August 24, 2016 No Comments

Renting A Property In Spain – Avoiding Pitfalls

Generally there is a shortage of quality housing for rental in and around major cities, particularly detached houses, and it is accordingly not easy to find ideal accommodation which combines individual tastes with needs such as access to work, school, shops and of course at an accessible cost.

Rental Agencies

Rental of property in Spain is often handled through authorised agencies, most of whom specialise in certain types of property and some of whom informally interchange information on available properties. There is no formalised interchange structure or multi-listing. Hunting for a house without a relocation agency therefore means calling various agencies to see the available properties and running the risk of seeing them several times over.

Real estate agencies can charge a commission of either 10% of the yearly rent or the equivalent to one month’s rent +16% VAT and this is paid by the tenant.

Renting a Property


Rental accomodation may be unfurnished, which means that the property comes without any fixtures or fittings – in some cases not even light fittings or towel rails. However, all houses and apartments will come with a fitted kitchen, which includes fitted cabinets, oven and hob and, normally an extractor fan. It does not normally include large white electrical appliances. There will usually be good-sized fitted wardrobes in the bedrooms.


There is little good-quality furnished property on the market and this can give rise to difficulties for those expatriates whose terms of employment encourage this type of accommodation or who know they will not be in Spain for long.

A furnished property might only include the basic furniture and you would be well-advised to bring items such as crockery, cutlery, linen etc.


A returnable deposit of one month’s rent is payable for both unfurnished and furnished property. However, many owners now request two months’ deposit for furnished property. Any damage not considered fair wear and tear should not be deducted from this deposit.

Community Charges

In most cases your monthly rental in an apartment or town-house with a communal garden and pool will include the community charges, which pay the concierge’s wages, upkeep of pool and garden, cleaning of communal areas etc. In older blocks of apartments heating and hot water will also be included within this charge. The landlord will pay all the taxes relating to the house and any structural maintenance and in some cases the rubbish collection.

If the property is a free-standing house, the tenant will be responsible for the upkeep of the pool and the garden. The question of who pays the gardener’s wages is sometimes negotiable, but normally the tenant would pay. Similarly, the tenant pays all expenses which are metered – electricity, gas, telephone and water.

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