Utility Bills, Extras and Surprises to avoid
Do you want to know what kind of lifestyle your budget can attain in Madrid? More precisely, do want to know how much you can expect to spend on utility bills in Madrid? This article gives a breakdown of average utility costs in Madrid and some surprises you might want to know about before arriving.
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.
Expected average monthly utility bills
If you include all utility bills (water, electricity, gas, phone and internet), according to Moving2Madrid’s clients and feedback from the expat community, you can expect to pay monthly:
- Studio or 1 bedroom apartment: 100€ on average
- 2 bedroom apartment: 150€ on average
- 3+ bedroom apartment or house: 200€ on average, leaning towards 300 € for houses
The total amounts above are variable. They depend primarily on the following:
- Water: around 20€ per person per month, or less if you have your own boiler or are grandfathered into paying old hot water prices. This happens rather frequently in 30-40 year old buildings 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 you anyway. Check the typical conditions for renting an apartment in Madrid and make sure your contract is fair.
- Electricity and/or gas: 50€ per month, up to 100€ if you make extensive use of air conditioning, heating and/or electronic devices.
- Internet & landline: 40 € per month for basic service, 65€ if you want optical fiber. This includes 13€ + VAT for maintenance of the landline. We know that many people don’t use landlines anymore, but they are mandatory. You might as well take advantage of free landline to landline calls. Read: The best deal on phone, TV and fibre optic in Madrid to find the carrier right for you.
The extras and surprises to avoid
On top of these essentials, the following bills are typical add-ons expats have when living in Madrid:
- Home insurance: around 150€ a year for a standard policy from a leading insurance company. Moving2Madid recommends starting with a standard policy from Mapfre. They offer whatever amount you feel is required to cover you. Spanish banks make a lot of business off cross selling insurance product, which is why we recommend going with an independent carrier.
- Television packages: 1o – 50€ per month. You might have to pay a 300€ installation fee if you want a satellite dish to receive your channels from your country of origin. Note that most premium packages (Vodafone, Movistar) offer a large number of international channels, especially American ones. So we recommend fully exploring your options before you invest in your own satellite dish.
- 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 the newer taxes, like the “Garbage Tax” in Madrid. These can range from 50 -300€ per year, depending upon the size of your rental. All this is subject to negotiation. Our advise is to gently remind your landlord that the normal thing to do now in Madrid is to include of these additional taxes in the rental contract.