Published 31/07/2014 by Carrie Frais

A renting guide for tenants in Spain

A short renting guide for tenants renting property in Spain. For more information please contact a Lucas Fox agent.

Lucas Fox’s Guide to Renting a Property in Spain is intended as a general overview of the process and costs involved in letting a property in Spain. We recommend that all of our clients read through these guidelines before renting a property in Spain.

The Spanish property renting guide is divided into the following sections:

  • Reserve payment
  • Required documents
  • Deposit/bank guarantee
  • Types of rental contracts
  • Insurance
  • Agency fees

We hope that you find this tenancy guide useful. Please email us at or call one of our Rental agents on (+34) 933 562 989 if you require further information.

Reserve payment

Once you have chosen an apartment the first stage is to leave a reservation deposit. Then once the rental price is agreed this reserve payment will be deducted from the deposit payable on signature of the rental contract.

Required documents

To rent a property in Spain it is essential to open a Spanish bank account in order to set up direct debits for all of the utilities (water, gas, electricity, phone & internet).

You will also need to bring along your passport/ID card and if you are going to be working in Spain you will be required to apply for a NIE number (Tax Identification number for foreigners:

The owners will normally also ask for some references as an employment contract, pay slips or other references; to show that you will be a good tenant and to qualify your financial status and ability to cover the rent payments.

Deposit/bank guarantee

By law, on the day of signing, the tenant is obliged to give the owner a minimum cash deposit of one month’s rent.

This deposit (or “fianza”) is to insure against any possible damage to the apartment and it must be deposited in the Chamber of Urban Property (in the case of Catalunya it is the Institut Català del Sól).

The deposit is returned after the tenancy agreement is terminated and the owner has 30 days to verify that everything is in a good state, except for normal wear and tear.

If the deposit is not returned when the contract is terminated, the tenant can claim not only the return of the amount but also the interest it has generated.

However, it is very common that landlords ask tenants for different deposit amounts or additional guarantees. This is perfectly legal and should be negotiated between the tenant and landlord.

In some cases landlords will ask for a bank guarantee (or aval bancario) to protect them against the possible non payment of rent. If the tenant defaults on his payments, the bank can be addressed by the court to release the amount held under bank guarantee to the tenant.

Lucas Fox is not responsible for the deposit or for making the change over of the utilities.

Types of contracts

In Spain, there are four types of rental contracts:

  • Short term rental contracts less than 3 months.
  • Temporary rental contracts of more than 3 months, but less than 1 year.
  • Long term rental contracts: 1 year minimum obligatory with the right to stay up to 5 years. After the first year, if you wish to terminate the contract you need to give two months notice to the owner and send a written notification.
  • Luxury properties (“vivienda suntuaria”): For properties more than 300 square meters or over 43.000 Euros per year.


We would strongly recommend that tenants take out an insurance policy to cover any possible damages in the apartment. In any case, the tenant should ask the landlord to display the insurance policy he has.

Lucas Fox Agency fees payable by the tenant

  • For short term rentals: Up to 3 months: 20% + IVA of the total amount.
  • 3 month’s minimum up to 10 months: 15 % + IVA (21%) of the total amount
  • Long term rentals: 1 year 10% of the yearly rent + IVA (21%)

The agency fees must be paid in full on the day of signing of the rental contract.

Find out what your property could be worth with a free valuation request from a member of our experienced property advisory team.

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