There are agencies, including our own, that can help you locate the perfect place for you or you can do it yourself. Either way, you need to take into consideration the following:
Property Managers: two of the main property management companies with large inventories of rental properties are tecnocasa.es and www.yaencontre.com, but there are dozens of others. They typically charge either one full month’s rent as their fee or 1/10th of a full year’s rent.
Note: good apartments are not easy to find, but they are not that scarce. In our experience, newly available apartments are constantly coming into the market. Therefore, if you are not in a hurry, you can take your time looking for the right place for you.
- Rental Lease Conditions: typically rental leases are for three (3) years, which is meant to protect the tenant. In other words, the landlord cannot evict you unless you break the lease somehow. The tenant is only obligated to reside in the unit for 6 months. Also, during those three years the landlord is allowed to raise the rent, but at a predetermined rate set by the local government. In 2019 that rate was 1.5%. Always, however, read the conditions of the rental agreement carefully or have a professional review and/or translate it for you.
- Price: figure out how much you want to spend on rent or for a mortgage. A rule of thumb is to estimate an average of 10€ per square meter of the apartment as your monthly rent. In other words, a 120 sqm apartment will cost you 1,200€ per month in rent. Keep in mind that you should allocate another 200€ per month on utilities, such as water, electricity, natural gas, and cable/Wifi/telephony (landline and mobile.)
Move-in costs: Typically, the rental deposit consists of 1 or 2 full months paid at the time you sign the lease, but some landlords may ask for more. Additionally, there may be a second security deposit for pets. Best to discuss this early on.
- Location: choose wisely based on where you plan on working, where your kid(s) will go to school, and where you think you will be comfortable (i.e. close to nightlife, close to your gym, and so on)
TIP 1: south-facing units allow for lots of natural light. They may get a little warmer, but they are bright
TIP 2: close to a subway/train stop or a bus route that can easily connect you to the rest of the city.
- Amenities: in general, rentals in Barcelona come with complete kitchen cabinetry, lights (but no fixtures,) and hookups for the usual appliances. However, you may need to specifically seek out the following: elevator, lobby porter, car parking and whether you can have a pet.
Special note: summers in Barcelona, specifically July and August, can be very hot and, worse yet, very humid. You basically just sweat and sweat. Many people make do with electric fans, but having air conditioning is much better. Unfortunately, many apartments do not have AC nor will the tenants allow you to install one; even at your own expense. Again, read the terms of the lease agreement carefully.
- Noise/Traffic/Ambiance: we always recommend you go to the apartment at least twice before you decide to rent it. Also, go back at night and see how noisy it is or how lively it might get. Are there bars nearby, which you might like to have, or do you think they will get too rowdy for you and/or your family? You can also walk around and see for yourself what the neighborhood is like during the day and at night.
Special note: Barcelona is a reasonably safe city, but that statement is very subjective. It is not as safe as Osaka, but also not as dangerous as Johannesburg, for example. Surveys come out often and, in a recent one, Barcelona came in at number 27 worldwide for safety. In other surveys, it comes up either higher or lower. In general, like most cities, there is crime, mostly petty theft and muggings, but there is the occasional homicide, which, unlike in many other cities, is still big news because it is not the norm. Personally, we have not experienced an incident of this kind, but we are always aware of where our wallets and backpacks are. That, unfortunately, is part and parcel of living in an urban area.
To find out more about crime and where it can take place, visit the following website:
If you have any questions, please call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For full professional relocation assistance, please contact the above as well and we can prepare a proposal of services for you.