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How to Find Housing in Spain

find accommodation in spain

The Importance of Finding Suitable Housing

By ConversaSpain

Going abroad is fun and exciting, however, it would be nonsense to deny the challenges that come with it, like finding housing in Spain -it can be particularly daunting. Our auxiliaries are all set to jump into Spain; nevertheless, amidst the buzzing anticipation, there’s a little quest to conquer: finding that perfect nest to make their Spanish journey feel like a warm, cozy hug. Their “home away from home”. Undoubtedly, it is a big deal!

Imagine this: You’re getting all set for your Spanish teaching adventure, but even superheroes need a good night’s rest, right? Your choice of home sweet home can truly shape your time overseas. It’s more than just a place to catch some Z’s; it’s what adds warmth to your Spanish experience.

Stay with us as we explore why finding the perfect place should be high on your list for the auxiliares program in Spain. Let’s make wonderful memories within those walls!

Understanding Spanish Housing Options

When it comes to understanding Spanish housing options, there’s a variety of choices to consider. You’ve got shared apartments, perfect for splitting costs and meeting new people. Student residences offer a community vibe and some added facilities. Homestays provide an authentic local experience, staying with a Spanish family. And that’s just the beginning!

From cozy studios to lively co-living spaces, Spain’s got a housing adventure waiting for you.

Choose what suits your style and let the Spanish journey begin!

How to Find Housing in Spain: Trustworthy Websites

Keep in mind that the popularity and reliability of websites can change over time, so it’s a good idea to double-check their reputation and user reviews before using them. These websites offer different options like sharing, renting, or buying. If you want to rent/share, go into the alquilar/compartir option. Here are some reputable websites to start your search:

How to Find Housing in Spain: Idealista


Idealista is one of the most popular real estate websites to find housing in Spain. It offers a wide range of listings for apartments, houses, and other properties across the country.


Fotocasa is another well-known platform with a comprehensive database of properties for rent and sale in Spain. It’s user-friendly and allows you to filter results by various criteria.

How to Find Housing in Spain: Fotocasa
How to Find Housing in Spain: is a reliable platform that offers listings for both rental and sale properties. It provides detailed property information and a user-friendly interface.


This website provides a range of property listings, including apartments, houses, and commercial properties. It’s user-friendly and allows you to search by location and property type.

How to Find Housing in Spain: YaEncontre
How to Find Housing in Spain: Habitaclia


Habitaclia offers a comprehensive search engine for properties in Spain, including rentals and sales. It covers a wide range of regions and property types.

There are some other websites such as Spotahome or Piso Compartido -to rent a room in a shared apartment- that are growing lately, check those out as well!

Expat forums and social media groups

In addition to these websites, consider joining expat forums or social media groups related to Spain. Expats often share their housing experiences, recommendations, and listings in these communities.

Remember to exercise caution and do thorough research when dealing with property listings and agents to avoid potential scams or fraudulent listings. It’s also a good idea to seek legal advice if you’re unfamiliar with the local real estate processes and regulations in Spain.

What You Need to Rent in Spain

Now that you have decided what type of accommodation you would like to go for, let’s see what they will ask from you.

Spanish bank account

To pay for rent and utilities -if not included- it would be best if you have opened a Spanish bank account. Our auxiliaries have information on how to do this in the timeline we share with them. In their case, they have to open a Spanish bank account, as that is how they will get paid.

Proof of income or economic support

Most apartments will ask for documents that prove you will be able to cover rent every month. Usually, they ask for the 3 last month’s payroll. However, auxiliaries can show them their Carta de Nombramiento as well as let the landlord know that they are receiving a beca. Some other people have a signed letter and income from their parents that states they will be the ones to pay for rent so that the auxiliar will be economically supported.

NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero)

Obtaining a NIE is crucial if you plan to rent an apartment in Spain. Make sure to secure one in advance. Our auxiliaries will all have a NIE linked to their visa, so one less step!

References from Trusted Sources

The extent of this requirement depends on the landlord’s trust level and disposition. You may be asked for references from individuals you know or previous landlords of residences you’ve occupied in the past.

These requirements can vary from one property owner to another, with some being more demanding in their requests, while others take a more relaxed approach.

