How to Find Your Perfect Flat to Rent in Madrid?

typical madrid flat

For foreigners planning on moving to Madrid, finding the apartment, flat or room to rent is the #1 objective.

I will focus here on the process of finding flats in Madrid and what are your options, so you can decide for yourself on the best option in your case.

Essentially, there are 2 ways to find a rental in Madrid:

1) via the major classified websites for Madrid rentals
2) via a professional who will conduct the search for you

Of course, there are also other options, such as requesting a university dorm room, or through a friend. But I will focus here on these 2 key options which cover 90% of all cases and are open to any person moving to Madrid.

1) via the major classified websites for Madrid rentals

The best classified websites are:

  • Fotocasa – entirely free, with the largest number of flat rentals
  • Idealista – entirely free, very well designed, easy to search and use

There are more, but those two are clearly the best.

PROS: These websites will give you access to the largest database of flats, apartments and rooms to share. They have powerful search functions and alerts, and are easy to use.

CONS: Anyone can upload anything, so there’s a risk of scams (I do not recommend Craigslist for this reason: it’s full of scams) and 90% of ads are in Spanish only.

A good option for people with plenty of time when they arrive in Madrid (18 days on average to find a flat according to some surveys), a friend to host you so you don’t pay for accommodation while you’re searching, and some elementary Spanish to scan through the ads.

2) via a professional who will conduct the search for you

If you are ready to invest a minimum of 1 week, full-time, to searching, have some Spanish skills and are ready to handle the search until you find what you know is the best in Madrid, you can search yourself.

If not, I recommend you ask for help, since you will waste more time, stress and in fact money, than with an efficient professional.

Real estate agents will charge you a month’s rent (or more) to find you a flat within their portfolio. Most will not speak English (or just a bit) since Madrid is not as full of expats as the Costa. You pay in fact in this case for the services they give to landlords.

In Moving2Madrid‘s case, we look for you 100% of the time, and all over the market, doing 5 to 10 visits a day, sending you a summary daily, preview all suitable flats, with photos and videos of the flat and neighbourhood. Above all, we focus on newcomers and foreigners who want to move to Madrid: personal service is included to support you before and after your move. We will charge the same and include the relocation assistance for all your questions throughout your stay, and we will deal for you for setting up utilities and reviewing the contract.

Conclusion: the option you choose depends on the time and money you have to spend.

In the end, the option you choose depends on 2 factors: time and money. If you do not have time for the search, go for #2: a professional. If you do not want to spend money but have time to search, go for #1: the major classified websites. Then to choose the best company to deal with, I suggest you have a look and compare.

I hope this will help you decide the way you want to find your perfect flat in Madrid to rent. Do have a look at our other posts about rental prices and cost of living in Madrid, the best neighbourhoods in Madrid and how to choose the one for you if you haven’t already, they are really helpful to prepare your move to the city.

As always, if you have any kind of question, do not hesitate to send me an e-mail.

Yours madridly,
Pierre – Expat & Madrid Relocation Expert

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This post is also available in: French, Italian

Posted on Friday, January 10th, 2014 by in Flathunting, New ? Start Here

14 responses to “How to Find Your Perfect Flat to Rent in Madrid?”

  • Good afternoon,
    I hope all is well. I would like to rent a place from January 30th or 31st, 2014 to June 21st 2014. My budget is from 800 euros per month to 1100 euros. I would like to know please what is included in the monthly price, and if i decide to book for one year would you be able to reduce the price? Also, is there a parking in the building or close by, if so, how much per month? Preferably in Barrio de Salamanca.
    Thank you for your time and cooperation. Have a good day.
    Kind regards,
    Hind Ratibe

    • Good afternoon Hind,

      For most apartments, everything is included in your monthly rent(property taxes, community charges..) apart from individual bills, ie all bills that are linked to your individual consumption: utilities (water, gas, electricity) and telecommunications (internet, landline).

      For short term apartments (daily, weekly or monthly rentals under 3 months), they include usually everything, including bills.

      Yes, I recommend renting for 12 months, as the same apartment rented for 6 months instead of 12 gets a 20-30% increase in rent, without including anything more. Also, there is 10 times less apartments available on the market for under 12 months.

      Parking is usually not included in small apartments. They do include it in family apartments with minimum 3 bedrooms. A parking can always easily be found close to your apartment for around 130-150 € a month in the Salamanca neighborhood and the centre.

      I will send you some by email more details and how-to tips to help take your first decisions and even search on your own if you want to !
      Of course, if you want to be sure to find the best, on time and at the best price, just send me an email !

      All the best,

  • Good day,
    I hope everything is well. I would like to rent a apartment from March 30th , 2014 to August 30th 2014. My budget is about 1000 euros per month. Do you have any suggestion or information to find a professional or agency (email or web address).
    Thank you for your help. Have a good day.
    Kind regards,
    Dwi D

  • Hi Pierre!

    Have you heard about http://www.spotahome.com/ ? It’s a new website for booking accomodation in Madrid! It’s very interesting, specially for those foreigners coming to Madrid for the first time, because they can book the appartment/room before arriving to the city! Hope you find it useful!

    • Hi Nahikari,

      Yes I have heard of it, as it is a company created by IE students, if I’m not mistaken.
      It’s a AirbBnb for long-terms stays.
      We use it as one of our sources, as we exhaust the market and never work with landlords to stay unbiased.

      All the best,

  • Hi,
    What a wonderful service you offer! My husband and I are moving to Madrid. I will study ESL att TtMadrid and he is a retired aerospace scientist. I am also a cellist. We would like to be near the school in Salamanca and ideally would like to share a large apt. or house to save some money, as we are on a fixed income. So I think our budget would be $500 – 900/ mo. for the two of us ( util. included, if possible) We will not have a car. The other barrios near by do seem interesting as well…just not out far. I have run across spotahome.com and it does seem great. I just feel renting off internet photos is risky.
    I do hope you may help! I am arriving Feb 25th and a friend and my husband arrive Mar 23rd. The friend will leave April 8th. I;m 62 and my husband is 85. Yes, it’s quite an adventure! We want to rent for a year. Thank you !

  • It´s a nice city. Almost all of the foreigners love it. People who has lived in Madrid always prefer this city than Barcelona, more turistic.

    • Hi Ana,
      Thanks for getting in touch! Madrid and Barcelona are so different, they both have their upsides and downsides, but you’re right, Madrid really does have something special about it!

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