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Accommodation in Spain


It can be quite difficult for an expat to find accommodation in Spain. The rental market is quite restrictive. Here is an overview.

It may be quite difficult to find accommodation in Spain, especially in Madrid where the demand as well as prices are relatively high despite scarcity. But you can still find affordable accommodation elsewhere in the country, especially in the countryside and smaller cities. 

In general, rents are quite high in Spain, especially in the most popular areas. However, away from city or economic centres, prices remain affordable. So it's up to you to decide where you want to settle, depending on your budget.


A few years back, lease used to have a 5 years duration with a minimum of one year of occupancy. Things have changed recently, moving from 5 to 3 years with a minimum of 6 months of occupancy or more. In all cases, it is generally written on the lease contract. In case you try to put an end to the contrat during that period, you may have to pay a compensation to the owner. 

Make sure that the lease contract clearly specifies your obligations and those of the landlord regarding tenancy period, other charges, maintenance fees, etc. A verbal lease may be legal, but you can also buy lease contract templates at tobacco shops, for instance.

You could as well opt for a temporary lease contract with a 1 to 11 months duration. You can thus enjoy furnished and equiped housing units which are ideal for short stays such as internships or temporary missions, etc. 

A one or two months' rent deposit in cash is often required from the landlord to cope for the possible damage the tenant might cause. The landlord must give the deposit back to the tenant within a month after lease termination. 

There is generally no inventory prior to relocation in Spain. But feel free to take pictures of the housing unit and attach these to your lease agreement and make an inventory list as exhaustive as possible, especially in the case the accommodation is furnished. You are also advised to check whether the equipment provided is working before signing the lease contract. In case any object or applicance has to be repaired, you can request for necessary to be done before signing the contract, or simply a commitment from the owner. 

Rent may include property tax and residence tax. You are hence advised to find out what the rent includes before signing the contract. Water, gas and electricity bills are not included and have to be settled separately.

Find accommodation

If you need to find a suitable and affordable place in Madrid or in any other major Spanish city, flat-sharing is a very cheap and popular option (piso compartido). Many websites are dedicated to flat-sharing in Spain. Browse the Internet or visit one of the links below. 

Classified ads in local newspapers can be helpful. You can even find newspapers that are entirely dedicated to housing. If you are urgently looking for accommodation, feel free to seek help from the nearest tourism office which can provide you with a list of available housing. You might also want to register with a real estate agency. Note, however, that agency fees apply, so you better plan your budget.

It can be quite difficult to find accommodation from abroad. In fact, most owners prefer to meet tenants in person before letting their property. At the same time, you should avoid signing a lease contract without visiting the premises, taking into account sensitive quality details.

In major cities, summer is the ideal period to look for accommodation, that is between May and July. On the other hand, it can be quite difficult to find accommodation or have an appointment with an owner during holidays.

  Useful links: - Housing in Spain 
Piso compartido
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Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
1 Comment
2 years ago

There is a new website for long term online rentals in Madrid called They give all the information possible to help you make your decision, with the aim of saving you time and money in your property search, before arriving to Spain. They have visited all of the flats you see on the website in person (making video tour, floorplans, professinoal photography of each property!) and can answer any questions you might have about the flat or the neighborhood.


See also

Rent prices are quite high in Barcelona just like in Madrid. But this major Spanish city has a wide range of accommodation options for all tastes.
Rent prices in Madrid can be quite high. But the Spanish capital city has rather attractive neighborhoods and accommodation offers.
Accommodation offers are abundant in Malaga, one of the major Spanish cities. It is also one of the cities where rent prices are more affordable.
Each of Sevilla's districts and neighborhoods is unique, representing a blend of traditions with modernity. Discover the accommodation options in Sevilla.
Tenerife is one of Spain's main tourist destinations in Spain. Hence, it offers a wide range of accommodation options: hotels, apartments, houses, etc.

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