When you are relocating to a new place, there are always questions that come to your mind. If you are planning to move to a different country, the questions multiply: which are the best places to look for housing? How can I book viewings? How much is all of this going to cost me? And probably the most important ones: how will I be protected as a tenant? And, what if I decide to withdraw from my contract? If you’re moving to Valencia it’s also important to know the legality of how rent agreements work in Spain.
At Moving2valencia we have years of experience helping customers through the process and we are used to explaining anything and everything that has to do with relocating to Valencia in easy-to-undertand terms.
How can I get started house-hunting in Valencia?
Valencia is a city in constant movement and the rental market is no exception. Demand far exceeds offerings as the crisis of the past years has forced many locals into forced renting. Quick reflexes are a must. Lower priced houses of up to 1500€/month can be gone by the next day. In some cases we’ve even experienced this with more expensive houses costing between 1500€ and 3500€/month.
It’s also important to keep in mind that houses are very rarely advertised with only one real-estate agency and as many as 6 is normal. Popular real state websites like idealista and fotocasa are not always updated when a house is taken off the market either. If your strategy is limited to sending an email through the website’s system and hoping for a quick reply, changes are you will receive a late answer or no answer at all and the beautiful house that caught your eye will be gone. Unlike other countries, in Spain direct communication through a phone call or WhatsApp is still the best option.
How much is renting in Spain going to cost me?
Once you have gone through the viewing process and found your perfect next home, the next step is to sign a reservation contract. This involves paying one month of rent upfront to secure the house. If everything goes ahead as expected this money will be deducted from the deposit when the rent agreement is signed. If the landlord decides to withdraw, the tenant receives a full refund. However, if the tenant is the one to withdraw, the payment will be lost unless otherwise stated in the reservation contract.
In general the costs that will come up when signing a rent agreement are:
If you rent using an agent: 1 month commission fee plus 21% VAT. Be careful and negotiate not to pay for this as part of the reservation process. Some agents however try to get away with it and will charge you for their commission as part of the reservation fee before a rent agreement is secured.
1 to 2 months of deposit. Usually the reservation fee will be counted towards the deposit.
It is very common to ask 6 and sometimes ever more months of advanced rent payments or 4 to 6 months of bank guarantee.
These terms might sound shocking, but they are all allowed under Spanish law. Landlords usually claim that it is an expensive and lengthy process for them to chase payments when an expat is involved. Foreigners can easily go back to their home countries and it is hard for landlords to start legal proceedings and seek prosecution from Spain. Adding to that, it could take up to 9 months to be able to evict a tenant who has stopped paying rent or gas and electricity bills. Most owners deal with this issue by taking a non-payment insurance (called ‘seguro de impago’ in Spanish) which require Spanish payment slips, bank guarantees or several months worth of upfront payments. Since bank guarantees and payment slips can only be acquired by established residents, the only option left for newcomers is to pay upfront.
Our experience at Moving2Valencia after helping many people go through the rental process is that these conditions are extremely hard or impossible to negotiate. If one prospective tenant becomes difficult, the demand is so high that they will be passed over for the next one without a second thought. However, as agents we can help smooth the process for you.
Another thing to keep in mind is that even though Valencia has beautiful weather with 300 guaranteed days of sunshine, some months in Winter can get quite chilly! In January, February and some days of March in particular the humidity of the sea can make the days feel cold. And the building style of the area with single brick walls instead of cavity walls, make checking for heating options a must. Electricity can get pricy, so always remember to check if a house you are viewing has electric or central heating to budget for it and avoid any surprises!
How long does a rent agreement last?
A regular rent agreement can last up to 3 years. Tenants are allowed to finish the contract after 1 year has passed, provided they give the landlord notice. Usually 1 or 2 months.
The landlord, however, has the obligation to respect the contract for the 3-year duration period. There are some instances when this time can be cut short, but only after 1 year has gone past. Some possibilities are when a landlord becomes homeless and requires the house to avoid becoming a rough sleeper or after a divorce when one of the spouses (or children) needs to relocate. In practice, these situations are extremely rare.
How can Moving2Valencia help you?
Moving2valencia can help you throughout the whole process. We will be there supporting you from the very beginning of arranging house viewings (with sometimes up to 8 in one day!) until the signing of the rent agreement.
Some of the things we will help you with is asking those tricky questions that will allow you to concentrate on the ohs and ahs instead of things like house finishings, maintenance and rent terms and conditions. This way we can help you get a full picture before you make a decision. We will also be there to support you while you review and negotiate the rent agreement, making sure that it will be fair to you and it includes clauses such as up to 1 month to find issues with the house and avoid being blamed for them.
Working with Moving2Valencia can save you time, can save money, and can save you from making mistakes so you can concentrate on what really matters: finding your dream home!