Rental/Sale guide

Rental Guide

If you are going to rent an apartment in Barcelona, it is important that you understand how the rental process works here. These useful tips should help you save time and enable us to focus all our efforts on finding you the perfect flat. So before you get ready for your big move, keep the following things in mind:

Viewing Flats

If you are already living in the city or moving to Barcelona, the contact form is a great way to inform us of what you are searching for and to assure the flats we visit meet your requirements. We will try to arrange the visits to fit in with your schedule. We also have a neighbourhood guide that will give you a better idea of the areas you may want to live in if you are new to the city.



The more prepared you are in advance the quicker we can help you secure the flat. You will need to present the following documents:

  • Copy of your Passport/ ID card
  • Copy of your work contract (contrato de trabajo)
  • Students may show a letter of acceptance to their university or language school (ESADE, IESE, EAE, EADA)
  • Bank statement or recent pay slips (nominas)

It is essential you provide this information as the owner needs to see you are a serious tenant who is solvent and can pay the rent each month.



Once you have decided you want to rent the flat you need to secure it. The purpose of the reservation is to guarantee nobody else will visit the flat and it will be held for you until you sign the contract. The reserve payment is equivalent to one month’s rent. When you meet to sign the contract and pay the rest of the outstanding monies, the reserve payment you already made will be deducted from the total due. The utilities are separate from the monthly rent advertised (electricity, water, gas and internet) and are based upon consumption. They are normally paid as a fixed provisional amount per month and the real consumption calculated when the bills arrive or changed over to the tenants name and bank account.


There are two types of contracts depending on how long you would like to rent. The first is a short/medium term rental contract (contrato temporada) which allows you to rent a property for up to 11 months. The second is a long term rental contract (contrato vivienda) which allows you to rent from anywhere between 1 to 5 years. Depending on your situation, we can advise which is the best option. The rental contract is in Spanish, but we will explain each clause fully and can offer you a full translation in English.

When you sign the contract, you need to pay the security deposit and the first month’s rent (or the proportional amount calculated on a per day basis if you do not enter on the 1st of the month). The security deposit is normally two months for the majority of the flats offered. The security deposit is refundable and will be returned to you by the owner within 30 days of leaving the flat, providing you leave the flat in the same condition as when you moved in. You can either pay in cash or by bank transfer before the signing, in which case we need a transfer confirmation to show the money has been paid.

The contract is usually signed in the flat which allows us to introduce you to the owner, go over the inventory of the flat and check everything is in working order.  Key2bcn is not responsible for the deposit or for making the change over of the utilities, unless otherwise stated.

Sales Guide

Holding Deposit (reserva)

The first step when you find a property that you want to buy is to enter into negotiations with the owner regarding the price and terms of sale. After your offer has been accepted, the next step is normally to put down a reserve deposit to take the property off the market. The amount of the deposit can vary from property to property, but is normally at least 3000 euros. The reserve agreement will normally be subject to legal checks being carried out and will set a timeline within which the private contract or public deed should be signed. We always advise our clients to use a lawyer for the purchase and can recommend ones suitable for the transaction that speak English.


The private contract (Contrato privado de compraventa o arras)
This is a simple agreement between the Buyer and the Seller in which the Seller agrees to sell the property, and the Buyer agrees to buy the property at the price agreed. This will contain all of the relevant details such as a description of the property, purchase price, and date of completion. At this stage the Buyer will be expected to pay a deposit, which is usually 10% of the agreed purchase price. Within the contract there is normally an arras clause. Should the seller decide to withdraw from the sale, the Buyer is entitled to receive double of the deposit as compensation. Should the Buyer decide to withdraw from the sale, the deposit is lost.


Completion of Public Deed (Escritura de compraventa)
Prior to completion, non-Spanish buyers will need a Spanish tax number or NIE and a bank account in Spain. On the completion date, the balance of the purchase price (sales price minus deposit) and any fees payable by the Buyer must be paid. The Seller and Buyer then sign the Public Deed (escritura de compraventa), which is equivalent to the title deeds of the property. The buyer is then issued with the public deed in front of a Notary Public (a public official who is required to witness the deed of sale), who certifies the property transfer, and a copy of the Public Deed will be passed to the tax office and on to the Property Registry.


Purchase costs

The costs related to buying a property in Barcelona are typically between 11% and 12% of the purchase price (10% property transfer tax+ laywer fee + notary fee).