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Moving to Barcelona

Moving to Barcelona - accommodation

Last updated January 2016

Moving to Barcelona. Advice and tips on finding long term accommodation. This article helps you with moving issues like finding long term accommodation, legal requirements such as NIE resident documents and other papers. If you didn't get the answer to all your questions about moving to Barcelona, then contact us.  You might also be interested in our guide to working in Barcelona

Finding long term rental flats or rooms in Barcelona is really not difficult, but it helps if you know which websites and rental agencies are experts for finding rooms, flats and houses in Barcelona. There are different types of accommodation for different needs; students need rooms in a shared flats, long term residents will need long term furnished or unfurnished rental flats, and overseas residents might want to buy a flat in Barcelona as a second home.
In this article we provide an overview and links to various types of longer term accommodation websites and reputable agencies, that we hope will be useful when moving to Barcelona for a longer stay.Scroll down this page page to the section about moving to Barcelona that you are interested in:

Rooms for rent in shared flats in Barcelona

Barcelona long term rooms in shared flats Renting rooms in shared flats is very common in Barcelona.  Many young people in Barcelona cannot afford their own flat. They have to either stay at home with their parents, or share a flat with other young people in Barcelona. For young foreigners, who come to Barcelona to work or study, renting a room in a shared flat is an easy, fast and cheap solution. The contract for a room in a shared flat will normally be  an quite informal agreement with the flat owner. The monthly rent is always paid in advance. The normal rental room deposit is 1 months rent - sometimes half a month only. So when you move in, you would normally have to pay 2 months rent and you will get the deposit amount back when you vacate the room assuming that you leave the room in the same condition as it was when you moved in. Rented rooms are almost always furnished. The furnished rooms are usually quite spartan, but you can always visit one of the threeBarcelona IKEA stores to get extra things. > IKEA and other furniture stores
In a shared flat you often live with 2-4 other tenants. There is a good chance some of them are native Spanish speakers either from Spain or Latin America, which will help you practise the Spanish that many are learning atSpanish schools in Barceleona. Sharing with other tenants means your roommates can also help you with lots of other practical things in Barcelona like getting around,  where the best Barcelona nightlife is, and other practical tips. 

Check list accommodation Barcelona
Rooms for rent shared flats Barcelona 

Long term rental flats/apartments Barcelona
There are many flats and apartments available for long term rentals in Barcelona and there are several ways to find them.

Long term flat rentals Barcelona
Classifieds ads Barcelona long term apartment rentals

One way to find flats in Barcelona for long term leases is to walk around the area of Barcelona that you want to live in and just look upwards for signs that advertise flats for rent. These are usually long term rentals. Look for the words “piso en alquiler” or “pis en lloguer”, which both mean “flat for rent” in Spanish and Catalan respectively. A faster way and one that avoids neck pains, is to visit accommodation websites in Barcelona. This is simply faster and you will get a full description of the flat often with pictures. For long term rentals in Barcelona, we recommend that you consider using rental agencies, unless you are renting from friends or family.The reason that we recommend this is that the sums of deposit money can be quite big when renting long term and it is simply safer to use an agency and get a proper rental contract. The usual contract term is for a long term rental in Barcelona is 5 years total with a 1 year minimum period. That means you can leave after 1 year and stay for up to 5 years. Most owners expect you to pay the full first year if you leave anytime during the first year.The monthly rent is usually adjusted upwards by a very small amount on an annual basis, but a major price change can only happen after 5 years.
The usual payment terms for a renting a long term flat or apartment in Barcelona are:

-1 month rent in advance,
-1 month rent for the property agency (ex IVA tax 16%)
-1 or 2 months of deposit for the owner
= Total up to 5 months rent in advance of which most is refundable, when you leave

The rental terms can of course vary from agent to agent and owner to owner. Some agents charge a % of the first years rent,  instead of one months rent. Many owners are looking for financially reliable tenants. Generally if you already live in Barcelona and have a job with a contract and official pay slips, then it is enough to show solvency by providing copies of your last 3 months of pay slips and a copy of the previous year’s tax return. However, if you have just arrived in Barcelona and do not have a job or credit history, then the owner can quite rightly be nervous that you might choose not to stay in Barcelona, or that you might not be able to get a job or that something else could happen that might prevent you from paying the rent.

If you leave town without paying the rent, then the owner will lose money and will have the hassle of finding new tenants. To try and avoid this and to find the “financially viable” tenants, it is quite typical that owners of flats for long term rent in Barcelona ask future tenants to provide an “aval bancario," which is a bank guarantee.If you agree to an “Aval bancario,” then you as the future tenant will have to deposit an amount equivalent to 3-6 or even 12 months rent with a Spanish bank and then the bank can step in with your aval money and act as a guarantor, should you be unable to pay the rent.

The “aval bancario” is a  really just an extra form of deposit or security for the owner.  If you do not want to give the owner an aval, then you might offer to pay an extra deposit or even pay some months of rent in advance. The main disadvantage of the Aval bancario is that this amount is usually only returned when you vacate the flat in Barcelona and that could be a few years.  Some owners might accept an aval that is only valid for the first year. That way the owner has an chance to get to know you. After a year of rent payments perhaps the owner will have greater trust in your ability to keep up the rent payments and you can dissolve the Aval.

Short term apartments in Barcelona
Renting holiday apartments in Barcelona has become a very popular alternative to hotels. 
Renting an apartment in Barcelona is not much cheaper for singles or couples, but for groups and companies attending trade fairs it provides much more more space and freedom and big savings. There are many reputable and experienced holiday apartment rental agencies in Barcelona that offer tourist apartments and rent by days flats and apartments in Barcelona.
Holiday Self-catering apartments Barcelona

Buying flats, apartments or houses Barcelona
  Real estate agencies Barcelona Buying property in Barcelona can be both profitable and rewarding. Barcelona has seen a dramatic rise in visitors to Barcelona in the 15 years, since the Olympics in 1992 thanks to the world attention the games brought and also to the many low-cost flights into Barcelona, Girona and Reus airports. As a place to buy a second homes Barcelona is a big favourite in Europe. Many visitors have become permanent residents of Barcelona or have chosen to buy flats and apartments in Barcelona. It can be a good investment if you rent out your second home via the many short term rental companies. There are many “agencias immobiliarios” (real estate agencies) in Barcelona who can show your properties so that you can get an idea of the prices and terms. We have collected links to the agencies that are recommended and can offer services in English and other languages.

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