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All about apartment rentals

Guidelines when Renting an Apartment in Barcelona

exterior apartment building with yellow balconies
Written by Daniella

Renting an apartment in Barcelona has become a little more complicated for a tenant than a few years ago, and it is now easier for a property owner. The main reasons for these changes are the huge increase of tourist apartments and higher real estate prices. Also the fact that demand and supply for long term rentals is way out of balance, has been of influence.

  • monthly apartment rental in barcelona


But it’s not all bad news, and if you are thinking of renting an apartment in Barcelona, it is important to be aware of rules and regulations and what guidelines to follow. Today, this article by ShBarcelona will fill you in on the most important elements to know.

Related article: Renting an Apartment with Parking in Barcelona

The basics on renting an apartment in Barcelona

For a tenant:

  • Always check the conditions of the apartment, and furniture and appliances in case you are renting a furnished apartment, before moving into the apartment.
  • Contact the Registro de la Propiedad (Land Registry) to verify that the person who is renting you the apartment is really the property owner to avoid any problems at a later stage. If you are renting through a real estate agency, check if it’s legal.
money house and signing papers

Photo via Pixabay

  • Remember that the property owner must provide for all necessary conditions, in order for the apartment to be habitable for the duration of the contract.
  • The property owner is not allowed to demand rental payments more than one month in advance.
  • According to new rules and regulations, long-term rental contracts have a minimum duration of three years, and a contract can then be extended.
big terrace - renting an apartment in barcelona

Photo via Pixabay

  • Once the contract has ended, and there has been no damage to the property, don’t forget to ask for your security deposit. If the property owner refuses to return your deposit, you have the right to an explanation from the property owner on his reasons for not returning the deposit. If you have been renting a furnished property, always check that everything is in order together with the property owner, and sign an inventory list or form before leaving the apartment.

Monthly rentals in Barcelona

  • A deposit must be paid before moving into the apartment.
  • Until your rental contract has ended, you must pay your rent every month.
  • You are not allowed to cause any situations that are disturbing, unsanitary or illegal.
  • You must use the rented property as a place to live in for you or your family, and it may not be used in any other way than agreed upon with the owner.
water faucet

Photo via Pixabay

  • You are responsible for paying the utilities (water, gas, electricity), and you must be able to provide proof of payment to the property owner. 
  • If you have caused any damages during your stay, you are responsible for the repairs.
  • If you want to leave your apartment before your rental contract has ended, you must keep paying rent until the end of the contract.
  • You are forbidden to sublet apartments in Barcelona without the owner’s consent.

Related article: Fully Furnished Apartments in Barcelona

For a property owner:

  • A property owner is not allowed to increase the rent during the rental period specified in the rental contract. Once the contract has ended and the tenant wishes for the contract to be extended, the monthly rent is allowed to be increased.
  • If a property owner has made improvements to the property during the first three years of the contract, he has the right to increase rent after those three years, unless parties have agreed otherwise.
one hand gives key in other hand

Photo via Freepik

  • A property owner is allowed to reclaim property after the first year of the contract has passed, but only under the following circumstances: he needs the property as permanent housing for himself, first degree relatives, adoptive children, or a spouse in case of separation, divorce or annulment. When reclaiming property, the tenant must be notified at least two months in advance.
  • If a tenant does not comply with agreements established in the contract, the property owner has the right to ask for compliance, but he can also terminate the contract and ask for damage payment.

Spend your best years in Barcelona

  • A property owner is allowed to terminate the rental contract if: a tenant stops paying, subleases the apartment, has done work in the apartment without consent, has damaged the apartment, or has caused disturbances or unsanitary, harmful or dangerous situations in the apartment.

Photo via Pixabay

  • A property owner is obliged to carry out all necessary and urgent repairs. If he fails to do so, he must pay the tenant in order for him to manage repairs.
  • If a property owner wants to increase the monthly rent, he must inform the tenant at least one month in advance.

Are you aware of the guidelines for renting an apartment in Barcelona for the long term and Barcelona’s short term rental law?

About the author


Daniella enjoys everything the city of Barcelona has to offer. She writes, translates and loves discovering Catalonia and its beautiful nature.


  • Hey Daniella,

    would love some specific advice in regard to renting out properties.

    Could we please discuss this further, if you have time?

    • Hi Rick,
      Please contact our office for further assistance!
      Best regards,

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