Make sure to investigate the city and neighbourhood you would like to live. Everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to housing. Some want to have more peace and quit others prefer to be in the middle of the city. Cities like Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia (among others) have a lot of options regarding locations and what they can offer.
Think about things like supermarkets, doctor, hospitals, internet connection capabilities (as a freelancer you are more dependent on a good internet connection for example). You might have more or less need for these services, but only you know what is important for you!
We recommend you to really think about this!
By law all rental contracts need to be in Spanish. If you do not have a rental contract in Spanish you might encounter issues when you want to register into the municipality or open a Spanish bank account.
If you only have a Spanish contract and are not fluent in the language, we advise you to have the document translated by an lawyer, accountant (gestoria) or translator to make sure that everything is correct and that you accept all of the terms before signing.
Also make sure that you aren’t offered a short-time contract, these contracts are normally of a maximum of 6 months (contrato de arrendamiento de temporada) and should only be used as an holiday-rental agreement. These contracts may pose a bigger risk for you as a renter as they give the renter less protection. This also makes that renting these houses are more expensive in holiday periods. A lot of houses & appartments will see an increase in pricing at the end of spring/beginning of summer.
Other things to consider
- Any house/appartment needs an energy certificate and a residential permit, this is required by law for both rental and owner-occupied homes.
- Always check if there are no damp or water spots and if there is central heating. What happens quite a lot is that for new houses or houses of the bank, they will try to transfer the costs of the utility connections to the tenant, which can be quite expensive.
- Property insurance needs to be paid by the home-owner, content insurance if you want it you’ll need to pay yourself.
- If you have pets you will need to make sure that they are allowed in your new home. Some home-owners don’t want animals in their houses.
The house market in Spain is very varied. You may find houses that are completly bare but also a lot of houses that are rented with furniture. If this is the case check if there is a list in the contract with all furniture, appliances, utilities etc. If not you might be billed for anything missing even though you weren’t even aware it was in the house.