Navigating Contracts and Legalities to Find Housing in Spain

Renting an apartment in Spain as an expat involves various contracts and legalities to ensure a smooth and binding rental arrangement. Here are the key aspects to consider:

Rental contract types

Rental Contract Types

Short-Term Rental (alquiler de temporada): Typically used for vacation rentals, these contracts are generally for less than three months and do not offer the same tenant protection as long-term contracts.

Long-Term Rental (alquiler de vivienda): This is the most common type of rental contract for expats staying in Spain for an extended period, usually a year or more.

Lease agreement

Lease Agreement

A lease agreement (contrato de arrendamiento) is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of the rental, including rent amount, payment schedule, security deposit, and duration.

It’s essential to have this contract in writing, preferably in both Spanish and your native language, to ensure clarity and avoid misunderstandings.

Security deposit

Security Deposit (Fianza)

Landlords typically require a security deposit, usually equivalent to one or two months’ rent. The deposit is meant to cover any damages or unpaid rent at the end of the tenancy.

Both parties should document the condition of the property in writing, including photographs, during move-in to avoid disputes over the deposit when you move out.


Rent Payment

Rent is typically paid monthly in Spain, and it is usually due on the first day of the month.

Payment methods may vary, but bank transfers are common. Make sure to obtain receipts for all payments.


Termination and Notice Period

Long-term rental contracts in Spain typically have a minimum duration of one year, but they can be renewed.

To terminate the contract, you usually need to provide notice in writing at least 30 days before your intended move-out date. If you have signed for longer, you may have to pay for that time as well.


Maintenance and Repairs

The landlord is responsible for major structural repairs, while tenants are responsible for minor maintenance and day-to-day upkeep.

Any significant repairs or issues with the property should be reported to the landlord promptly.

Things you have broken or wrongly used are your responsibility.

Utility bills

Utility Bills

Depending on the rental agreement, utility bills may be included in the rent or paid separately by the tenant.

Ensure that utility arrangements are clearly defined in the contract.

Taxes and legal fees


You may be responsible for certain agency fees, depending on the specific terms of the contract. Not all apartments go through agencies, but the ones that do sometimes include fees. Make sure to check.

It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific rental laws and regulations in the region of Spain where you plan to rent.

Rights as a Tenant When Renting in Spain

Expats renting apartments in Spain have certain rights and protections under Spanish law, designed to ensure fair and transparent rental agreements. Here are some key rights and protections:

Right to a Written Contract

You have the right to a written rental contract that clearly outlines the terms and conditions of the tenancy. The contract should be in both Spanish and, if necessary, your native language.

Right to Privacy

Besides, the landlord must respect your privacy and cannot enter the property without your consent, except in cases of emergency or with prior notice for inspections or repairs.

Right to a Security Deposit

While landlords typically require a security deposit, they are legally required to return it to you within one month after the end of the tenancy, minus any valid deductions for unpaid rent or damages. Keep everything in good condition and take pictures of how you found it so that they do not try to keep it.

Protection from Unfair Evictions

Spanish law provides certain protections against arbitrary eviction. A landlord must have a legitimate reason, such as non-payment of rent or contract violations, to terminate a rental agreement. However, if a family member needs housing along with other specific situations, eviction might be justified. Proper notice and legal proceedings are required for eviction.

Right to Rent Stabilization

In some regions of Spain, there are rent stabilization measures in place to limit excessive rent increases. These measures aim to protect tenants from sudden and unreasonable hikes in rent. This can happen when renewing a contract, not in the middle of one, so it should not happen to auxiliaries as they stay here for a shorter period.

Protection from Discrimination

Obviously, landlords are prohibited from discriminating against tenants based on factors such as nationality, race, gender, religion, or disability.

Rent Increases

If your rental contract allows for rent increases, these increases are typically tied to the Spanish Consumer Price Index (IPC). Any proposed increases must be communicated to you in writing.

Right to Request Repairs

You have the right to request necessary repairs or maintenance to keep the property in habitable condition. Landlords are typically responsible for major structural repairs. But this does not necessarily apply to things you have broken or you have wrongly used.

Right to Terminate the Contract

You have the right to terminate the rental contract according to the terms specified in the agreement. Typically, this involves giving 30 days’ notice. That usually refers to the end of the contract as you have to let them know you won’t renew. However, if you wish to terminate it earlier and you have signed for a longer period of time, you may have to pay for that time as well.

It’s important to note that rental laws and regulations may vary between regions in Spain, so it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with the specific rules and protections in the area where you intend to find housing in Spain.

