Asunción Rodríguez wants responsible, clean and young people. Clara Jiménez claims to meet all three requirements. If it were a dating app, Jiménez and Asunción would be a match. But this is not a Tinder, but a housing portal; Asunción is a housewife, Clara is a student and the priorities of love are replaced by financial ones. When Rodríguez offers the rooms in her apartment in the Prosperidad neighborhood of Madrid between 370 and 500 euros a month, Asunción puts her tastes aside and only prioritizes one thing: economic solvency, which Jiménez, a master’s student, , hardly offers. What can people like Clara Jiménez do to find a home? The first step would be to start looking for a flat:
Rent or buy?
The offer is low, so there are fewer and fewer landlords for potential tenants. The stock of rental homes has fallen 25% during the third quarter of 2022, according to data from Idealista. The fall is even greater if the annual data is observed. Fotocasas assures that the supply of rental housing has fallen by 35%.
If there is no rental offer in the big cities, the best thing to do should be to buy a home. However, the economist from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra José García Montalvo affirms that this option must be discarded if an economic cushion is not available. “Unless you have a financially beneficial situation,” he says, the only option should be to rent.
How much to spend?
Experts recommend that the dwelling does not represent more than 40% of the available rent of potential tenants. In other words, a person who received the minimum interprofessional salary of 1,166 euros per month should dedicate 466.68 euros to rent.
Landlords continue to have that percentage of rent when looking for a tenant, despite rising inflation and the loss of purchasing power of families. García Montalvo believes that because the demand for tenants is so high, they can always find applicants who use 25% or 30% of their income to pay the rent. For the economist, right now “Dedicating 50% of the rent for rent is a death sentence.”
What to do if I do not meet the minimum?
Experts recommend that, if you do not have enough income to rent an entire home, sharing a flat is a cheaper alternative. If you do not want to do so, the other option is to live in less stressful areas of the cities, mainly on the periphery or intermediate rings of the city. Professor Bernardos affirms that, for example in Madrid, the Arganzuela neighborhood is an economical option and not too far from the city center that may be suitable.
How much does the area affect the final price?
It is important to know the price of the areas before choosing where to live. The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has an index in which you can consult the price per square meter by area, although its data is not in real time. Housing portals, such as Idealista or Fotocasas, can also be useful for finding out about housing prices in different areas of the city.
The professor of Economics at the University of Barcelona Gonzalo de Bernardos affirms that you have to be clear about what you want. “If you want to live in the center of Madrid, you will have to pay 20 euros per square meter, so a 70-meter flat will cost you 1,400 euros. If you go to the outskirts of the city, it will cost you half. It will depend on where you want to reside“.
How to find good prices?
De Bernardos sums it up as follows: “Ask, ask, ask.” Professor García Montalvo affirms that in the current situation it is very difficult to think that bargains can be found, although they may exist on the “margins” of the market, he affirms. What does work, according to García Montalvo, are informal relationships, that is, contacting the more landlords the better and asking friends and family to keep an eye out for offers that may be interesting before they go on the market.
Speed and perseverance to find good prices
In big cities, affordable deals fly. In cities where housing is more stressed (Madrid or Barcelona) around 30% of rentals under 750 euros last less than 24 hours on the market, according to data from Idealista. Being one of the first to contact landlords and increasing the chances of renting are key to being one of the first to contact landlords and constantly searching.
Is social rental housing a good option?
Although the prices of these are, in general, lower than those of the market, social rental housing in Spain is a very small proportion of the stock, so getting one is complicated, García Montalvo points out: “It is difficult to get one, because there are long waiting lists. The great change in this legislature is precisely the greater importance given to social rental housing. SEPES has a very ambitious program to increase its proportion in the coming years.”
The key to rent: financial stability to overcome the ‘beauty contest’
“The owners want stable clients. It’s a matter of solvency, period”says Luis Somoza, property agent and commercial director of the real estate agency La Casa Agency, who works in the center of Madrid. Passing the financial evaluation is essential, experts agree that it is the most important thing to pass the casting. “The payroll of 3,000 euros beats that of 2,000; the civil servant contract beats that of the private company; the fixed one beats the discontinuous or temporary fixed one; the worker in a stable sector wins that of the cyclical sector”, explains Professor García Montalvo.
Finding a flat has become a “beauty contest”. García Montalvo believes that this is the case in more and more cities, such as Barcelona, in which landlords have a dozen candidates looking to move into their homes, which makes potential tenants want to be the most attractive to move into. to live. For Gonzalo Bernardos, “the upper hand is with the owner”, so it is necessary to deal with them.
What profiles do landlords look for?
For Gorka de la Bodega, manager of Fincas Lersundi in Bilbao, the examples of tenants you would qualify as “safe” are “young” couples, between 30 and 45 years old, with two payrolls. Older families would be less attractive than, for example, if they were laid off they had fewer opportunities to fit into the labor market and pay the monthly payment at the end of the monthcomment.
Realtors claim that people with good references and financial stability “rent insurance.” The Spanish housing stock is 95% in the hands of small holders, according to data from Fotocasas. That is why De la Bodega assures that renting is the most complicated option for real estate agencies and that landlords look for people they trust to live in their homes. “If we fail to find the right tenant, the owner will not trust us again,” says the manager of Fincas Lersundi.
Another facet to highlight as a tenant is to offer security to the owner. The economist Gonzalo Bernardos explains that those who put their home up for rent value that their property is cared for and does not cause deterioration, that it does not cause problems with neighborhood coexistence and that they spend as much time as possible occupying the home.
visit the house
It is important to know the state of the house, the situation of the furniture and electrical appliances. Víctor Manuel Palomo, a lawyer for the Madrid Tenants Union, assures that By signing the contract, it is accepted that the tenant knows the conditions of the state of the home. Therefore, if there were any errors, it could have an impact on the tenant. If there are defects, a solution can be agreed upon.
contract yes or yes
A housing contract in accordance with the Urban Leasing Law is essential. Palomo assures that “although it seems obvious, there are many that do not have it. Above all, in seasonal and room rental contracts.”
Bernardos explains that, thanks to the contract, it is difficult for landlords to go too far. The economist highlights that it is important to write down in what terms the deposit is returned: “It is necessary to record the state in which the house has been entered and in which state it is left. A damage due to misuse is not the same as due to use.
On the other hand, it must be taken into account that the new tenant will have to pay two monthly payments: one of them to the landlord in the form of a deposit, the other will remain in the city’s property chamber, which will then be returned to him. The lawyer for the Tenants Union affirms that this is the guarantee established by the Law that the contract will be carried out successfully.
How to avoid scams?
When there is need, hurry and little offer, García Montalvo affirms that people fall into scams with rental housing. Unreal offers or supposed landlords who ask for advances to reserve a flat that never existed. The list goes on and Montalvo affirms that the solution is based on seeking to be well informed about how the rental market works: “When you find an offer for 200 square meters in the center of Madrid for 600 euros, you don’t have to think about it anymore, it’s a safe scam. There aren’t, there are no such flats.”