Accommodation in Madrid

Rent house or flat in Madrid

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If you're planning to stay in Spain for a few years only (say less than three), then renting is usually the best solution since the costs associated with purchasing a house can be 10% of its value. It's also the answer for those who don't want the trouble, expense and restrictions associated with buying a property.

Furnished or unfurnished
Most rental properties in Spain are let unfurnished, particularly for lets longer than one year.

Note that "unfurnished" doesn't simply mean "without furniture" in Spain. An unfurnished property, particularly in major cities, is usually an "empty shell" with no light fixtures, curtain rods or even a television aerial. There's also no cooker, refrigerator or dishwasher and there may even be no kitchen units, carpets or kitchen sink! Always ask before viewing as you may save yourself a wasted trip. If the previous tenant has fitted items such as carpets and kitchen cupboards, he may ask you to reimburse him for the cost. You should be prepared to negotiate the price and make sure that you receive value for money.

Finding a property to rent in Madrid is similar to the situation in London or Paris. There are a number of ways of finding a property to rent, including the following:

  • Ask your friends, relatives and acquaintances to help spread the word, particularly if you're looking in the area where you already live.
  • You can also look out for "to rent" (se alquila) signs in windows in your local neighbourhood.
  • If you're looking for an apartment in a block in Madrid or Barcelona, it's prudent to ask the porter (portero) if there are any vacancies in a building or if anything is coming vacant soon.
  • Check the advertisements in local Spanish newspapers and magazines under alquiler. If you cannot speak Spanish, you may prefer to respond to advertisements in expatriate newspapers and magazines, where advertisers are likely to speak English or other foreign languages. There's little jargon or abbreviations in Spanish rental ads and most can be deciphered without too much trouble.
  • Visit accommodation and letting agents (Agentes Propiedad Inmobiliaria). It's often better to deal with an agent than directly with owners, particularly concerning contracts and legal matters. Note that agents usually charge commission equal to a half or one month's rent for long-term rentals.
  • Check the advertisements in shop windows and on notice boards in shopping centres, supermarkets, universities and colleges, and company offices.
  • Obtain copies of newsletters published by churches, clubs and expatriate organizations, and also check their notice boards.

To find accommodation through advertisements in local newspapers you must usually be quick off the mark. Buy the newspaper as soon as it's published and start phoning straight away. You must be available to inspect properties immediately or at any time. The best days for advertisements are usually Fridays and Saturdays. Advertisers may be private owners, real-estate managers or letting agencies (particularly in major cities).

Rents for a 2-bedroom apartment in a large city can be 500-600€ per month, while a 3 bedroom house can be around 1200€ per month. In addition, you might pay a real estate agent up to 1 months rent, and a guarantee equal to 1 month.

In case of a dispute with the landlord
If you have a complaint regarding a long-term rental, you should report it to the local municipal consumers' information office (Oficina Municipal de Información al Consumidor/OMIC). If they're unable to help you, they will direct you to the office where you can make a formal complaint.

A rental contract (contrato de arrendamiento) is necessary when renting any property in Spain, whether long or short term. A short-term or temporary (arriendo de temporada or contrato de arrendamiento de finca urbana amueblada, por temporada) contract is usually for holiday letting (although it also applies to lets of up to a year) and provides tenants with less rights than a long-term (arriendo de viviendas) contract. You can rent a property without a contract, although it's always advisable to have a written contract. When a landlord accepts a rent payment there's an implicit contract, although this is only for the period for which you have paid. You should receive a written receipt for all rental payments.

Duration of the lease
Under the new law a rental contract for a principal home has a minimum duration of five years and is renewable annually by mutual consent. A contract is tacitly increased for one year if the tenant doesn't give the landlord 30 days' notice before the end of a year and rent increases are limited to the rise in the consumer price (inflation) index (Indice de Precios al Consumo/IPC). If a landlord wishes to recover a property for his own use he can refuse to extend the contract beyond five years. A tenant must pay a deposit of one month's rent against damages, which is held by an independent agency.

A tenant can terminate the contract (and is entitled to compensation) if the landlord has caused changes or disturbances in the property, doesn't carry out the repairs necessary to keep the property in adequate condition, or doesn't offer the services stated in the contract.

Tenants may be required to pay property tax (IBI) and community fees if it's specified in the contract. Long-term tenants must take out third party insurance for a property they are renting.

When renting a property you may be required to complete and sign an inventory (inventario) of the fixtures, fittings and furnishings and make a report of its general condition. If you find a serious fault after signing the inventory, send a registered letter to your landlord asking for it to be attached to the inventory. When leaving rented accommodation you may be required to pay for cleaning, unless you leave it in a spotless condition. Check that you aren't overcharged; the going rate is usually less than 6€s an hour.

You can also consult on the Internet:

  • For more information:

    Update 14/08/2010

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    Apartments in Madrid for your first months in the city
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    If you are moving to Madrid and you need to find a house to live, you can stay in one apartment while you are looking for your proper house instead of staying in an hotel, which is cold and with no privacy. You can have a look at our apartments where you will feel like at home. They are fully equipped and centrally located and most of them have Internet Broadband Connection!!!. Find yours here:

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    Apartments for rent in Madrid a
    ApartInMadrid is a services company specialized in offering short (3 nights minimum) and mid term apartments for rent in Madrid downtown city center. These serviced apartments are the right solution if you need to rent an apartment for short terms, fully furnished, equipped with the latest electro domestics (TV, DVD, internet), kitchen facilities and all the needed services including laundry and cleaning.

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