For members


Property in Spain: The six Spanish villages that cost less than a two-bedroom flat in Madrid or Barcelona

Have you always dreamed of a idyll retreat surrounded by countryside and with no noisy neighbours? Well forget buying a pokey flat in Madrid or Barcelona and spend your money on a whole village.

Property in Spain: The six Spanish villages that cost less than a two-bedroom flat in Madrid or Barcelona
This abandoned hamlet in Galicia is on the market for €220,000. Photo:

With property prices on the rise in Spain’s big cities, why not consider investing in a restoration project with a group of friends?

READ MORE: Group of friends buy entire abandoned Spanish village to fulfil retirement dream 

There are an estimated 3,000 abandoned villages in Spain, mainly to be found in Galicia, Castilla y León, Aragon and Asturias and although many don't have the correct paperwork for immediate sale, there are hundreds on the market at any one time.

Here’s a look at what’s on the market right now:


This abandoned village in the A Coruña province in the north of Galicia is offered for €220,000 by Galician Rustic.

It has 4 houses (only one of which in currently inhabitable) three barns and a large cattle shed.

And comes with land of approximately 100 acres much of which is forested.


A semi-rural farm in Asturias set within acres of fruit trees with numerous outbuildings that could be converted into dwellings offering a total of more than 800m2 of living space.

The property, offered by Aldeas Abandonados, also has a wine cellar and is bordered by two rivers and is on the market for €145,7000



This hamlet consists of 3 buildings in total; a fully renovated one bedroom ‘casita’ and two others in various states of ruin, including a large cortijo, set within 2.3 hectares of almond groves.

The property, offered by Aldeas Abandonados, is located between Granada and Almeria and is on the market at €190,000



An entire abandoned village consisting of 14 houses (in ruins) set with 82 hectares of forested hills and hunting grounds is being offered in Querol, Tarragona.

All for the price of €280,000

Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

For those looking for a project that offers winter sun, there’s an opportunity in Santa Lucia de Tirajana on the Canary Island of Gran Canaria.

Consisting of a total of four houses, two of which are in total need of renovation, on a plot planted with palm trees, this property is on the market at €380,000.



For those who don’t want the bother of doing somewhere up from scratch this aldea in Murcia is ready to move into and develop a thriving rural tourism business.

Teetering on a hillside, it consists of a main house with six bedrooms and six bathrooms (perfect for a casa rural) as well as five separate apartments, a swimming pool, barbeque area and its very own windmill!

Located 45 minutes from the regional capital Murcia and an hour’s drive from the beach, it’s offered at €390,000 which is still less than a decent two-bedroom flat in a fashionable area in either Madrid or Barcelona.



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For members


How to rent a property in Spain without a job contract

When looking to rent in Spain, property owners and estate agents often ask for a 'nómina' and work contract - something that can prove tricky if you're self-employed or not working. Here's how to prove your solvency and secure the rental.

How to rent a property in Spain without a job contract

If you’re looking for a house or apartment to rent in Spain, there can be a multitude of different factors to consider.

The price, the size, the location, the neighbourhood, which floor the flat is, on and whether there’s a lift, whether it’s interior or exterior, how many apartments there are per floor, whether to go private or through an estate agents and, of course, the search itself.

When you’re going on visits, you’ll have to contend not only with owner or agent trying to ‘sell you’ the place, but also explaining the terms and conditions (often referred to as las condiciones or requisitos para entrar).

In Spain, the process can be a little complicated. Often landlords ask for two months deposit upfront, and those that go through an intermediary estate agent tend to ask for two months, plus an extra month (plus VAT, or IVA as it is in Spain) that goes to the agent! It certainly adds up. 

Not only that, but very often in Spain you are expected to prove you will be able to pay your rent every month. And it’s not as simple as you might think. 

Most estate agents or landlords think hat the best way to ascertain this is by you providing proof of an employment contract (contrato laboral) and recent payslips (la nómina) that demonstrate you are paid the same amount every month, and that it’s enough to cover the rent and other expenses.

Here’s where things can start to get tricky for self-employed people (known as autónomos in Spain), who number more than 3 million in Spain.

