Renting an apartment in Barcelona is a decision you’ll never regret. It is one of the most-loved cities in the world, with beautiful beaches, rich culture and a warm, Mediterranean climate. Many people every year choose to make the move to the Catalan capital, but to ensure you make the best choice for your apartment, it’s important to consider a few things first. These are our top 6 tips for renting an apartment in Barcelona, to make sure you find the perfect apartment for you!
1. Rent your apartment with a reliable, trusted agency
Although not a common occurrence, there is always a risk when renting an apartment for the first time that the agency or landlord could be untrustworthy. Dodgy landlords could try to keep your deposit without good reason, evict without notice nor reason, or even be fake. There have been extreme cases where people have reserved their apartment online, and the property does not even exist, and criminals have made it a scam to steal deposit money. Not to fear, this truly is not commonplace, but it still does happen, so you should take important steps to ensure you do not fall foul to this too.
It is essential to rent your apartment with a trusted and well-established agency, such as AB Apartment Barcelona. With over 13 years of experience in apartment renting, and over 500 apartments in Barcelona, you can relax and know that you are in safe hands when choosing to rent with us.
2. Choose the location that’s right for you
There are a few different factors to consider when choosing the location for your perfect apartment, so let’s delve in…
One of the most important factors when choosing to rent, is the neighbourhood that you choose to live in. Do you want somewhere lively and buzzing with lots of people and things going on? Do you want somewhere more peaceful and with places to unwind? Barcelona has neighbourhoods that can suit any wants or needs, that vary greatly in personality and style from one another. Researching which neighbourhood suits you best is paramount to ensuring that you feel right at home in your new home.
Gràcia: for the hipsters and to experience an authentic-feeling Barcelona
Gràcia is full of quirky independent shops, and squares lined with bars and restaurants that are perfect for some tapas and drinks with friends. Once a separate town to Barcelona, it still maintains a small-town feel, with winding streets and a community of locals. It’s great for those that want an alternative experience of Barcelona, that is less touristic and relaxed, while still with so many things to do and see.
For more information: here’s our blog all about Gràcia.
Barceloneta: for beach lovers
Being just a stroll away from Barcelona’s beaches is just something that could never grow old! Be the first to arrive to the beach for a run in the morning, and last to leave after drinks at a beach bar for sunset. There’s also some of the city’s best nightclubs in Barceloneta, such as Shoko, Pacha and Opium.
For more information: here’s our blog all about Barceloneta.
Eixample: for architecture and luxury fashion
Eixample is the central district of the city, home to many iconic sights, fantastic shops and restaurants. Famed for its grid-structure layout of streets, you can find many spacious apartments here with even better views of the city. The district is split up into the neighbourhoods of: Esquerra de l’Eixample (named the coolest neighbourhood to live in the world by Time Out magazine!), Dreta de l’Eixample, Sagrada Familia, Fort Pienc, Antigua Esquerra and Sant Antoni.
For more information, here’s our blog all about Eixample.
El Born: for artsy people who love great tapas bars and trendy bistros
El Born is a neighbourhood with a mix of locals and international residents, with lots and life and character every day of the week. Expect to see people relaxing and catching up with friends in the neighbourhood’s many bars and restaurants.
For more information: here’s our blog all about El Born.
Proximity to work/study
Another key thing to bear in mind if you’re coming to Barcelona for study or work is the proximity of your apartment to your university or workplace. It makes the commute so much simpler if you’ve either chosen an apartment that’s close to where you need to be by foot, or one that is by easy access by public transport. Barcelona has an excellent public transport system, but sometimes you may need to change metro lines to get to where you need to be.
On the AB Apartment Barcelona website, you can search for your apartment by neighbourhood and map view, to be able to see just how close the apartment is to where you want to be!
3. Questions to ask when viewing a property
It’s important to view a property in person, to see what it all looks like in real life, and to ask any important questions of the estate agent that shows you around. Some of the most important questions you need to ask include:
- Are communal charges included in the rent?
- Is the agency fee 1 month’s rent or 10% of the annual rent?
- What are the deposit terms?
- Are there any planned construction works nearby?
- What are the other neighbours like in the building (are they students or workers)?
- How do you handle repair and maintenance work? How quickly do you generally attend to issues that are reported?
4. Look over the conditions of your rental contract
Once you’ve decided upon your dream apartment, then comes the nitty-gritty of it. The rental agreement will outline your responsibilities as tenant and is designed to protect both parties by outlining both the renter and the property owner’s obligations. Not all tenancy agreements are the same, but there are a few things that will crop up on all contracts.
The most important thing is to check that all the important details are correct, such as: start and end dates, your personal details, the rental price and when it is due, as well as the deposit amount and how it will be protected. Also, it’s very important to be aware of are the circumstances that could result in the deposit being partly or fully withheld at the end of the tenancy. If you’re planning on getting a furry friend in your apartment, some rental agreements will explicitly state whether this permitted or not. If you’re somebody that likes having your friends over for drinks and a dance into the early hours, many contracts may explicitly forbid this too! There may be room for negotiation on certain aspects, so make sure you go through the contract with a fine-toothed comb.
5. Choosing the length of your stay
Something else to consider when choosing to rent an apartment in Barcelona is the length of stay that you would like. Staying anywhere from 1-11 months is classed as a mid-term rental, and anywhere from 12 months and beyond is a long-term rental. With a mid-term rental it’s common that utility costs are included in the price, as is the case with all AB apartments. For long-term rentals, it’s more likely that you have to cover your own utility bills, the deposit is larger, and if you wanted to leave midway through the year you may be liable to pay until the end of the year.
6. Make sure that your agency will support you during your stay
Many estate agents in Barcelona act as intermediaries between the tenant and landlord, but once you pay the agency commission fee, they leave the picture. That’s to say, if any problem arises with the apartment that you need assistance with, they no longer take responsibility, and you’re left to deal with the owner directly. This can feel frustrating, particularly if you have paid a hefty agency fee, as it can feel as though you’ve been left without support.
At AB Apartment Barcelona, you do not have to worry about ending up in this situation, as they can take care of any issue that may arise during your stay quickly and with care. Moving to a new city or country is a nerve-wracking process, and one that at times can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Letting an agency take care of any issues during your stay, as well as even giving advice on settling in and what to do in your new hometown, is a great step to take to make the process a whole lot easier!