Accommodation in Barcelona

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Nestled between sea, mountains and rivers, Barcelona is a city that is rich with history and beauty. It is also a densely populated city and due to its layout, high-rise apartments abound. Owing to the state of the market, new arrivals should carefully consider their options when buying or renting property in Barcelona. 
 
Expats should try to ensure that a housing stipend is included in their contract, as rent can take a significant amount out of a person’s wages. Students and young professionals in the city have increasingly taken to sharing apartments for this reason. 
 

Types of accommodation in Barcelona

 
Given that there are many options for short-term accommodation in Barcelona, many expats prefer to arrive in the city before committing to a long-term lease. This accommodation includes flatshares, single rooms in larger houses or vacated student accommodation. As a result, it may not be a viable option for large expat families.
 
Houses in Barcelona are often more difficult to find, expensive and challenging to secure. Several months of rent are expected to be paid in advance as a security deposit, in addition to the first month's rent and an agent's fee – usually the equivalent of one month's rent. 
 

Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation are available in Barcelona, but unfurnished is more common. It is very hard to find big properties that are furnished.
 
Expats should be aware that unfurnished means the accommodation will have absolutely nothing except for in the kitchen, which will be equipped with cabinets, a hob, oven, extractor and sink. It may or may not have electrical appliances and the bathroom will have the sanitary fittings. There may be no light bulbs or light fittings in the rooms.

 

Finding accommodation in Barcelona

 

Finding housing in Barcelona is not always an easy task as there is more demand than supply. As a result of this competition for suitable properties, it is important that expats try to make a good impression on a potential landlord when they visit a property.
 
As in any other large metropolitan area, the suburbs in the centre of the city are much more expensive than those in the outlying areas, but values depend dramatically on factors such as location, schools and transportation options. If renting, expats will want to make sure that they arrange for contents insurance to cover their personal belongings and will usually have to take out insurance on the building and third-party liability.
 

Expats should also keep in mind that it is helpful to speak Spanish when searching for accommodation and when arranging leases with landlords. For this reason, many expats hire an estate agent to assist in the process of finding and securing a place to live in Barcelona.
 

Renting property in Barcelona

 
Most expats rent property in Barcelona first, even if it is not short-term accommodation. As a general rule, areas with more space that are closer to the beach and important amenities tend to be more expensive.
 
Thankfully, landlords often choose their tenants based on who contacts them first and can pay the stipulated amount. They will generally require proof of income and a security deposit of between one and six months’ rent.

 

After the terms have been settled with the landlord, the new tenant will sign a lease agreement (Contrato de Arrendamiento). Given that the contract is in Spanish, an expat may want to enlist the help of a Spanish speaking friend or a real estate professional.

In Barcelona, deposits are minimum two months’ rent and can go up to four if they are furnished to a very high standard. There may be some incidental or community charges that are added to the rent, so tenants should ask about those.
 
Utilities are generally not included in the rent so tenants should clarify which will have to be arranged by themselves. The landlord will nearly always want to see a work contract and last three pay slips. Rent is generally paid on the first five days of every month. 


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