many more options for longer-term rentals and sublets that bridge the gap between holiday and long-term lets. This affords you the time to see how you enjoy the Spanish lifestyle, or to search for a home to buy there without the pressure of a brief buying trip.

Furnished or unfurnished?

The majority of properties are rented furnished but like most things in life you get what you pay for, so the more you fork out on rent the better quality the furniture and furnishings. Furnished properties are perfect if you are renting while you look around for a property to buy. It is possible that a furnished property may not have white goods; if they are there, check with the landlord who is responsible for them if things go wrong.

How much should I expect to pay?

Monthly rentals in Spain vary enormously depending on where you are. Forgive us if we’re teaching you to such eggs but you can expect to pay higher rents in cities like Madrid and Barcelona, which have seen a large rise in rental prices over the last year.

In Málaga, for example, you can find a three-bedroom apartment by the sea for €1,200 a month, which is what you would pay for a three-bedroom house in some of Spain’s provincial towns or smaller coastal resorts. You can rent an apartment for €350 a month but it’s unlikely to be in the most sought after areas and size could be an issue. The average rent for properties in more desirable districts, close to the sea, are currently between €450 and €750.

For shorter-term rentals, perhaps for the winter period, there are options for every budget. A quick search of Airbnb in Marbella, for example, unearths plenty of options for two-month lets covering the whole of February and March 2018 for between £300 and £25,000.

What else should I know?

The landlord is responsible for maintenance of the property, which will come as a relief to many, although the tenant will have to pay for small repairs. Renting suits many British people who want to conduct the ultimate research into living in Spain – and you can never do too much research before embarking on such a huge undertaking. For those just beginning their journey to buying in Spain, renting is a means to an end. It gives you time to locate where you want to live and the type of property you want to live in.

When you’re ready to make the move, click here to download the Spain Buying Guide. It’s completely FREE and packed with great advice.

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