How to rent a flat in Spain for foreigner

Renting flat might be a problem if you are foreigner as sometimes they will ask for bank guaranty (aval bankario) it costs money, but actual problem is that you cannot open bank account unless you have a residence and to have a residence you need to have an official rent agreement.

But let’s talk about managing this.

0. You will need to live somewhere when you will be looking for a flat, you can always find something on booking. Owners of the apartments (we talk about direct owners) might ask you where do you live now, it is not because they are looking for more topics to talk about, it’s the beginning of simple background check.

1. There are still some banks that will open account for you if you will show some documents like your work contract or confirmation from university where you are going to study.

Here are some banks that can open account even if you don’t have a residence:

  • BBVA
  • SabadellAtlantico

2. There are a lot of options to rent that don’t require bank guaranties.

Here are some ideas that will help you:

  • before going to Spain get a bank statement from your bank account in your country, if it will be in English it will be better. Also, take with you your job contract and some confirmation about your salary, for 3 last months at least
  • search to find flat you need, if you speak Spanish it will help a lot
  • on you can filter flats by location and time of appearance in the listing
  • when calling or writing about flat get an idea if this flat is from owner or agency, surprisingly  but it is easier to deal with owners. As you expect agency will ask you to pay commission depending on how long you will stay, if for 1 year this commission is equal to 1 month of rent
  • when checking the flat ask if “gastos de comunidad” are included, its about 60 eur for 60m2 flat + you will pay electricity, gas and water.
  • parking: will for sure be a problem. If you have rent contract for 1 year you can ask for car that will allow to park in the green zone. Also, you might rent a parking space starting from 40 eur/month.

Important note: when you found apartment that you would like to rent make sure owners agree to provide you with the following documents that are especially important if you will need to show this to get visa:

  • Copy of ID of owner (ID is called DNI)
  • Nota Simple (special document that states who is the owner of the apartment)
  • Owner are ready to register renting agreement in Property Registry (Cambra de la Propietat).