Compare & Save on International Removals

Save 70% off the cost of your house move today!

Compare My Move Fact-Checking Standards

The Compare My Move team follows strict guidelines to ensure that every piece of content is accurate, trust-worthy and adheres to the highest standard of quality. Each article is expertly reviewed by members of our author panel before being published to promote accurate and quality content.

All Compare My Move articles adhere to the following standards:

  • Expertly reviewed - Our articles are reviewed by an industry expert with in-depth knowledge and experience of the article topic.
  • Data supported - All statistics, research and data must link or reference to the original source.
  • Accuracy - All research and data are taken from high-quality, trustworthy and authoritative sources.
  • Quality checked - Our content writers ensure every Compare My Move article is written to the highest of standard.

A Guide to Renting in Spain

Martha Lott

Written by

4th May 2023 (Last updated on 2nd Feb 2024) 8 minute read

Anyone eager to move to Spain is advised to try renting before buying property. If you need to book a removal company in Spain, you’ll first need an idea of how the Spanish rental market works.

This guide will cover the different types of property, tenancy, rights and laws associated with renting in Spain.

  1. Overview
  2. What Types of Property Can I Rent in Spain?
  3. What Do I Need to Rent in Spain?
  4. Rental Contracts Explained
  5. Rental Costs to Consider
  6. Tenant Rights in Spain
  7. Securing an International Removal Company


As one of Europe's biggest tourist magnets, Spain’s rental market is very competitive. Compounding the high demand for rentals from tourism is that 80% of properties in Spain are owned. This drives up the prices for the remaining 20% of rental properties.

Properties in Spain are usually found through online portals such as Idealista and Kuhamia. You can also look via estate agents or private landlords on social media. If you’re looking to rent as a resident rather than a visitor, we recommend shying away from sites like Airbnb. These websites cater to tourists and thus usually advertise higher rates.

Between 2021 and 2022, Spain's rental rates increased by 1.1% (€11.5 per m2). This percentage is much higher for regions with populated cities. Andalusia for example saw an increase of 4.6% in rental prices during the same period.

The Spanish government has aimed to address rising rents in recent years by introducing the Right to Housing Law (Ley por el Derecho a la Vivienda). This law puts a cap on rental prices in areas with limited rental housing. It also does more to protect tenants from eviction, making it compulsory for landlords to register a request with social services.

There’s a history of Spanish landlords with multiple properties leaving them vacant. This drove up rental prices as a result. Now, such landlords can be penalised for doing so under this new law.

What Types of Property Can I Rent in Spain?

The most common form of property you’ll find in Spain is apartments. This is especially true in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona. There are however other types of accommodation available to rent in Spain:


Semi-detached or terraced housing is more commonly found in the suburbs of cities. These are usually multifamily buildings, with shared communal areas being common. Rental rates differ depending on the city district where it’s located, like in UK cities.


These frequently appear in coastal locations. Villas are usually used as second homes or holiday homes for foreign investors. Villa rentals tend to be part of a larger shared residential complex. Certain properties include a communal pool or private garden for tenants to share. Depending on public transport, this may still be suitable for city workers.


A country house or estate is often found outside busier urban areas. The rent for such properties is often affordable compared to inner-city apartments. This is due to a lower demand for property in rural locations. Ideal for commuting or working remotely.

Compare International Removals

Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

What Do I Need to Rent in Spain?

Whether you’re looking for a short or long-term rental, the documents needed for either tend to be the same. Before browsing rentals in Spain, ensure you have the following at your disposal:

  • Proof of ability to pay rent. This can be in the form of an employment contract and payment slips if you’re working. Otherwise, you can submit a bank statement showing you have suitable funds.
  • An NIE number, a Spanish tax identification number unique to non-Spanish nationals living in Spain.
    Your passport.
  • A valid residence permit or visa.
  • References from previous landlords if possible.
  • Proof of private guarantor if you have no fixed income (dependent on circumstance).

Rental Contracts Explained

There are two types of rental contracts in Spain - long-term and short-term. The general rule for rentals in Spain is the longer the tenancy, the more it protects the tenant. Know that written rental agreements are not mandatory in Spain. We always advise requesting a written contract to help manage your tenancy.

Long-Term Renting in Spain (Contratos de arriendo de vivienda)

Long-term rental contracts last a minimum of 12 months and are normally 5 years long. This is extended to 7 years if the landlord is a business. The landlord needs to notify the occupant at least 4 months before the end of the tenancy if they wish them to leave. Otherwise, the tenancy is extended up to an extra 3 years.

