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How to search (and to find) flat in Madrid

If you’re starting a new life in Madrid, your first step is finding a home (sweet home). Stop crying cause we are going to give you all the keys, basic tips, how works to rent in Madrid, etc.

How to search (and to find) flat in Madrid

If you’re starting a new life in Madrid, your first step is finding a home (a nice one). But when you are in front of the map of Madrid you really don’t know which area to select, the prices, how the houses are and the renting process in Madrid. Stop crying cause we are going to give you all the keys to search (and to find) the best flat in Madrid.

Basic Tips

You can apply these tips to any city when searching for a flat or house. Make sure that there is a market close and parking for your car or check to see what options there are to park on the street (remember, Madrid has “parkímetros” in the city center, which means that you have to pay for an allotted time to park your car). Besides that, make sure the distance to the metro is not too long because this is the best option to get around when you don’t use car.

Regarding the house, whether it is just for you or for sharing, there is a big check list: the condition of the home; If it is furnished or empty or if they only have the kitchen equipped with appliances; what floor it is (the lower floors are fresher and the top floors are commonly hotter); If it has heating and / or air conditioning; whether the kitchen is electric or gas; If there is an elevator, etc.

It is important for you to know that for renting you will need to show your payslip and sometimes your labor contract.  If you are here to study, probably you will need a guarantee or a signed contract with someone like your parents to rent the house (in that case, they must show their papers). It is also normal to ask for a deposit: the quantity will most likely be equivalent to one or two months of the rent and it must be paid the first month. For instance: if you find a flat for 600€/month with 2 months of deposit, the first month you would pay 1800€. Don’t worry, when the contract is over, your landlord or landlady will look at the flat and, if everything is OK, he/she will return you the money (following with the last example, 1200€).

Furthermore you will need to have a Spanish bank account because the recommended way to pay the rent and/or your share of the rent is by direct debit to your landlord. These are the bills you will have to pay: the rent, lights, gas, and others as Internet, telephone, etc. Community fees should be payed by the owner, as well as the IVI tax.

The duration of the rental is usually for 1 or 3 years. Exceptionally there are rents for 5 years long. Be careful, because if you want to leave the flat before that time you must notify it to the owner 1 month in advance (if you are leaving 6 months before the contract expires). In case that you decide to leave the first 6 months, the owner will probably keep your deposit.

But above all, if you really like a flat, don’t hesitate and be fast! Accept the deal before you regret it. Trust us: good rentals in Madrid flies!

Where do you want to live?

We guess that your plan is to stay in the city center. Well thought. But be careful because the rents in this area are much more expensive and most of the flats and houses are old-fashioned (except if it has been remodeled). You will be close to the party and everything you need but also you will have noise. So look for a calm street without bars, terraces, clubs or bars.

Not every neighborhood are similar: Malasaña has more leisure and party (it’s Chueca zone). Las Letras neighborhood (known as Huertas) is nowadays more calm but with a lot of restaurants also. Lavapiés is the most multicultural neighborhood. Avoid streets adjacent to Sol, Plaza Mayor, Gran Vía and Plaza de España. You will be thankful. When Christmas time comes and the city is full of people it’s horrible to stay around.

We recommend you Chamberí, Delicias, Argüelles or Prosperidad in case you want to keep close to this zone. And also the area next to Madrid Río which is really popular.

You should know that there is a famous highway bordering Madrid center. It’s name is M-30. Use it as your reference cause everything that is around it becomes more expensive. Outskirts of Madrid are placed out of the M-30 and there prices are usually lower depending on the size of the flat, the area and if it’s good connected to the city center.

What can I use to start searching?

Some really useful websites and apps are:

  • Idealista: This website/app allows you look for a home to buy, rent or share in Spain. It is the most popular. It has a map where you can “draw” the area where you want to live in and apply some filters. It will show you the best options. In addition, it is possible to create “alerts” and idealista will send you an email when there are new offers or houses available and similar to your desires. And save the ads you like the most.
  • Badi: It has exclusive offers for those looking to share flat. There are offers all over Spain for all tastes and budgets. If there’s a match between you and your so-called “flatmate” you can send them a message.  You will know if pets or smoking is allowed, or if the expenses to pay. Create your profile and add what you are looking for, your hobbies and a short description about you. Start searching with its map. It’s really easy to use and so practical.
  • Fotocasa: It’s not the easiest website/app to start using but it’s well-known by people who publish their offers on it.
  • Spot-A-Home: It’s a really cool site with a team working behind every offer to provide you a safe place. They will help you to find a suitable place to live in. Some offers also include video tours so you can spot every detail of your future place.

Do you need any other advice? Do you want to share with us your experience? Tell us in a comment!


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