Finding a flat to rent in Barcelona is not easy. There are plenty of flats, but it can be difficult to find a nice flat for a good price. Flats rent very quickly too, especially under €900 per month.
Long-term accommodation is usually any term longer than six months. A standard long-term rental contract in Barcelona is valid for three years, with a minimum term of 12 months (although you can find terms with a minimum of six months now). You can usually leave after six months by paying a penalty of one month’s rent, as long as you give 30 days’ notice.
Tips for renting accommodation
- I recommend at least one trip to Barcelona (if you don’t already know the city quite well) to find the areas that you like. Even if you’ve visited Barcelona before, chances are you know all the tourist areas, but have less information on good residential areas.
- Agents charge one month’s rent or 10% of the annual rental cost as their fee, and it’s the new tenant that pays that fee. There’s VAT on top of that at 21%.
- It’s normal to pay two months’ rent as a deposit and one month’s rent in advance. Whatever your rental budget is, multiply that figure by four and that’s roughly what you’ll need to rent a flat.
- On one of your reconnaissance trips to the city, meet some estate agents to develop a relationship. Better still arrange to visit some properties, even if you’re not quite ready to rent.
- Open a bank account in Spain as soon as possible, preferably before you move. It’s much easier to be able to transfer money across to Spain before you arrive rather than having to wait for it to clear. To open a non-resident’s account all you need is an address and your passport.
- If time is a problem and you can’t easily get to Barcelona to search for accommodation, why not use a Barcelona flat finding service. By the time you’ve paid airfare and a hotel, it can actually work out cheaper to pay someone else to search and organise viewings for you.
Flats for Rent in Barcelona
Below you’ll find some information on renting for the long-term in Barcelona. Head off to this page if you’re looking for short-term accommodation.
Renting for the long term
Flats and houses in Barcelona are usually vacant when viewed, so you need to be ready to to make a decision and reserve a property when you find one that you like. Landlords won’t usually keep a flat for you for very long, so unless you want to start paying the rent in advance, it’s best to start your search close to the time that you’re ready to move in.
Documentation needed to rent in Barcelona
You need to be able to prove that you can afford the rent, and the ideal way to do that is to show your work contract, or letter from your employer confirming that you will be employed.
If you’re self-employed or have a work contract with a company outside Spain, landlords may ask you for a higher deposit. A standard deposit is the equivalent of two months’ rent. Basically the more income or streams of income you can show the better.
Reserving your rental property
In order to secure a property you first have to reserve it. This requires paying a reservation fee. If you change your mind you will lose that reservation fee. This fee is deducted from the total amount you pay when renting, and means that the flat is taken off the market, and you can rent it subject to the owner checking your paperwork and accepting you as a tenant.
Tenants now have to pay a tax called ITP when signing a new rental contract. This tax is 0.5% on the total rent, and you have 30 days to pay it after signing the rental contract.
Your rental contract
It’s worth getting a lawyer to look over your contract, or at least get someone to translate it for you, so you fully understand what you’re signing.
When you rent for the long term, utilities are not included in the rent. You have to pay the gas, water and electricity separately. Once you’ve signed your contract, the utility bills have to be changed into your name.
Beware of renting flats where the utilities are disconnected. It can take some time to open new accounts and occasionally there is paperwork that you need to show in order to get connected, and that can all be very difficult if you don’t speak Spanish.
Internet won’t be connected, but this is now much easier and quicker to get set up than it used to be. See internet in Barcelona.
Rebecca is the agent for an owner who has flats in the Sant Pere, Barceloneta, El Raval and Grácia areas of Barcelona. Rebecca is English and speaks Spanish. I’ve met her several times, have viewed some of the properties, and can recommend her.
The flats are good value because the rental price (usually under €800 per month) includes internet. The flats are fully furnished and equipped. The rental term is flexible with a minimum term of six months.
Rebecca doesn’t have a website, so if you’d like information on the flats that she has available currently, please get in touch via my contact form.
How to Rent in Barcelona
How to Rent in Barcelona is my ebook explaining the rental process in Barcelona and Catalonia. By understanding the system, you will be much better prepared to find and rent the right property. It includes:
• Questions to ask when viewing properties
• What you will need to pay: fees, deposits…
• Your responsibilities when renting
• The reservation process
• An explanation of a standard rental contract