Renting in Spain   

Renting in Spain

Many people decide to rent a house or flat when they first move to Spain, simply because buying a property is such a big commitment. Rental costs in Spain are fairly low in most areas, and Spanish rental contracts usually give the tenant more rights and greater stability than UK rental contracts.

Finding a House or Flat to Rent

There are now many sites on the internet which offer properties to rent (see recommended sites, below). However, it is still adviseable to visit before you make any definite agreements, because you may find you are liable to pay rent even if you decide you don't like the house and find another one elsewhere. You can also find properties for rent listed in local newspapers and at local estate agents. If you can speak (or at least read) Spanish then all the better as you'll get more choice in which agents you can use. The market is currently very competetive however, and there is no longer any real difference in price between the ex-pat agents and the local Spanish ones.

Long Term Rental Contracts (Vivienda)

Long term, or vivienda rental contacts, are always cheaper than short term contracts and they usually run for a year. After the first year, the tennant has the right to renew for up to 5 years and the landlord is only allowed to increase the rent by the rate of inflation. You can only be evicted from the house or flat which you have rented if you fail to pay the rent, or if the landlord's finances become so bad that he or she has to move into the property. Usually, you may not leave the property within the first year without paying a penalty, but after that you will usually have to give one or two month's notice.

As in the UK, you'll be asked for a month's rent as a deposit against damage (often two month's rent for furnished properties) and if you rent through an agent then you'll have to pay another month's rent in agent fees. For some properties, you may also be asked for a bank guarantee, which is essentially a sum of money (6 month's to a year's worth of rent) held in trust by your bank, which they will hand over to the Landlord if you break your side of the contract. They are best avoided.

Short Term Rental Contracts (Temporada)

Short term lets, or temporada contracts are intended for very short-term (i.e. holiday) lets, but you can find 1,2,3 and even 11 month "temporada" contracts. These properties will be more expensive than long-term rental properties, but may be more attractive to you if you don't like the idea of being tied to a property for a year.

Note that agents aren't supposed to offer 11 month Temporada contracts. If you want to rent long term, then it is better to find an agent who will give you a Vivienda contract. However, a temporada contract can be changed to a long term one by a court either if there is a shortage of long-term rental accommodation in the area or if the landlord is deemed to be abusing the system by offering a very long temporada contract for a rented house.

See also:
Property rental agents / websites
Holiday rentals in Spain
Buying Property in Spain
Checklist for moving to Spain
Finding work in Spain


Site last updated July 2017.
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