Rental contracts in Spain

Things are looking good for the property market in Spain and house prices are once again on the rise after eight long years of stagnation caused by the crash, which had been especially harsh due to the unregulated housing bubble of the previous 11 years. Not only is the property market on the up but the Spanish economy is growing and unemployment is falling, so those with a vested interest in the country can sit back and relax knowing that the sun is beginning to shine again, on the country that saw the worst of the last decade.

Those with a vested interest or more specifically a vested property may be looking to earn some extra cash through letting their Spanish property at times when they are not in the country. Others might want to let their second villa or apartment on the Costa del Sol or on the Costa Calida that is not being used. Renting out your property in Spain may seem like a straightforward task, but there are a number of things for potential landlords to bear in mind, such as rental contracts in Spain and real estate agents in Spain.  

Short-term or long-term?

The first question you might want to ask yourself concerns the time period that you intend to lease your property for. For short-term leases, holiday lets or student accommodation landlords can charge higher rates, but this will of course require more involvement from the landlord or from an agent.

Anyone with a house, apartment or even just a room to spare can instantly transform themselves into a hotelier courtesy of Airbnb. The latter is an online rental service that operates worldwide and has become very popular in recent years due to connecting people looking to rent property directly with people looking to let property.

A European property agent that is in increasing demand for short-term leases is Uniplaces. As the name suggests it is targeted at students looking for short-term accommodation but can be used by any kind of tenant and requires no involvement with universities or student programmes.

As with all agencies – real estate agents in Spain – these services charge a fee, so it will be necessary for anyone letting a property – with rental contracts in Spain involved – to consider the different charges and the services provided.

Make it appealing

In the case of short-term rentals and certainly for holiday lets, it’s most likely that tenants will expect the place to be furnished and well-kept, so some care will need to be given to the appearance of the property.

This means that sheets and towels will need to be replaced regularly and everything must be spic and span and in working order and redecorating helps to keep the place looked after. It’s also a good idea to use some air-freshener to fight any lingering odours and to replace things like soap and toilet paper.

If you prefer to avoid the costs of an agent but instead advertise on free forums and websites, then you should keep in mind that you want to get your advertisement seen as widely as possible.

In this day and age the options for promotion are endless, we just need to make good use of the full-range resources at our disposal. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be used as means of advertising property and garnering interest in it – the next thing is to make sure that it looks and sounds as good as it possibly can.

Picture-perfect

When you make your advertisement remember to describe everything about the place to give the potential tenants a clear picture. Concentrate on the best features and describe all of the best things the property can be used for.

Likewise, when you take pictures of the property to use in advertisements focus on the best things in and around the whole place and show them clearly in the photos.

Good photos are important in social media to draw attention, so make sure they are bright and colourful. Photos of interiors should usually be taken with a wide-angle lense as to give a good view of an entire room and more of a feel of what it would be like to be there.

Legal issues

It is important to make sure that there are written rental contracts in Spain between the landlord and tenant and yet better if this can be made by a reliable company, i.e. real estate agents in Spain, that can also offer legal advice on renting in Spain.

Contracts need to be very clear about the tenant’s responsibilities as well as the landlords’ as disputes in the past have led to prosecution of landlords when they have shut off utilities due to non-payment of rent. It is also important to be clear about the period of the contract, as this may be disputed in court by tenants wishing to extend their stay or change a short-term contract to a long-term contract. It must be stated in a short-term written agreement that the tenant is not using the property as their main residence.

Landlords wishing to “check-up” on their property are advised to stay away while tenants are there as they are not allowed to enter their property without permission by Spanish law.

It’s a good idea for landlords to run a credit check on prospective tenants and ask for references. While you might not want to put off any potential customers, it is in the interest of security and will put your mind at ease. It is also something that agencies will insist upon so landlords should be clear about their terms from the outset.