Renting in a Spanish city

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Renting in a Spanish city


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Old 26th February 2016, 10:43 PM
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Default Renting in a Spanish city

I'm wondering what it is like to rent an apartment in a Spanish city or town, as opposed to a resort. I plan to move to Valencia city in about six months (referendum willing) and am still not sure if I should rent or buy. Problem is, I can live in a much better area if I rent. Spaniards I have talked to here tell me it is a better idea too.

However, any experience I have had with British landlords has taught me they are horrendous, with their intrusive checks and "no pictures on the walls" etc etc. I'm comparing this to Canada, where I am from originally, and where you are not thought to be a basket case/sociopath/weirdo if you rent and there is less harassment by the landlords and more leeway. My policy in Britain has always been to buy to avoid the sheer aggro of it all.

I know the UK has abysmal tenant law, but I also know that Spain has way higher home ownership rates than Britain. Spaniards also tell me that renting is not their mindset. Surely that means that renting is thought to be non-standard and renting could be problematic? Anyone have any experience of long-term renting? Your advice would be appreciated.

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Old 26th February 2016, 11:06 PM
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Are you wondering what it's like to live in a city vs. a town, or is your interest in the differences in renting between the two.

If you're wondering how different life would be then you're certainly not ready to buy. Purchase costs are high in Spain and you need to get it right first time if you're going to avoid handing a lot of cash to the tax man.

If it's the latter you are wondering about, then I would say there isn't a huge difference between renting in a city vs. a town. The laws are the same and I am struggling to imagine what other differences there might be. I know people who rent in resorts and in cities and both have pretty much the same experience as far as the rules and regs and interaction with landlords go.

I didn't realise that the UK has abysmal tenant law. Landlords I know have had to call on their insurers when tenants have covered smoke alarms with plastic bags and turned rooms yellow, missed 2 months payments, and then scarpered with no hope of the landlord recovering anything. That said, these are landlords in the HMO game with low quality tenants paying low amounts. People I know who rent up-market homes at the expensive end of the market have had no problems.

I admit to not knowing much about in any other countries but the UK law seems fair to me.

I would think that if you find a nice apartment and sign an agreement, you shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 26th February 2016, 11:23 PM
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I didn't realise that the UK has abysmal tenant law ... I admit to not knowing much about in any other countries but the UK law seems fair to me.
I actually do want to live in a Spanish city and I'm really just concerned about renting, in case the landlords are anything like those in the UK. Relatives who rent in Canada are open-mouthed about UK landlords' behaviour - very intrusive, suspicious etc and this is in a decent property with good tenants.

So obviously I don't want to end up with anotherone if that's also the case in Spain. I'll just buy a place, albeit in not a great area (with capital from a house sale in the UK). I know about the buying costs.

However, I would like to rent in a better area if I knew that Spanish landlords are in general OK. That's why I was asking if anyone has rented in a Spanish city.

By the way, UK tenant law is abysmal because it has six-month contracts and landlords can throw someone out for no reason on two months' notice. There is also no real control on rent rises. That does make for any kind of stability, and internationally it doesn't compare favourably at all.

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Old 26th February 2016, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamarindo View Post
I actually do want to live in a Spanish city and I'm really just concerned about renting, in case the landlords are anything like those in the UK. Relatives who rent in Canada are open-mouthed about UK landlords' behaviour - very intrusive, suspicious etc and this is in a decent property with good tenants.

So obviously I don't want to end up with anotherone if that's also the case in Spain. I'll just buy a place, albeit in not a great area (with capital from a house sale in the UK). I know about the buying costs.

However, I would like to rent in a better area if I knew that Spanish landlords are in general OK. That's why I was asking if anyone has rented in a Spanish city.

By the way, UK tenant law is abysmal because it has six-month contracts and landlords can throw someone out for no reason on two months' notice. There is also no real control on rent rises. That does make for any kind of stability, and internationally it doesn't compare favourably at all.
I would be surprised if all landlords in Spain were either good or bad. I think you will find a mix, with the bad ones being allowed to get away with only so much as the law allows.

A bit like the UK - Good and bad landlords, and good and bad tenants.

I saw a consumer programme in the UK a few months ago. A guy had bought a house but didn't want to move in within the next year. He bought it when he did because prices were rising fast, so his plan was to let it out for the first 12 months at least.

The very first tenant to move in didn't pay the first rent due. He fobbed the landlord off a few times before the landlord eventually went to the house to see him. He found the locks changed and 4 tenants in situ, to whom the actual tenant had sub-letted. The "abysmal tenant UK law" protected the tenants to whom the property had been sub-let. To cut a long story short, it was over 6 months before the owner was allowed access to his house, by which time all fixtures and fittings had been removed.

