To rent accommodation, you will need to draw up a rental contract with the owner. Although it is valid and legal to draw up a verbal contract, it is advisable to do it in writing. In this case, the agreement must show the names of the owner and the tenant, a description of the accommodation, the length of the agreement, the rent and other clauses you wish to include. In principle, the tenant and owner are free to decided on the contract’s length. If it is arranged for less than 5 years, it will be extended each year automatically until 5 years have passed unless the tenant informs the owner, at least 30 days before the expiry date, that he does not intend to continue living in the rented accommodation. If the length of the contract is not stipulated, it is considered to be for one year and extendable for equal periods of time up to a maximum of 5 years.
At the time the agreement is drawn up, the tenant is obliged to give the owner a deposit payment equal to the rent for one or two month. The rent, i.e. the amount that the tenant pays to the landlord to rent the accommodation is freely agreed by both parties. Payment is monthly and is updated in line with the Consumer Price Index
The cost of renting accommodation in Spain varies from one city to the other and it is difficult to generalise. As a general rule, though, rents are most expensive in the main cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Vitoria and San Sebastián. Living in the centre of one of the main cities will always be more expensive than in the outskirts or surrounding towns, although these are normally well connected by trains or buses that will normally take you to the city centre in under 30 minutes.
To give you an idea, the price of renting a one bedroomed apartment is between EUR 400 and EUR 600. If the flat has two rooms, the amount may be estimated at between EUR 500 and EUR 900. Renting a single room may cost from EUR 180 to EUR 300 per month, without counting expenses for paying a pro-rata part of the electricity, water, gas and telephone bills, which are usually paid every two months.
If you are going to buy a property, the legal transaction must be drawn up before a notary. Any ordinary or savings bank will provide information on the cost of mortgages and the respective formalities.
The price of accommodation in Spain is relatively high, even though it has experienced a considerable fall in the last year. You can request information from the Sociedad de Tasación [Property Evaluation Society], which publishes a half-yearly Bulletin that shows average property prices, statistics on price trends and forecasts. In its latest Bulletin the national average price of accommodation throughout Spain has fallen by 4.5% with respect to that reached in December 2009 .
Text last edited on: 08/2010
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