When you are seeking to rent an apartment or a house (villa) in Spain, you should face no problems in finding it (unless it’s going about an extraordinary, extreme case). Yet, you must be definitely aware of how rental contracts in Spain work, how to sign them, and what the common terms mean in Spanish. This short article will guide you through the main points of this topic.
Rental contracts in Spain (or contrato de renta) are usually signed for a term not less than 5 years. Some time ago, however, typical rental contracts in Spain were valid for 1 year, after each they should have been prolonged. A recent change in the Spanish legislation changed that, and those contracts that are concluded for 1 year (and still valid) are likely to be prolonged further for 5 years more.
When it comes to signing a rental contract in such a country like Spain, the process is usually straightforward and easy-going. However, you should attentively, slowly read the entire contract and make sure that everything in the contract is clear to you. Before actually signing the contract, you should make sure that all appliances in the house work properly and nothing is out of order. If there is anything that must be fixed, you should take a written guarantee that it’s broken and the landlord is obliged to fix it. Though, it would be definitely better if you move in when everything works smoothly.
Typically, rental contracts in Spain are valid at least for 5 years
Landlords are not that well protected by the Spanish legislation, so you should not find it surprising that they try to secure themselves against unexpected issues. If you rent a furnished apartment or house, landlords may ask for a deposit (fianza), which may be equal to 1 or 2 months of rental cost. That’s ok. If the deposit demanded by the landlord is higher than that, you should avoid it. Don’t forget to agree on the return time of your deposit and get an obligation of the landlord to return it in writing.
Other types of guarantees (garantías) that may be demanded by a landlord include copies of payslips (nómina) or school/university letters, which will show that you have enough means to finance the rent. In some cases, landlords ask tenants to provide a bank guarantee (aval bancario), which essentially means that you should provide a letter of credit from a Spanish bank. So in case if you default on your rental obligations, the bank will be forced to pay the sum you owe to the landlord.
Paying for utilities, also known as Augustus de commanded, and community fees may be either included in the rental cost of accommodation or not, depending on a landlord you are dealing with. Community fees typically include payments for general maintenance, doorman, trash collection, and, in some cases, one or a few of the utility bills. So before signing a rental contract, you must make sure what bills you will have to pay for on your own.