Regardless of whether your monthly autónomo earnings are high pretty much every month, regardless of how consistent they may be, or even if you have regular clients, the irregular and insecure nature of Spain’s work market have ensured that landlords and realtors take a rigid attitude towards the rules.

This is especially true following the turbulent economic times of recent years as we’ve moved from global pandemic to war in Europe to spiralling inflationary pressures on the global economy.

Landlords want to be sure you can pay the rent. Therefore, they may favour a waiter with a nómina of €1,000 a month over an autónomo who can prove monthly earnings double that for the previous six months. Doesn’t seem fair, right? 

READ MORE: Why you should be raising your rates if you’re self-employed in Spain

Well, that’s often how it can be in Spain. Fortunately, if you find yourself in this situation, there are various ways you can convince potential landlords that you are financially solvent enough to rent their property, with or without a fixed contract

The law

Now, it is not unheard of – in Spain nor anywhere else in the world – for an estate agent or landlord to try and squeeze more money out of you, or to add on some extra charges. In most people’s experience, Spanish estate agents and landlords are no better or worse than anyone else, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

It has been known, however, for some in Spain to try and get an extra month’s deposit by telling potential tenants that they need a nómina by law in order to rent a property in Spain, and that they’re doing you a favour by allowing it.

Simply put, this is not true. According to Spanish law, more specifically, La Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (Urban Renting Law), although many landlords require some form of financial insurance, there is absolutely nothing to say a nómina is necessary to rent a property in Spain. A deposit is legally required, but a nómina?

Helpful? Certainly. Legally necessary? Definitely not.

That said, if you explain to the property owner that you’re self-employed, some landlords maybe be willing to make other arrangements to ensure the rent.

Here are some options, and other bits of paperwork that could help:

Aval bancario: Like a bank guarantee, some landlords request tenants without nóminas or work contracts to set up an aval bancario.

You must pay in an agreed amount (often worth the value of two or three months of rent, sometimes more) into a bank account that you’re a customer with.

It’s money that you cannot touch for an agreed period of time and which you pay some interest on, and in the event that you do not pay your rent, the landlord will be able to access said funds.

This is not the cheapest way to rent a property, but it may be one of the more effective ways of convincing a landlord to accept you as a tenant.

If you pay your rent diligently every month and prove that you are reliable, after a year you should speak to your landlord to ask them them to cancel the aval in order to not continue paying interest on it and recover your stored money.

Anuncios de particulares: If you’re using the usual rental search engines like Idealista or Fotocasa, the vast majority of rental adverts are from estate agents (inmobiliarias) who ask for all the proper documentation, including contracts and pay slips, and often the extra month’s rent as a fee.

When you’re making your search, keen an eye out for anuncios particulares , which are private ads direct from landlords.

Sometimes if you deal directly with the owner themselves, they are less strict about rules with regards to nóminas and contracts. Maybe you’ll get really lucky and find a landlord that takes a liking to you and who only asks for one month’s deposit.

Seguro de impago de alquiler: A landlord may be more likely to rent to you even if you don’t have a nómina when they have seguro de impago de alquiler, non-payment rental insurance. It protects the landlord for the duration of the contract and covers the rent and any repairs or legal fees.

IRPF: IRPF is Spain’s personal income tax, and providing your most recent income tax return could help put your potential landlord at ease by proving that what you’ve earned over the last year could cover the cost of the rent.

Seguridad Social: Similarly, providing proof of your social security payment can help prove your financial solvency.

Bank statement: a simple bank statement to show account activity – and that you have enough to pay the rent and deposit, of course – might ease the mind of your landlord as it allows them to see your incomings and any debts you might have.

IVA: Showing your VAT (IVA in Spain) returns could be another tool that, when used in conjunction with other ways of proving your solvency, could convince a landlord to rent to an autónomo.

Pensioner documentation: If you’re retired and you’re looking to rent, any official documents which show how much pension money you receive every month, along with bank statement reflecting savings, should suffice to convince a landlord or estate agent that you’re solvent.

READ ALSO: Renting in Spain: Can my landlord put up my rent due to rising inflation?