Long Term Rentals Costa Blanca
Long Term Rentals Costa Blanca North
There are many reasons why more and more people are looking for long term rentals in Spain, with the Costa Blanca being the 2nd most popular area to the Costa del Sol. Maybe to escape the dreary weather in their home country for six months or so, sometimes to spend a year or so here before deciding whether to buy and make a life here, or possibly to look for work and relocate permanently.
As a rental agency based on the Costa Blanca North, we can see that the number of enquiries for this type of property has been steadily increasing once again following a dip over the recession period. In the years between 2005-2007 demand far outstriped supply, from then until 2014 it was the other way around.
During those years, Spain no longer offered a cheap lifestyle – especially for those people living on UK pensions and many returned to their home country. Those looking for long term rentals at that time were looking to pay anything between 800 – 1200 Euros for a villa with a pool, plus bills and generally rubbish collection costs on top but most of our enquiries came from people with a budget of around 500 Euros – many even less. This was just not realistic for the type of property they were looking for and based on our experience in the market in the Jalon Valley and surrounding area, for 500 Euros, you were likely to get a 2 or 3 apartment in a block with no parking facilities.
However, times have changed again and with the pound to euro averaging around 1.39 euros to the pound, this is a great time to look for long term rentals on the Costa Blanca. Prices per month have gone down, and there are some fantastic properties available from 450 euros a month.
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Many owners are still holding out for the higher incomes they can receive from rentals in the summer, wanting only to rent for a longer period between October and March. However, as the number of holiday properties available are high, the likelihood of each owner filling high season periods decreases. Obviously, this depends on the quality of the property, but in general this is what we are seeing – especially for 2 bed apartments, which are the most commonly bought ‘second/holiday home’.
Until now, it has been mainly the Spanish owners who prefer long term rentals – guaranteeing themselves a year round income, whilst the British owners who generally like to use the property themselves, prefer short term holiday lets. However, trends are changing and we are now seeing an increase in foreign owners renting out their properties on a long term basis.
Renting Long Term
Villas with pools are still few and far between compared to apartments as they are popular for holiday lets, and many of those that are owned by the Spanish are far removed from what you may expect. They can be in remote areas where you need wellies just to get to the car, they are often damp, dark and dingy, the furniture provided should have been binned 30 years ago, there is no heating, and the owners will let themselves in whenever they please. You are quite likely to see the owner peering through the window, hovering around in the garden, or rummaging in their garages/store rooms during your stay there. It is quite usual for Spanish owners to keep some of their own property in a locked room, a garage or a store room whilst tenants are in the property. Despite the fact that we try to explain to our owners that tenants like their privacy, and try to impress upon them that they should at least make an appointment if they must enter the property, they rarely listen. Renting from Spanish owners is often cheaper than from foreign or ex-pat owners, but you should be aware that can come with its own set of ‘peculiarities’.
It may seem a very romantic notion to live in a secluded villa in the campo, backed by mountain ranges, and collecting wood by day to light the fire at night. In reality, the novelty soon wears off as it often not practical for day to day living. We had a couple last winter renting a lovely villa in the campo in Benissa. Regardless of the fact that we strongly advised them to hire or buy a car, they didn’t – and yet the village of Benissa was at least a half hour walk. After two months, unable to find work and fed up with the lonely life in the campo, they gave up and went back to the UK. They are not the only ones, many take on a long term rental in Spain and give up before the end of the contract.
Relocation is a big step, and looking for the right property is a major consideration. It is sad to see those who had high hopes when first arriving having their lives made miserable by moving into unsuitable accommodation. It can completely change your outlook of life in Spain – whereas things can look very different when you are happy in your surroundings. Once you have signed a contract, if you vacate before the end of that contract, you will lose your deposit (and technically be liable to pay the rent up until the end of the contract) – which is usually 2 months rent up front, so it can be expensive to just move on. Finding work on the Costa Blanca is also difficult, so it is always advisable (unless you have a regular income) to do your research before making the move.
We are now encouraging our property owners to look at long term rentals as opposed to holiday rentals. Although Spain is still one of the most popular destinations, holidaymakers are now travelling further afield, the sheer volume of properties available mean that owners may fill as little as 6 weeks per year, and for those who need to cover a mortgage, renting long term means a lower, but steady income.
If you have a property available for long term rentals on the Costa Blanca, please contact us as we have people looking in all areas.