Additionally, maintaining good communication with your landlord and keeping records of all correspondence and payments can be beneficial in case of any disputes or misunderstandings. If you believe your rights are being violated, seeking legal advice is recommended.

Bear in mind that, as well as rights, tenants have obligations like paying on time, keeping the apartment in good condition, and respecting their neighbors among others. Make sure that you understand your rights but you also fulfill your obligations.

How to Find Housing In Spain: Avoid Scams

Are you excited about finding your new home in Spain now? However, one more thing to keep in mind: Watch out for scams as you start your search—they’re all too common and often specifically targeted at expats.

Before You Begin Your Search

To embark on your housing search in Spain successfully, consider the following steps:

  1. Exercise Caution Against Scams: First and foremost, be alert to potential scams; unfortunately, they are common and often target expats in Spain.
  2. Reliable Websites Only: When searching for properties online, trust reputable websites like Idealista or Fotocasa. It’s crucial to avoid suspicious-looking websites to ensure a secure search experience.
  3. Financial Planning: Plan your budget wisely to navigate the Spanish housing market smoothly. Ensure you have enough funds available to cover advanced rent payments, even for month-to-month arrangements. It’s advisable to save between six months to a year’s rent.

During Your Search to Find Housing in Spain

While actively searching for your ideal property in Spain, consider the following strategies:

  1. Thoroughly Examine the Rental Contract: When you find a potential property, it’s imperative to review the rental contract carefully. Ideally, do this with the landlord or a real estate agent present to clarify any doubts.
  2. Comparison Shopping: Take your time comparing prices for apartments. Avoid rushing into a decision and conduct thorough research to prevent overpaying.
  3. Inspect the Neighborhood: Before committing to a property, ensure the neighborhood offers amenities such as supermarkets, healthcare services, and convenient public transport connections.
  4. View Properties in Person: Never rent a property without personally inspecting it first. Visit, scrutinize, and ask questions during your visit to avoid unpleasant surprises hidden by deceptive photos. We recommend booking an Airbnb or hotel for the first couple of days/week so that you can go apartment hunting once you are in Spain.

After Finding a Property

Once you’ve secured a property, it’s essential to focus on the following:

  1. Comprehensive Understanding of Rental Agreement: Familiarize yourself with all the terms and conditions in the rental agreement, both for the apartment itself and the common areas within the building.

Budgeting and Financial Planning

Managing your finances effectively is key to a successful stay in Spain, whether you’re in the bustling Community of Madrid, scenic Castilla y León, charming Castilla-La Mancha, or sunny Murcia.

Price Realities

Understanding the cost of living is essential:

Housing costs can vary widely across regions. In major cities like Madrid, renting can be relatively expensive. It’s wise to research average rent prices and living expenses for your chosen area to set realistic expectations.

Budgeting Tips

Consider these budgeting tips for your time in Spain:

  1. Housing: Allocate a significant portion of your budget for housing, typically around 30-40%. Consider shared accommodation or suburban living if you’re on a tight budget.
  2. Living Expenses: Factor in costs for groceries, transportation, and utilities. Spain offers affordable living, especially in smaller towns.
  3. Entertainment and Dining: While Spain offers fantastic dining and cultural experiences, monitor your spending in this category. Frequent dining out can add up.
  4. Savings: Allocate a portion of your income to savings, whether it’s for future goals or emergencies.
  5. Local Insights: Seek advice from locals or expats who’ve been in Spain for a while. They can provide valuable insights into cost-saving opportunities and local financial practices.

By carefully managing your budget and adapting to the local cost of living, you can enjoy your time in Spain while maintaining financial stability.

Conclusion on How to Find Housing in Spain

In conclusion, finding housing in Spain, particularly as an expat, can be an exciting yet challenging venture.

To navigate this process successfully, it’s essential to begin with thorough research on the regions, cities, and neighborhoods that align with your needs and budget. Utilize various sources, such as real estate websites, local classifieds, and real estate agencies, and consider seeking assistance from bilingual advisors or agents if you’re not fluent in Spanish.

When evaluating properties, prioritize in-person visits to assess their suitability and condition. A solid understanding of tenant rights and Spanish rental laws is essential for protection. Maintain meticulous documentation of all communications and transactions, and plan your housing search well in advance to ensure a smooth transition to your new home in Spain.

And for our auxiliares, bear in mind that we are here for you. Let’s find that home away from home!

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