Utility Bills, Extras & Surprises to avoid
Want to know what kind of lifestyle your budget can afford in Madrid ?
More precisely, want to know now how much you might spend on utilities in Madrid ?
I will give you a breakdown here and some extras and surprises you might want to know about before arriving – just to be on the safe side of things.
But first….great news! Madrid has been named as one of the top 10 European cities with the lowest cost of living! Fantastic for anything thinking of a metropolitan lifestyle without a huge budget.
How much you should pay monthly for utilities
To put it simply, all included (water, electricity, gas, phone and internet) monthly, according to my experience with clients and feedback from the expat community:
- Studio or 1 Bedroom Apartment: 100 € on average? (total)
- 2 Bedroom Apartment: 150 € on average (total)
- 3+ bedroom Apartment or House: 200 € on average, leaning towards 300 € for houses.
The total amounts just presented are variable, depending mainly on the following:
- Water: around 20 € per person per month, or less if you have your own boiler or the old hot water prices.
This happens quite often in fact for 30-40 years old building in Madrid. These bills are directly included in the “community costs” paid by the landlord. 99% of rentals include it, but some tricky landlords may try to charge it to you. Check the typical conditions for renting in Madrid and make sure your contract is fair.
- Electricity and/or Gas: 50 € per month, up to 100 € if you have extensive use of air conditioning, heating and electronic devices.
- Internet & Landline phone: 40 € per month for the basic, 65 € if you want optical fiber. This includes always 13 € + VAT for the maintenance of the line, which includes having a landline. Yes, I know, many of us don’t need it. It’s mandatory. You might as well take advantage of the free landline to landline calls.
The extras and surprises to avoid
On top of these essentials, the following bills are typical add-on expats have when living in Madrid:
- Home insurance: around 150 € a year for a standard policy from a leading insurance company – I recommend Mapfre – up to pretty much whatever amount you feel is required to cover you. I recommend a standard policy to start with.
- Television packages: 1o to 50 € more a month, and 300 € installation if you want a satellite dish to receive your channels from your country of origin
- Additional taxes: should be paid by the owner of the property, as for the community costs. Again, it’s the case of 99% of rentals, but some forget to specify it in the contract. Some may even try to make you pay only the new taxes, like the “Garbage tax” in Madrid, for about 50 to 300 € a year, depending on the size of your rental. All this depends on negociation, but my advice is to remind that the normal thing to do now in Madrid is to include it all in the contract.
This post belongs to a serie of “Cost of Living” linked to the master post “What kind of lifestyle your budget can afford in Madrid“. So do have a look and consult the other details of the Madrid expat budget if you’re interested.
If you need help to move to Madrid zen, do not hesitate to send us an email !
Pierre Waters – About Moving2Madrid