He changed his plans and moved into the house as soon as he could because he wouldn't entertain the idea of letting it out again.
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Old 27th February 2016, 09:18 AM
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Tamarindo, I've rented in Ontario many times so I'm very familiar with the Ontario Landlord Tenant Act. Is that where you're drawing comparisons? I also rent in Malaga. I've never lived in the UK. So if you're looking to draw comparisons between renting in a city in Spain (Malaga) vs Ontario, I can help you out.
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Old 27th February 2016, 09:25 AM
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We rent here in the UK and while you are correct about six month leases, after that they become rolling monthly. Unless you then agree another lease with the landlord.

We've been in the same flat now for 11 months and I've never met the landlord, my money goes to him via standing order every month. Any issues we have had are dealt with quickly by the agent we went to, although they don't manage the let. (The flat we are in said no pets, no hanging stuff up, but we have a cat and a snake and I got them to put a clause in the rental agreement that I would fill any holes drilled for the TV etc before we left) that's why there is a deposit scheme as well.

I know many other people in the area we live who rent and not one of them have had any issues. Must be your bad luck.

I also know people who rent in Spain and with one exception, none of them have had any problems either.

Obviously there is good and bad everywhere but as long as you are honest and agree terms I can't see why there would be problems.

And as to your original question, I would not expect there to be any difference between renting in Cities, towns or out in the countryside, but it all comes down to what the owner the agent and the tenant want out of the deal.
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Old 27th February 2016, 09:25 AM
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Before we moved here we rented in UK for our final 4 years. Our landlord never bothered us and we were allowed to decorate if we wanted. The rent was paid by direct debit and he only visited if something was wrong and we asked him to come. In Spain we have had pretty much the same experience. A very fair landlord who never bothers us. One of the ways people feel about their rented home (and I am talking about Spanish views here) is that once you are renting it IS your home. We are allowed to decorate and put pictures on walls, have holes drilled to allow internet cabling, satellite dishes put up and holes drilled for that cabling. The idea is that when you move out you make sure you fix the holes etc. Obviously there are tenants the world over who don't behave properly but I suspect they are probably a minority.
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Old 27th February 2016, 10:54 AM
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I rent out property in the UK and agree with a lot of what the OP says regarding 6 month contracts. They don't give enough security to the tenant, and force families into buying, especially in more rural areas where the supply of rental accommodation may be low. Even if the contract becomes a rolling one (which needs to be agreed first) the landlord only needs to give 2 months notice before terminating the contract. That may be ok if you`re single or a couple living in a city, but not if you are a family who needs to be near a school for example.

In Spain I feel the desire to own property is not so much down to rental laws, which generally favour the tenant more than in the UK, but the fact that for many generations property was the only form of investment available to them, so everybody bought, which then led to the self-fulfilling belief that property only ever went up in value. Until of course the bubble eventually burst. But even so, Spaniards still tend to pile their money into property more than other asset classes.

Having said that, and as others have mentioned, a lot of experiences of renting just come down to luck. In Spain renters nearly always deal directly with the landlord rather than an agent and, while the laws in Spain may favour the tenant, there are always landlords who dont think it applies to them. Particularly when it comes to returning deposits (which in the UK have to be held in a separate account by law) and maintaining the property.
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Old 27th February 2016, 12:37 PM
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Thanks for the info, everyone. As I say, I have rented in the UK a number of times, always pay rent bang on time, no anti-social behaviour, etc etc but I guess it's the general attitude towards renters. I always buy there now, would never even consider renting. Many UK people I know over 40 laugh in disbelief if you say you rent. I know it is not the same in many parts of Europe. Just trying to get a feel for things.

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Old 27th February 2016, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllHeart View Post
Tamarindo, I've rented in Ontario many times so I'm very familiar with the Ontario Landlord Tenant Act. Is that where you're drawing comparisons? I also rent in Malaga. I've never lived in the UK. So if you're looking to draw comparisons between renting in a city in Spain (Malaga) vs Ontario, I can help you out.
Thank you for this post. Not many here know Ontario. Have not rented there for many years, but some family members do and they can't believe the behaviour of many UK landlords.

I think it's down to the fact that in the UK they have an emotional connection to their flats/houses and think they are doing you a massive favour to let you live in it. In the experiences of myself and others in the UK, many properties are dirty when you move in, not something I've encountered elsewhere. A request to put up six pictures has meant a long email correspondence and an official document giving permission!

You say you rent in Malaga. How has it been, compared to experiences in other countries? Did you arrange it through an agent and what is the rental contract like? I am staying in an Air b&b flat this winter, but when I move here in a few months I will need to rent for a bit before I (maybe) buy. Do you need references, residencia etc.

Many thanks if you can fill me in on a bit of it.


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