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Property rentals in Spain

Where to look and what to pay attention to when renting a property in Andalusia ?

Renting an apartment in Spain can often be a challenging journey for newcomers. Everything, of course, depends on our preferences; the greater the requirements, such as a terrace, pool access, sea view, access to transportation, etc., the higher the price, of course. We have lived in various types of properties, such as in an attic with a solarium (an attic - is an apartment on the top floor of a building, often leading out to a solarium, a sizable terrace, often on the roof of the building), in "normal" apartments, we have rented a house, over the years we have had dozens of meetings, and I can't count how many conversations with agents, and property owners.

I will try to bring you closer to the most important issues related to this topic, I hope this post will be useful.

First of all, direct contact

From our experience, it is very hard to arrange a rental remotely. In practice, it looks like this: on the pages, listed below, next to the property, you will find a form with a number to the agent or owner. Filling out forms generally does not bring results, 2/10 agents might call you back, but I wouldn't count on it. If you speak Spanish - call confidently, if in English - good luck, there's a chance that someone on the other end will be able to have a conversation with you, however, in 98% you'll likely just be wished a nice day - in Spanish :) However, of course, we can go to agencies aimed at serving foreigners, there will always be someone who will present the offer in a language other than Spanish.

Family + dog, BIG DOG…

For years, our beloved wolf-like dog has accompanied us. Unfortunately, as it often turned out, neither the property owners nor the agents shared our love for the four-legged friend. Therefore, many of the offers we were interested in passed us by... Unfortunately, agents also often look unfavorably on small children, and the combo big dog + small child crushes negotiations right at the start...

What to pay attention to when browsing the offer

  • Position relative to the sun - this is important both in summer and winter. I would advise against renting apartments that are shaded and poorly lit. In the summer heat, it may seem like the perfect solution, however, in winter it is… seriously cold, especially at night when the temperature can drop to 2, 4 degrees - buildings here are not insulated... A bit of sun and warm windows during winter days will definitely add coziness.
  • Air conditioning - it's worth it to already be installed. However, if the property seems to be perfect for you, and the only drawback is the lack of air conditioning, or another addition important for your comfort, especially if you plan a long-term rental, it's worth simply agreeing with the owner, preferably before signing the contract, whether they agree to share the costs of installing something that will also increase the property value, say, with some of our input, accounted for in the form of, for example, reduced rent. Negotiation is possible, and owners, at least those we have encountered, have often accommodated us, caring for our comfort of using the apartment/house.
  • I will not write about banalities such as location, presence of pools, and other attractions, reputation of the district, proximity to services and transportation, this depends on individual needs.
  • Hot, cold water - it is worth paying attention to how the water is heated. Spanish construction does not foresee the need for the installation of radiators, or the possibility of delivering hot water network-wise. So far, we have dealt with three different ways of heating water, namely: ​

    Electric boiler - old models are rather not very economical
    Gas boiler - gas is delivered network-wise, this is the best solution.
    Gas boiler - gas is delivered in bottles. I'll stop here. It requires buying gas bottles from time to time. Most often, private companies take care of delivery, making a tour once/twice a week through the districts exchanging used bottles. It's best to have two because in the accelerated rhythm of life, one often forgets to check the amount of gas and it happened that in the second half of the bath, I had to convince myself that I am hardening my body... Unfortunately, you need to have somewhere to store them, in my opinion, it's neither safe nor beautiful, well...
Strange practices of real estate agents 

When, for example, after a presentation, we expressed our negative opinion about the place, with a request to send similar offers, only a few agents in the entire history of searches renewed contact. In general, we noticed that the tactic of contacting the client is based on the magic number 3, if 3 times we do not like the offers presented, we can be sure that no one from this agency will contact us again....

Several times it happened that already at the introduction the agent on behalf of the owner demanded to bring a copy of the contract with the employer, and printouts from the bank certifying receipts... 

After scheduling a visit with an agent, you usually go straight to the property of interest to see it, and this practice suits us best. However, there are times when you're asked to come to the office to sign documents, where you often agree (or not) to a clause stating that if, after a presentation by the agent, you somehow negotiate directly with the owner, you'll pay a penalty to the agency's account. So, if you don't want to waste time on trips to the office – make that clear in the conversation.

The worst experience I recall was with the Opau Malaga agency, which we found after discovering an interesting listing online. After making an appointment, we went to their office only to be surprised – the representative presented us with a contract to sign, stating yes, they would find us interesting offers, but we would have to pay €600 a month for this service – no thank you for that kind of help 🙂 Besides, the company doesn't have the best reputation online.

Fees and utility providers

It's worth asking what utilities are already installed in the property and how we will be settling up with the owner. After taking over the property, typically, the contract with the previous tenant's utility providers is terminated, so we face the process of choosing and signing contracts with suppliers, for example, gas, electricity, thereby bearing all the costs associated with the connection, which are not insignificant, but in our case, were reimbursed by the property owners. In this post Click Here You will find price comparison sites for utility providers, internet, electricity, gas, or telephony.

Charges continue...

Fees don't stop there. Agents often expect increasingly higher amounts for their brokerage services. Usually, this is the equivalent of one month's rent, although it used to be half a month's rent. To this, we must add the security deposit for the owner, which recently, in better "locations," is accepted to be the equivalent of two months' rent.

And voilà - all that's left is to enjoy your new place

After taking over the property, I recommend taking photos of any defects you come across. This could be a cracked tile, scratches on walls, slightly scraped doors, or anything that might be used as a reason to avoid returning your deposit. It's also best to report these issues to the owner in writing, perhaps via WhatsApp or email.

The most important recommended services for looking to buy or rent property in Spain

Always on the move, though sometimes longing for a bit of boredom... 😉 My passions? Technology, photography, psychology, diving into various reads, and sports...especially the aquatic varieties! Professionally, I design websites, graphics, etc. I'm also the author of a website and a photographer at www.pixambo.com 📸

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