Q: I'm planning to move in to Barcelona this autumn and I would like to ask you if you could advise me some renting apartments agencies. I had a look at the a few online apartment rental companies but they are more like a toursist rental whereas I'm looking for a long term appartment and therefore a better price per month. Moreover, do you know how much rental in advance will I need to pay to the owner in order to rent an apartment and which in which areas of the city would you advise me to rent?
A: It is not so straightforward to find a long term apartment rental in Barcelona. Most of the agencies speak only Spanish or Catalan and there are many other people also looking for apartments.
There are a few English-Speaking long term rental firms however you will be pay more with these types of firms because they usually specialise in premium properties. One such agency is www.monika-rusch.com.
If you can speak Spanish or Catalan I would advisegoing with an agency registred with the government body Coleadministradors (www.coleadministradors.cat) because these agencies have to adhere to strict quality standards.
There are many agencies that charge you upfront for looking for an apartment or promise to give you a list of apartments, however take care, I have received emails from site visitors telling me they have never found an apartment through this type of setup. There may well be legitamate firms that operate like this however do you not think it is best to pay after your accommodation is secured?
There are also scams operating were a so-called "landlord" or "private owner" ask you to pay your deposit and month in advance, only to find out a few days latter that the same "landlord" has done the same with a whole group of other un-suspecting people.
In terms of rental payment it depends on what size apartment you want and in what area of Barcelona. Typical monthly rental prices vary between €800.00 - €1,500 for a 60 square metre apartment.
Typically you will need to pay one or two months deposit, 6 months rental in Aval (Bank Guarantee) and 2 months rental amount in commission to the agency. The Aval is money that is kept in a special account and cannot be accessed until your contract is complete. This money is used to guarantee payments on the apartment should the renter does not pay the bills.
I would advise that you either start with a English-speaking agency or alternatively find temporary accommodation first whilst you have time to look for an apartment.
As for the best area to choose your apartment I recommend you read our Barcelona neighbourhoods guide that will give you a full rundown of each area so that you can decide which area is best for you.