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What are the requirements for landlords to rent out a property in Spain?

The Local Spain
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What are the requirements for landlords to rent out a property in Spain?
These are the requirements and paperwork needed for anyone looking to rent out their property long-term in Spain. Photo: Jo Kassis/Pexels

Are you a homeowner in Spain who wants to rent out their property long-term to a tenant? Knowing the documents you need and the steps to follow can help you avoid problems.

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Becoming a landlord (arrendador in Spanish) in a foreign country and doing it all in a different language can be daunting.

Of course, many foreigners in Spain pay a rental agency to do it all for them, but in reality, the requirements to rent out a property in Spain are fairly simple if you know the documents you need.

Cédula de habitabilidad

This is basically a certificate of occupancy and is one of the main requirements when renting out a property in Spain. This document, which can only be issued by an architect, ensures that your property meets all the technical conditions of habitability necessary for your (soon to be) tenant to live in it.

This is also necessary to be able to install water, gas and electricity services, if the property doesn't have them yet.

Certificado de Eficiencia Energética

Once that's done, all properties in Spain must also have A Certificado de Eficiencia Energética (Energy Efficiency Certificate). This certifies the amount of CO2 that the property emits. Through this certificate, which can only be issued by a qualified technician and which must then be registered with the local authorities, the level of pollution and contamination the property produces is established.

The technician then issues a report and the house is granted an energy efficient rating.

READ ALSO: Is getting rental default insurance worth it for landlords in Spain?


It seems obvious, but you can only be a landlord if you are the owner of the house. Otherwise, it would be impossible to legally rent it out.

Therefore, it is necessary for the owner to present documents that prove legal ownership of the property.

Ownership can be proven through a copy of the deeds of the house with a notary's signature. It is also possible to claim ownership of the same by presenting a certificate issued by the property registry.

It can also be possible to prove ownership property through IBI (Real Estate Tax) receipts.

READ ALSO: What Spain's new housing law means for you if you're a landlord?


Utility bills

In order to rent a property, all utilities must be registered. It is very important that you give the tenant a copy of the latest utility bills (water, electricity, etc.), as this will allow the tenant to change the ownership of the bills.

READ ALSO: ‘La comunidad’: What property owners in Spain need to know about homeowners’ associations

The contract

The contract can be written by the landlord themselves or a rental agency that manages property. As you're likely already familiar with, the rental contract outlines all the clauses of the agreement and the price, the deposit, payment details, and so on. Important things like whether or not subletting the house is allowed is established, as well as reasons for cancelling the contract and how to resolve possible disputes must also be determined.

Finally, the house must be up to date with payment for water, electricity and other utilities. Keep in mind that most landlords ask the tenant to put the bills in their name.

Many people simply download a stock contract and fill in the personal details, such as this one by Spanish property portal Idealista.


Advertising the property

Unless you already know your tenant or prefer to advertise locally, many people use rental websites and apps to find a tenant. In Spain the main ones used are Idealista and Foto Casa, but in areas with large foreign populations there are often Facebook groups for this exact purpose.

When advertising, you'll need to include information about:

The price: in Spain this is usually advertised with the per month price, but sometimes you see adverts with a weekly price.

Whether or not utility bills are included in the price (not just water, gas and electricity but also things like wifi and 'comunidad' costs)

Address: Where it is (the city, neighbourhood, street, though many adverts don't specify the exact building number) and any useful services or locations in the area such as transport links and cultural attractions.

Details: Information on the property itself, including size in m2, the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, balconies, terraces, communal areas, swimming pool, what type of oven it has, and so on.

Photos: Some landlords upload videos showing the property, but you'll at least need some photos. Some might bring in a professional photographer, but even if you don't, make sure the pictures are clear, well lit, and appealing,

Rental price: It is essential to indicate how much you want a potential tenant to pay for the rented property.

READ ALSO: Renting in Spain: When can a landlord legally kick out a tenant?



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