How to find your perfect rental apartment in Madrid

Read this article to learn the optimal process for finding a rental apartment in Madrid and what you can expect your search to be like.

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

1) Via a website
2) Via a professional who will conduct the search for you

These 2 key options cover 90% of all cases and are available to any person moving to Madrid.

1) Via a website

The best classified websites to find a rental apartment in Madrid are:

  • Fotocasa – entirely free, with the largest number of flat rentals
  • Idealista – entirely free, very well designed, easy to search and use
  • Spotahome– charges a small booking fee, excellent for medium-term rentals

There are more, but these three 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 (we do not recommend Craigslist for this reason: it’s full of scams). Over 90% of the listings on Fotocasa and Idealista are only in Spanish. Spotahome is available in eight different languages, including English, French, Italian and German.

It is important to invest sufficient time in your apartment search. Surveys demonstrate that it takes, on average, eighteen days to find a rental apartment in Madrid. Ideally, you will have a friend that will let you stay at their place so you don’t have to pay for accommodation and some elementary Spanish to scan through the ads.

Artistic-Posh-Building

Your choice of neighborhood will depend upon your budget and lifestyle

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

If you are ready to invest a minimum of one week, fulltime, to your apartment search, 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, we recommend that you ask for help. Using an efficient professional that knows the Madrid rental apartment market and speaks Spanish will ultimately save you time and money.

Real estate agents: will charge you a month’s rent (sometimes up to two) to find you a flat. Typically, they choose something in their portfolio of properties. Most will not speak English (or just a bit) since Madrid is not as full of expats as the Coasts. If you use an estate agent to find your rental, you are paying them for a service they provide to the landlord.

Moving2Madrid’s apartment search partner: will charge you a competitive rate to find a apartment. They speak English. Moreover, they are relocation experts so they can help you with other needs such as:

  • Setting up your utilties
  • Negotiating the price
  • Helping you sign the lease
  • Helping you open a bank account
  • Helping you lease or buy furniture
  • Finding you the best home insurance
  • Finding a school for your children
  • Helping you move your pets

Conclusion: Your best option for finding a rental apartment in Madrid depends on the time and money you have to spend

The option you choose depends on two factors: time and money. If you do not have time for the search, use a professional. If you do not want to spend money but have time to search (and speak some Spanish), you can use one of the apartment listing websites. Please keep in mind that even if you use a website like Idealista, you will often end up having to pay a fee to the agency managing the apartment.

If you don’t speak Spanish, we recommend that you use a professional if you are looking for a rental property in Madrid.

Further reading

Madrid neighborhoods are very diverse. To learn about the different neighborhoods, you can read our shortlist of The Best Neighborhoods in Madrid.

To arrange a free consultation with our recommended relocation expert, CLICK HERE.

Posted on 22 April, 2019 by maryclare in Rent - How to rent, New ? Start Here

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22 responses to “How to find your perfect rental apartment in Madrid”

  1. maryclare says:

    Hi! Use this link to book a free call with our rental partner. She can help you: https://go.oncehub.com/m2mcall

  2. Sangwoo Chae says:

    need a house near Colegio Bristol

  3. maryclare says:

    Hi Cloé- I have responded to this via email- someone from our relocation team will be in contact with you shortly. Best, Mary Clare

  4. Cloé says:

    Hi !
    I moved to Madrid 2 weeks ago with my partner and we struggle to find a flat. We are french and italian and speak spanish quite well. And we are trying both ways you’re proposing / from agencies to particulares.
    The thing is that everyone asks nominas from spain, and a spanish aval bancario as well. (I still don’t have a job so no working contract here in spain..)
    But i have all those documents in french.
    My partner is a fotographer autonoma, with facturas but it’s not a sufficient garantie for anyone.
    So my question is, do you know any agency in Madrid that works with foreigner aval bancario ? Or that would consider my french nominas ?

    Thanks in advance for your help !
    Cloé

  5. maryclare says:

    Hi! Sorry for the delay getting back to you. Someone on our team will be in contact with you within the next 24 hours. Best of luck!

  6. rachele capobianco says:

    hi, I’m looking for an apartment for 3 from september 2018 until july 2019 in salamanca, madrid. max 3500euro per month.

  7. Admin says:

    Thank you for your comment Eleanor !
    Please do contact us at email@moving2madrid.com, and Our team will contact you to see how we can help !

  8. Eleanor says:

    We are looking for a long term rent of an apartment with 1 bedroom, a living and dining room and a separate kitchen and toilet and bathroom around 60 m2
    With lift or at the ground floor. Please call me at this no. 604310813 Thanks

  9. RentIndicator says:

    If you’re wondering about the rent price level in Madrid, check http://rentindicator.com/city-rent-averages/madrid-rent-averages/ for an overview of prices per district. You can also get a rent estimate for a potential room or apartment you’re interested in. Saves loads of time looking on the web to get an impression of prices.

  10. Incredible info, i had to move fast to Madrid for a couple of months and this helped me out to find a great house to rent instead living on a hotel. Thx for sharing it.

  11. Louise says:

    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!

  12. ana says:

    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.

  13. For this budget, spotahome is in fact a great choice, and I can vouch for their quality and professionalism !

  14. Whitney Raleigh says:

    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 !

  15. 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,
    Pierre

  16. Nahikari says:

    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!

  17. Hi Dwi,

    Well, we are the Madrid property hunters, so do not hesitate to tell us if you need help at email@moving2madrid.com.

    Cheers,
    Pierre

  18. dwi djay says:

    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

  19. 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,
    Pierre

  20. Hi Montse,
    We do know enalquiler, but idealista and fotocasa are the real leaders in terms of number of quality apartments we find there each time for clients.

  21. Hind says:

    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

  22. Montse says:

    You sould add http://www.enalquiler.com/ in “The best classified websites”, it has thousands of flats in Madrid and it is really easy to use.

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