So you are thinking of moving to Spain and you have seen a place to rent. Wait ! there are a few things you should know before you sign the rental contract.
Renting in Spain is the best thing to do when you first move to Spain and in the post i will tell you why its a good idea and why you need to keep it a short rent.
Many Brits decide to rent in Spain and normally find a place they like through a local Spanish agents and are so excited about the thought of living in Spain that they make a few mistakes that will give them problems later.
First off most agents or owners will try and get you to do a long rent as that is more beneficial to them. When you say yes to a place that you like they will get you to sign a contract and pay the deposits in their office and you need to know what it is you are signing for so take someone with you who Speaks Spanish or pay a gestor or lawyer, this can save you money in the long run.
Remember the agents dont earn very much here and are on commission so a quick deal is what they are after and they will be very friendly to you to get it. Most agents are very nice and helpful and have a great knowledge of the local area so when you are out with them looking for a rental use this time to ask them as many questions as possible about that area. This is your chance to get loads of info for free and they will be happy to help here as they want the sale. or in this case the commission.
The price of the rent normally does not include bills so ask what the bills are and they will give you a rough idea. Also community charges here like for gardens and pool can be as much as 125 a month so ask as this can make a big difference . Check appliances when you are in the place or go back a second time just before you sign to make sure they work and that the furniture is all there.
Yes its great to have a lovely pool where you are renting but as i found out once being near the pool is not a great idea as around 4pm when the kids are off school they will be screaming and shouting in the pool most of the afternoon so a place away from the pool may be better. Pools are normally open from june to september and close around 9pm but if you rent in a place where there are a lot of apartments then in the summer months people use the pool late into the night and often after they have been out on the town so you may get a few party goers in the pool at 3am. not so nice if you are trying to sleep.
Short Term Rent NOT long Term.
Personally I think its best to rent for a max of 6 months, heres why.
There are loads of places to rent in most towns here and if you do a 6 month rent and really like it then you can ask to stay longer. This is something you should ask before you rent it . just ask the agent if you rent for a period of time can you extend that stay, most will say thats ok but get it in writing. An owner will look after you better if they think that you may extend your rent with them.
Also if you rent for 6 months and you find that you dont like the area or the street noise at night or a hundred other things that you will not know until you first move in, then you can change to another location. If you rent for 6 months and you get to know the area and you will find other places near you that may be even better and cheaper so want to change and a 6 month rent gives you this freedom. Imagine signing a contract for 1 year and the first week you move in find that the hotel or bar near by has parties every night or that the locals sit right outside your window chatting all night. You will have to put up with that for 1 year.
The very first place i rented here was for 6 months and i later extended it 4 months more. After that i found out that the hotel behind where i was had been renovated and was now open. this had not been a problem but when it was open it was summer and every morning at 6am they had the kitchen windows open and where preparing for breakfasts and the noise from the kitchens woke everyone up. At that time i had just started working here and got up for work around 7.30 so to be woken up at 6am each day started to get me down.
There are many things that you wont know about until you stay there a few nights so if you rent short term you have the chance to move on.
When you go to see the rental and find one you really like. go back a few times at different times of the day and at night to see from the outside what the areas is like. I had a friend here who rented a place they loved when they saw it in the morning with the agents but the very first day they had loads of cars park right outside their entrance as there was a small quiet school near by but at 2pm when the kids get out the mums and dads would double park and block the street and there would be noise every day at this time. this became a real upset for them after a few weeks.
Normally you will pay a deposit of 1 month up front and 1 month deposit some may ask for more but i would stick to the 1 month.
When it comes to leaving the rental and you want your deposit back be careful.
At the end of my first rent here i told the agent that we were moving out and could he come take a look at the place to see it was all ok. He told me thats not necessary as he trusted us but i insisted and he did and saw that it was all ok. we even left a few new appliances that we had bought but did not want to take with us. 2 days later we moved out and at the end of the week returned to the agents office to collect our deposit of 480 euros.
The agent told us that the owner had to get in cleaners to clean the place and that cost them 480 euros so no return of our deposit. We protested and the agent was embarrassed as he had seen the place was ok. We said that was crazy that it cost the exact same as out deposit and he just shrugged his shoulders. I was mad and spoke to a local lawyer who told me thats normal here and we would best just forget it as it would cost more to go after them for the deposit.
I did get my own back a few months later but thats another story pm me for details.
Some areas now have a system where you pay the deposit to the local council offices here and at the end of the term you go to them to get your deposit back. ask about this with your agent or lawyer. Personally now i would get the owner and the agent to come to the place the day you move out and sign that its ok there and then.
Renting in Spain when you first move here is the best thing to do even if you are ready to buy here. rent first a months to really get to know the area people and your neighbours.
Do it right get help if you cant speak very good Spanish as it can be stressful.
If this info has been useful please leave a comment in the group. here
I have loads more money saving tips in my 2 new books out on Amazon and Kindle You can see here.. http://livinginspainbooks.com/