Renting in Spain
Rentals are either short or long term. Short term is usually for holiday rental. A long-term let is usually 11 months in duration.
In all cases, it is advisable to have a rental contract between the tenant and landlord. For long-term lets, this is usually drawn up by a solicitor (gestor), and is then officially made before a notary. For short-term (holiday) lets, you are usually required to sign a contract when you pay the deposit. For short-term lets, a deposit is usually required on booking to reserve the accommodation, and the balance is then due at a time specified by the landlord, usually 6-10 weeks before arrival. You may also be asked to pay a security deposit, which is returned to you on satisfactory inspection of the property after your departure. This varies among landlords but should be specified in the rental contract.
For long-term rentals, you will also need to pay a deposit, which is usually a month’s rent, refundable when you vacate the property, on satisfactory inspection of the property versus the inventory. You will generally be asked to pay rent one month in advance, but it is unusual to be asked to pay more than one month in advance. It is very important that you ask for a receipt every month for the rent, as this is important for you to retain should there be any problems in the rental process. If you pay by bank transfer, then this represents the receipt.
Long-term renters will need to pay all utilities bills (gas, electricity, telephone etc). For short-term rentals, this is usually included. If it is not, it will be noted in your contract. Some landlords specify a certain tariff per week, then charge extra for air conditioning, for example. Also, for short-term rentals, cleaning is not usually provided. If you require this as an extra service, it is advisable to enquire and this will then also be included in your contract.
For both long- and short-term lets, as well as signing a contract, you will also receive an inventory that lists all items (furniture etc) in the property. The inventory should also note the condition of items. It is therefore very important to check this carefully against the condition of the items, in the presence of the landlord at the start of your stay, as you will be charged for any damage to the items at the end of your stay. The inventory will effectively represent proof that any damage you may make to the property was made during your stay and not before.