What to expect when looking for a long-term rental in Malaga

Published on 11 Nov 2022

Finding a new home in a new country with little initial knowledge of locations and local practices is difficult enough, not talking of a complicated rental market in Malaga and Costa del Sol. We have prepared a short summary of potential challenges you can expect when embarking on a hunt for a long-term rental property in Malaga

Estate agents

Be prepared of NOT receiving an immediate response (or no response at all) from an estate agent if you just sent an inquiry on Idealista or a similar online portal, especially if you communicate in English. To get through to advertisers of Spanish properties one needs calling (many times), texting in WhatsApp and sending various messages. Of course, there are exceptions, but generally be prepared to go after the Spanish estate agents instead of waiting until someone contacts you.

Spanish work contract

One of the first questions you will be asked when inquiring on a rental property in Malaga is whether you have a Spanish work contract and in the absence of it – be rejected. The reason behind is that Spanish rental law gives a very high protection to the tenant and less so to the property owner. It is difficult to evict tenants and it takes long time

There is also a real problem with so called OKUPAS, when properties in Spain are being occupied illegally and the law doesn’t offer any solutions

To secure their rental income many landlords in Malaga sign up for a non-payment insurance, which can only be contracted based on tenant’s valid Spanish work contract which already has a certain seniority in the company

An alternative solution could be a large advance payment of rent (for up to a year) or other arrangements like bank deposits or independent guarantors who would vouch for you. In any case be prepared to provide as much financial proof as you can and be open to compromise.


Having pets is another potential obstacle, as by far not all Spanish landlords are willing to accept pets. When looking for adverts ignore those which clearly state in the description “no pets allowed”. As to those which don’t state anything regarding pets – it is always worth checking. Be prepared to describe your pet and send pictures of your pet in advance of the viewing. We noticed it helps. Also be prepared to accept additional responsibility for damages your pet may cause and/or contract a special pet insurance.

In overall, please don’t be discouraged by the above obstacles. It is still possible to find a long-term rental in Malaga without a Spanish work contract and with a pet. Just be prepared to present as much financial proof as possible, be open to compromises and look for alternative solutions, be patient and most importantly – be positive!

Finally, if you would like help on above – get in touch to see how Malaga Expat could potentially assist you with your rental property search in Malaga!

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