Most people in Spain live in flats or apartments.
Prices vary considerably depending on location. Generally speaking, however, accommodation in the bigger cities is considerably more expensive than in towns and villages. It is usually cheaper to share a flat. Indeed, sharing a flat with Spanish people will also help you to learn the language and integrate better.
You normally have to pay a deposit when you first move into a flat (this is usually the same amount as a month’s rent but can be anything up to three months’ rent). You should bear rent deposits in mind when deciding how much money you will need when you first arrive in Spain. Obviously, the earlier you arrive, the more choice of accommodation you will have, as other teachers and students will also be looking for accommodation at the beginning of the academic year.
While not common in rented accommodation, central heating and air-conditioning are things to look out for when flat-hunting. You should also ask specific questions about what is covered by the rent as sometimes the water, electricity or community charges are included.
Many flats are let out through estate agencies. While going through an agency can make your search easier, the agency’s commission (usually one month’s rent) is an extra expense.
The best known agencies in Spain are listed on the following website: www.estateagentsespana.com
Private Landlords / Landladies
Private landlords/ladies with flats to let, as well as tenants looking for someone to share, usually advertise in the local press or in the small ads papers published locally throughout the country. Many more ads can be found on the different university faculties’ notice boards or on lampposts throughout the country.
If you take a stroll through the area you want to live in, you will see signs saying se alquila (to let) on flats for rent. Those being let out by agencies usually (but not always) have the agency’s name. Hand-written signs often indicate that the property is being let by a private landlord/lady.
The following websites are useful sources for rented accommodation in Spain.
www.pisodirecto.es (in Spanish only)
www.donpiso.com (in Spanish only)
www.portae.com (in Spanish & English)
www.idealista.com (in Spanish only)
www.enalquiler.com (in Spanish only)
www.ventadepisos.com (in Spanish only)
www.habitamos.com (in Spanish only)