If you’re given a 12-month tenancy on a property, this will be renewed annually. If you don’t wish for your lease to be renewed, you need to give your landlord 30-days notice before the end of your contract. Be aware that you have to serve at least 6 months of your contract to give this notice.

By comparison, landlords must give you 4 months' notice if they wish you to leave their property. The landlord cannot repossess a property until the tenant’s first year of tenancy has passed.

Short-Term Renting in Spain (Contratos de arrendamiento de temporada)

The most common form of rental agreement in Spain, a short-term contract can last anywhere up to 12 months. These contracts cannot be extended and require you to vacate the premises upon the end of your tenancy.

If you want to vacate before the end of your agreement, you can after residing in your property for at least 6 months. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the rent due from the full length of your 12-month tenancy.

Whilst long-term rentals are subject to Spain’s national laws, short-term rentals are dictated by regional legislation. This means the rules governing your tenancy can change depending on the area of Spain you’re renting in. There are 17 regions throughout Spain, so be sure to catch up on your local area’s rules if renting short-term.

Furnished or Unfurnished

Unlike the UK, what is marketed as a furnished property in Spain can actually be pretty sparse. Before signing a contract, ask the landlord or agent what appliances and furniture are included. Even better, visit the property for a viewing to get a glimpse of the inventory.

Unfurnished properties will either come with no furniture or fittings at all. Others may include certain core kitchen appliances like a fridge/freezer.

Compare International Removals

Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

Rental Costs to Consider

Monthly Rent

This will be determined by your landlord at the beginning of your tenancy. Your monthly rent can only be increased once a year.


The length of your tenancy will dictate how big a deposit you’ll have to pay for a Spanish rental. This is normally 1 month's pay for short-term and 2 months for long-term contracts.

A common issue for renters in Spain is that they don’t get their deposit back at the end of the tenancy. Your best chances for avoiding this is by securing a written agreement and staying on good terms with your landlord.

Agency Fees

You’ll be glad to know that estate agent fees are paid by the landlord as per Spanish law. If you’ve hired a professional agency for your property search, you’ll need to pay a reservation fee of a month’s rent up-front plus commission.


When you pay for utilities such as electricity, gas, water and internet, expect to pay between €110 and €150 per month. This will depend on your rental agreement, as certain landlords may agree to pay utility bills themselves. If they do, ensure you get this in writing to avoid future disputes.

Compare International Removals

Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

Tenant Rights in Spain

Before you book your removals to Spain, there are certain regulations regarding Spanish properties that you should be aware of:

Rent Increases

A landlord can only increase your rent once a year or when your contract comes to an end. Rent increases cannot surpass the Spanish National Price Index. This figure was set at 6.14% between February 2022 and 2023. Landlords also have the right to increase rent if they’ve made improvements to the property. This increase is capped at a maximum of 20%.

Landlord is Selling the Property

Should the owner want to sell a property during your tenancy, they must give a minimum of 30 days' notice. If you’re a tenant when your landlord wishes to sell, you’ll be offered the right of first refusal and withdrawal. This means you get the first opportunity to buy the property before putting it on the market.

Landlord Wants the Property for Personal Use

If a landlord wishes you to leave a property so it can be occupied by them or their family, they must give you at least 2 months' notice. Once you’ve moved out, the landlord has 3 months to occupy it. If they fail to do so, you have the right to re-occupy the property. This must be done under the same rental conditions as before, up to a maximum period of 5 years.

Maintenance and Repairs

You have the right to terminate your contract if your landlord fails to maintain the property in adequate condition. You can also do so if the landlord causes disturbance to you while living there. With that in mind, be aware that the cost and carrying-out of minor repairs lies with the tenant.

You can alter your home (such as painting the walls or hanging decorations) if you get written approval from your landlord. If you do not, your landlord may ask you to return the property to its original condition when your tenancy ends.

Compare International Removals

Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

Securing an International Removal Company

Once you’ve secured a Spanish rental of your own, you’re ready to plan your move.

Fill out our international removals form and we’ll shortlist up to 6 companies, who are all fully insured. If you’d like an idea of how much a shipping container costs to Spain, our helpful guide has it covered.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having guest authored for many property websites, Martha now researches and writes articles for everything moving house related, from remortgages to conveyancing costs.