When moving to Malaga and the Costa del Sol, most of us decide to first rent a property before buying, or many even stay with the rental choice for life. Renting in the beginning as opposed to buying is a good way to learn the different areas and decide which one would be ideal for you and your family to settle permanently in. It also gives you more flexibility for any potential moves. Once you have decided however to stay permanently and are convinced about your preferred areas, buying a property on the Costa del Sol might be a right move and a good investment choice.
If you are just starting your search or are already looking for a rental property in the province of Malaga, here are a few guidelines which you may find useful.
The most common way to find your new home is by contacting local estate agents, searching the online portals, checking the adverts in newspapers and social media resources as well as through friends and acquaintances. Be aware that current rental market in the province of Malaga is very fast moving and good properties are snatched off the market the moment they are advertised, so in many cases you are in a stronger position if you are already here and can view and reserve immediately. The rental prices vary substantially depending on the area, location, type of property. For example, you can rent a 3-bedroom apartment in the centre of town in Alhaurin el Grande (which is slightly inland) for 500 euros a month, while the similar type property in Marbella or Malaga city centre will cost you between 900 and 2500 euros. The country properties, so called “fincas” which offer rural setting, lots of land and often a private pool, are usually much more expensive than town properties, so expect to pay in the region of 1000-1500 euros for a beautiful country house near Coin or Alhaurin el Grande.
Once you have found the property you wish to rent, you might be asked to present a contract of employment or proof of available funds to guarantee payment capacity. If approved by the landlord, you will be asked to sign the rental contract, which will be prepared in Spanish. If you have acted through an agency, a good estate agent will guide you through the process, negotiate on your behalf the conditions, make sure you understand the terms of a tenancy agreement, explain all legal regulations and possible pitfalls as well as advise on how best to deal with the landlord. In many cases the rental contracts are prepared by the estate agents.
Usually for a long-term let you will be granted with a twelve-month contract, which can be afterwards prolonged. Some of the important clauses which you need to check carefully are the terms of duration, cancellation of the contract, any applicable penalties, rental price increases if any, responsibilities of both parties in case of repairs and maintenance, any prohibitions related to the property as well as the reservation deposit conditions. If you don’t understand Spanish make sure the contract is translated and explained to you in details before you sign it. At the signing, you will be expected to pay the reservation deposit (which normally equals to one or two months’ rent), the first month rent and the estate agency fee which equals to one month rent. The latter in current market is usually requested to be paid by the tenant, but can also be agreed to be shared between the parties. Once you have received the keys of the property make sure you do a proper check of its condition and all appliances and equipment as in case of any faults found they should be reported immediately.
As soon as you have your rental contract duly signed it is advisable to register yourself and your whole family in the local Town Hall by means of applying for the certificate of “empadronamiento” which you will require at a later stage for various paperwork procedures.
Although with no command of Spanish and limited knowledge of local practices and regulations finding your new home in Malaga and the Costa del Sol may sound daunting, it doesn’t have to be stressful if you involve from the beginning the services of Malaga Expat Consulting. We can support you at any step of the way, from introducing to local agents, helping to negotiate with the landlord and translating the rental contract to managing on your behalf the whole process of property search from A to Z. Whatever your requirements are, get in touch and we’ll be happy to provide a quote customised to your personal situation and help you find your new home in Malaga and the Costa del Sol.