Renting For Members

How to rent a flat in Spain without a NIE number

The Local Spain
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How to rent a flat in Spain without a NIE number
Most landlords, whether private or part of an agency, will accept a valid passport as a form of ID and draw up a contract. Photo: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi/Pixabay.

Arriving in Spain and want to rent a flat but don't have your NIE yet? Here's what you need to know, and what else you'll need to get a flat.

Looking to move? Find your next rental apartment here.


How to rent an apartment without a NIE

Rental contracts and requirements when finding a flat in Spain are essentially the same for foreigners as they are for Spaniards. The main thing that changes is the type of identity document that the prospective tenant must provide when signing the contract.

For Spaniards, they have a DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad) whereas foreigners will require another form of ID. When renting a flat as a foreigner in Spain (or doing anything administrative or involving a contract, for that matter) you'll usually be asked for your NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero).

But if you've just arrived in Spain and haven't got one yet (this can take a while) you'll need another form of identification to put on the contract.

Fortunately, this is fairly easy. Most landlords, whether private or part of an agency, will accept a valid passport as a form of ID and draw up a contract. All you'll need to do is put your passport number (some landlords also like to take photos or photocopies of the document too) as your identity document in the rental agreement.

READ ALSO: 14 things you should know about Spain's NIE number for foreigners

What else do you need?

Having a valid passport is one thing, but there's a few other things you'll need to rent a flat in Spain.

The Local has outlined some of the key ones below.

Job contract or university certificate

Obviously, in Spain as everywhere else, the landlord will want to make sure that you have enough income to pay the rent.

If you have an employment contract in Spain, you can present a stamped copy signed by your company. If you are a student, you can present a certificate of studies or other documentation showing any income you have from grants and loans.

However, if you are a digital nomad employed abroad or self-employed, things can get a little tricker when it comes to job contracts. Fortunately, The Local has covered how to rent an apartment in Spain with a job contract before.


Obviously, you'll need to pay a deposit for the flat. This is usually a month's rent, however in recent years with the influx of foreign workers and digital nomads to Spain many landlords are asking for 6 or 12 months rent upfront as an insurance policy.

READ ALSO: How to get a 'cita previa' (appointment) in Spain when it seems impossible


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 to cancel the aval in order to not continue paying interest on it and recover your stored money.


Having a Spanish bank account

Some landlords can be a little funny about having a Spanish account to pay the rent, though if you’re moving to Spain to live you should sort that out anyway. In many cases, however, landlords have no problem with you paying the rent from an international bank account.

Bank statement

Many foreigners arriving in Spain with a job contract or NIE often provide a bank statement to show recent account activity - and that you have enough to pay the rent and deposit, of course - which might ease the mind of your landlord as it allows them to see your incomings and any debts you might have.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
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Kevin Donnelly 2023/12/07 22:33
As I understand it, Spanish law limits deposits to no more than two months no matter what the landlord says. This is vital to know as it's common to never get it back, so it's vital to mention this limit and a huge disservice to suggest many months of deposit they'll never see again.

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