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All about apartment rentals

Long-Term Rentals

Laura
Written by Laura

Long-term rentals in Barcelona
Are you planning to look for an apartment in Barcelona for more than a year or for an indefinite amount of time? Maybe you´ve already started looking for something and you’ve realized it´s not as easy as it seems. Why? Because Barcelona is an internationally-known and popular city that attracts lots of expats.  In other words, you´re not the only one looking!
Whatever happens, don´t panic, you´ll get an apartment. Maybe it won´t be exactly the housing you imagined before you left, but with perseverance, organization and a little luck, you´ll get it!
Here are the steps to follow, the conditions and some advice to help you out.

Photo via Pixabay

Steps to follow for a long-term stay:
To start, make a list of what you want (for example, two bedrooms, elevator, etc.), what you don´t want (no natural light, a certain neighborhood, etc.), and things you would like but are not essential (dishwasher, terrace, elevator, etc.). This allows us to quickly find apartments to your liking.
Be careful, however, with your list of what you want. We recommend that it is shorter than the list of things you wat but that are not essential… It´s difficult to find exactly what you want with the budget provided. Keep in mind that it will be difficult to have everything and that you will have to give some things up. This  prevents you from being disappointed.
After consulting various offers, we recommend that you look online, particularly on our website by clicking here. Afterwards, request a meeting, although of course, there is nothing keeping you from coming directly to our agency to meet with us. We can give you all the information you need.

Reserving a long-term apartment
If you want to reserve the apartment after visiting, you should know that the process in Spain is different from that of France. Of course, you should present your application (afterwards the exact documents will be specified), but you should also pay a deposit to show your interest in the apartment. In summary, you cannot make multiple reservations at once submitting various applications, as you run the risk of losing the amount you paid.
The agency, who revises all documents beforehand, will present one application to the landlord, who will then decide whether or not you will rent the apartment. If they reject the application, the agency will return the total application fee. If you back out after the acceptance of the application, you will not be refunded this payment.
Therefore, don´t worry when you are asked to pay a fee for your reservation as it is a legal and commune procedure in Spain.

Necessary documents to rent an apartment in Barcelona
In any case, you will have to turn in a photocopy of your ID card, passport or NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero/Foreigner Identification Number). A photocopy of one of these documents is necessary to reserve an apartment. Depending on your situation (student, independent worker, business employee or other) you should turn in additional documents to make your reservation.
You can consult the list by clicking here. If none of the listed categories apply to you, contact our team.
In all situations, keep in mind that the landlord makes the final decision about renting the apartment. They may also potentially ask for additional documents or alter the price of the deposit.

Photo via ShBarcelona

Long-term rental contracts
Contracts for long-term rentals will be signed at first for the duration of three years and renewable for one year, if the parties do not manifest themselves. Afterwards, if you wish to stay longer in the apartment you will have to complete a new contract, which will probably lead in an increase in rent. Remember that the contract requires a minimum stay of six months, and if you leave before the end of the six months you will still have to pay the rent for the remaining months.

Agency fees and taxes
You may be asking, why do I have to pay agency fees and taxes to people I´ve never met? We will explain.
If you´re asking about agency fees, the radical answer, primarily, is that the agency has found an apartment that you could not have found on your own. You needed their service. The commercialization of an apartment is more than just a visit and the creation of a contract. Why doesn´t the landlord pay agency fees? In the case of a rental like this, the tenant pays the agency fees. However, when it comes to sales, the landlord pays.
The ITP tax, a famous tax that always seems to come out of nowhere, is in reality a tax that has existed for decades having to do with real estate transactions. Since 2015, the Spanish tax system is much more alert and pushes to guarantee that all landlords respect the law. It is up to the tenant to pay the ITP and correspond to the 0.5% of the total cost to pay for the indicated period in the contract. For example, you have to pay 180€ if your contract is for three years and the rent is 1000€. On the other hand (so that not everything is negative) it´s important to know that the IBI (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles/Real Estate Tax) and the costs are always included in the rent and that there aren´t any housing taxes!

Our advice:
Be patient, be informed about the agency you are dealing with, don´t hesitate to go directly to their facilities, read the contract, ask for a translation in your native language if necessary, and follow the law. However, we remind you that there´s nothing wrong with negotiating…

About the author

Laura

Laura

American journalist living temporarily in Spain. Her passions include news and feature writing, Spanish language and culture and the outdoors.

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