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All about apartment rentals

10 Tips for Renting an Apartment in Barcelona

living room with purple carpet
Written by Daniella

Are you a tenant looking for a new place to live, and do you need apartment searching tips? This guide will provide you with 10 tips for renting an apartment in Barcelona. Have you just moved to Barcelona for work or study purposes? 

We know first hand that the process of finding a suitable home that fits your wishes and demands can be time-consuming. That’s why we are determined to ease the search process of finding your new home. Keep on reading this blog article to find out the best tips and tricks!

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ShBarcelona is an expert in temporary and long-term rentals, and our objective is to perfectly match landlords with tenants, and as a result establish long-term relationships.

What to consider when renting an apartment

1. Get to know rental prices in districts and neighbourhoods

Prices in different parts of Barcelona vary, so if you are not from the city, then we advise you to do your research. Start with scanning several real estate websites or contact a real estate expert in the district of your choice for apartment rental advice.

Also bear in mind that the Catalan Parliament approved the implementation of the new rent reference index in September 2020. The new law states that the rental price of long-term rental properties may not exceed the rent reference index price within the area it concerns. 

That is why you should only trust real estate agencies and websites that publish the index for every rental apartment. If prices are not visible for new tenants, then they are breaking the law.

Find your best rental apartment in Barcelona

2. Check the owner with the land registry office

Tenants can verify if the owner really is the owner of a property by doing a quick and easy online inquiry. If you want to do this, you need to ask for the document called: nota simple.

If you are working with a real estate agency, they are the ones who check out the owner before listing the rental property. 

3. View the apartment

Once you have discovered an apartment that meets your wishes, don’t waste any time and make an appointment for a viewing to see the property with your own eyes. You can do this either with the landlord, or with the real estate agency.

Yes, apartment photographs and videos can be good to get a general idea of the property, but these can’t beat actually visiting the property yourself.

signing contract

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4. What is the duration of the rental contract?

Contracts for long-term rental properties are valid for 5 years, unless it concerns a legal entity, then it’s 7 years. Remember that, as a tenant, you must stay at least 6 months once you have signed a long-term rental contract, unless you are willing to pay a fine for leaving the property sooner than those 6 months.

Temporary rental contracts, however, are for a maximum period of one year, as these are destined for tenants who visit Barcelona to study or work for also that maximum amount of time. 

Want to live in Barcelona for a couple of months?

5. Who pays for what when something is broken or damaged?

The landlord is responsible for maintaining a habitable apartment. More specifically, the landlord takes care of repairs of electricity, construction works and electrical appliances, if this is a result of a short circuit.

The tenant, however, must pay for any items that are damaged due to every day wear and tear. 

6. Check the state of the property

Another tip when renting an apartment is checking the state of water, heating and electricity services, once you are inside the apartment. 

Ask about these utilities, whether regular maintenance has taken place, and if all invoices have been paid. Once you decide to rent this apartment, you don’t want to be confronted with any utility problems.

shaking hands on deal

Photo via Pexels

7. Furnished apartment? Take plenty of photographs

Sometimes your rental contract comes with a separate inventory list. Everything, from furniture to electrical appliances, is listed, and these are the items inside the property left by the landlord for the tenant’s use. You should always check, preferably with your real estate agent, whether every item on the inventory list is inside the apartment and what state it is in. Write down specific details. 

The next tip when renting an apartment is to take photographs of the state of the property at two different times: before you move in and when you move out. This can help with any problems that might occur once your rental contract has ended. 

Related article: Rent Out a Furnished or Unfurnished Apartment? Consider These 20 Aspects

8. Formalising the rental contract in writing

If there is one piece of advice you should definitely follow up on, it is requesting the contract in writing. This official document mentions all the rules you need to know about, before you can live in your new apartment peacefully. 

This is the moment a professional real estate agency can make a big difference, because they are responsible for drawing up the contract, explaining clauses in the contract, and collecting the rent that needs to be paid each month. The agency also makes sure current regulations are taken into account. 

9. Finalising the rental contract: security deposit and rental deposit

The LAU (Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos or rental law) requires for tentants to pay a security deposit before moving into the rental property. A landlord can, in addition, request another two months’ worth of rent as an additional security deposit. The maximum is therefore an amount equivalent to three months’ rent.

The security deposit will be kept by a regional entity, and in the case of apartments in Barcelona rental security deposits are transferred to Incasol. 

If the landlord refuses to return the deposit once the contract has ended, the tenant can then ask for it at this public office. Our advice is for tenants to check whether the security deposit has been received by Incasol, as this amount can then be deducted from income tax declarations.

Are you a landlord, and are you interested in finding out how you can make sure you receive rent every month? Check out our guide of 10 ways to guarantee rental income every month.

dog in moving box - tips for renting an apartment

Photo via Unplushed

10. Both parties sign the contract

Once the contract has been drawn up and both parties have read and agreed with the contents of the contract, the next step to take is for the landlord and tenant to sign the contract. Both parties can sign at the same time and location, but these may also differ.

Have you encountered any problems with the rental contract or landlord?
Do you need more apartment hunting tips? 

Share your story or questions with other readers and us.

Find the best rental apartment for the long term


About the author


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

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