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Renting a Room or Apartment in Barcelona

2 Comments 19 February 2011

Renting a Room or Apartment in Barcelona

Renting a room in Barcelona is fairly quick and easy. Renting an apartment is another story.

Renting a Room
Renting a room is the quickest and easiest option to settle in quickly in Barcelona. If you just arrived in Barcelona, you may want to stay at a hotel or hostel for a week or two while searching out a room. Many people tend to rent rooms in Barcelona for the summer months, so try to avoid the summer rush (June to August) if you can.

Generally, you can find a decent room in central Barcelona (i.e. Eixample, Plaza Cataluña, Barrio Gotico, Born, Plaza España, Grácia, etc.) for 350-450 Euros per month. More spacious apartments are generally found in Eixample, Plaza España, Les Corts, Sants, and of course outside of the center.

Rooms may be advertised “con gastos incluidos” or with expenses included, which is a great option and you can usually find this with rooms over 400 Euros per month. Rooms are rented within days of being advertised, so move quickly!

Things to Keep in Mind (see more below)

  • Who is renting out the room (and if they are legally able to do so)
  • For how long can you rent the room
  • Which expenses are included, if any
  • Is there Internet / Wi-Fi
  • Is it an interior room (quiet, but usually gets less air and light) or exterior room (can be noisy, but gets more air and light)
  • Does the room have a balcony
  • What is the language spoken in the apartment
  • How many roommates are sharing the apartment
  • Is it a smoking or non-smoking apartment
  • Are there any guidelines or rules

Renting an Apartment
Renting an apartment in Barcelona is a more complicated and expensive process than renting a room. It can take a month or more to find the right place and get your application approved. Most apartments in Barcelona are rented through an agency (“inmobiliaria”), but consider yourself very lucky if you are able to rent directly from the owner as this will save you hundreds of Euros in agency fees.

As a minimum, both agencies and owners require the first month’s rent plus a deposit of a month’s rent in advance. Most agencies also charge a month’s rent for their fee. Additional deposits may be required, but more than three months rent is not normal.

To rent an apartment, you will have to demonstrate that you have stable work and that your income will be sufficient to pay the rent. If you do not fully qualify, you may have to do an “aval bancario” or a bank guarantee, which is a fee paid to the bank (around 20 Euros a month). The “aval bancario” serves to protect the owner or agency in the case that the rent is not paid. The standard apartment contract is five years.

General Considerations for Renting Rooms and Apartments

  • How much deposit is required
  • When was the apartment last refurbished or “reformado”
  • How old are the appliances (especially in the kitchen and bathroom)
  • Is there heating or air conditioning
  • What floor is the apartment on and if there´s an elevator
  • Noise pollution levels, especially if near a plaza, big street or construction site
  • How safe is the neighborhood
  • Proximity to public transportation / Bicing station
  • Where is the closest supermarket

Apartment and Room Search Websites



Foto Casa

Habitaclia (apartments only)

Helpful Vocabulary
Apartment / Piso
Rent / Aquiler
Housing / Vivienda
Expenses / Gastos
Room / Habitación
Share / Compartir
Central / Céntrico
With furniture / Con muebles o Amueblado
Without furniture / Sin muebles
Interior room (faces staircase or patio) / Habitación Interior
Exterior room (faces street) / Habitación exterior
Bright (gets good light) / Luminoso
Twin bed / Cama individual
Double bed / Cama de matrimonio
Attic (top floor) / Ático
Refurbished / Reformado
(Close or Not Close to) Public transportation / (Bien o Mal) Comunicado
Deposit / Fianza
Bank guarantee / Aval bancario
Real estate agency / Inmobiliaria
Owner / Propetario

Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. This is my first time I visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work.

  2. Dawn says:

    Hola 🙂
    Thank you for this lovely post. It was very helpful especially the vocabulary. Just wondering if you could recommend particular websites, newspapers etc where the rooms would be advertised? I am moving there next week and don’t want to be homeless for long!! Thank you, Dawn 🙂

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