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Your guide to renting long-term on Costa del Sol

Published on 13 Feb 2022

Many of us, when relocating to Spain, decide first to rent. Renting before buying for at least a year is our general advice, as this gives enough time to settle and understand the areas, establish the needs and wishes of your family and define the priorities and requirements of your “ideal home” in Spain. 

With years of experience behind us and many satisfied clients, we have put together a short checklist of tasks and matters to consider when looking for your first rental property in Malaga and Costa del Sol. Please note the below list is not exhaustive, it just outlines the main steps, however it is never possible to predict all possible scenarios, so having someone by your side who can professionally assist and advise, as well as represent your interests, may prove beneficial

1. Define your requirements, such as property type and size, type of location, must haves and nice haves, proximity to amenities you need, budget, and of course the area you wish to live in. The most difficult part for the newcomers is the area, when you have little local knowledge, so visit if you can in advance, get advice, speak to people, research online. 

2. Search for properties online. The main internet source remains Idealista, however there are other portals as well, such as Pisos, Milanuncios, Fotocasa etc. Social media has also proven to be effective for some

3. Go to property viewings, in person if you can, or virtually by employing someone like Malaga Expat Consulting to act on your behalf and attend to viewings with direct videocalls and reports to you. Not only will you save money and time but will also benefit from invaluable local advice on areas, surroundings and things to look out for.

4. Negotiate conditions. Depending on the location however, the negotiation margin might be very small or non-existent, as the demand in some areas of Malaga and Costa del Sol is very high and the properties are rented out quickly. Unless you have a permanent work contract in Spain or a secured Governmental pension, be prepared to pay large deposits/financial guarantees and/or several months advance rental payments. 

5. Make sure you get a legal rental contract, ideally a proper long-term contract giving you legal right for renewals, and the one which will allow you to get registered for municipal padron (obtain “certificado de empadronamiento”). It is always advisable to have your contract reviewed by an independent professional who is familiar with Spanish laws and local rental practices. Additionally, it is advisable to request for a proof of the property ownership

6. Get the keys, move in and ENJOY your new Spanish home, or…not just yet? There are a few additional procedures to complete, such as:

    -  change of utilities in your name, which the landlord will want you to do as quickly as possible. Please be aware that you require a NIE number for that

    - registration in the local town hall on municipal padron. It is up to you how quickly you wish to do it, but our advice is to do it rather sooner than later as you may require it for your other Spanish paperwork procedures.

Good luck with your Spanish house hunting– it can be both challenging at times and rewarding but being well prepared or having someone professional on your side like Malaga Expat Consulting, will always save you time and money! 


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