Lettings checklist for landlords

If you’re planning to let a property you own on the Costa del Sol, either as tourist accommodation or to long-term tenants, here’s a helpful checklist to make sure you have everything in order

  1. Paperwork – every property in Spain requires two mandatory documents before it can be let or sold: an occupancy certificate (‘cédula de habitabilidad’ in Spanish) and energy certificate (‘certificado energético’). The occupancy certificate certifies the property is fit to inhabit, in accordance with the regulations of the autonomous community in which it is located, while the energy certificate specifies the property’s energy use requirements and CO2 emissions. Both certificates are issued by registered technicians and landlords to required to obtain them before any kind of rental contract can be signed.

  2. Contracts – whether you want to let short term or long term, you’ll need a legally binding contract (in Spanish, as well as any other language you may choose) for any rental agreement you sign with tenants. Standard-form contracts are readily available online, but we recommend you consult a lawyer, gestor or estate agent like ourselves to make sure the terms and conditions of the contract respect the law and your interests.

  3. Inventory – fully or partially furnished, appliances only or unfurnished, however your property is equipped, you’ll want to make sure all the contents are listed on a detailed inventory that is annexed to the contract, holding your tenants liable for any damages that may occur during their occupancy.

  4. Deposits and references – depending on the type of rental you choose, there are legal requirements and customary practices that apply to deposits, proof of solvency and tenants’ references.

  5. Insurance – before you sign any contract, ensure your property and its contents are comprehensively insured against damages that may be caused to it and to third parties by tenants or clients. You can find more detailed advice about insurance for rental properties here, but you should always declare the fact that your property will be used for rental purposes to your insurer or broker.

  6. Utilities and services – if you’re letting long-term, you’ll need to decide whether to keep utilities and any services in your own name and pass the cost on to tenants on a regular basis (in which case, make sure this is crystal clear in the contract) or have your tenants contract these directly with suppliers for the duration of the contract.

    Either way, make sure accurate meter readings are taken when tenants arrive and leave. If you’re letting short-term, you’ll be paying the bills from your account, so don’t forget to include all foreseeable costs in the price of the rent you wish to charge.

  7. Community fees – if your property is part of a community, make sure any fees are paid up to date. If your tenants are suddenly refused entry to the swimming pool or padel court, they won’t be happy.

  8. Payment of rent – we always recommend that rent, whether it’s monthly under a long-term contract or for a weekend stay, is paid via bank transfer or direct debit. It makes life easier for both parties and ensures that all money that changes hands is legal and above board.

  9. Clean and check – before you hand over the keys, make sure the property is thoroughly cleaned (and, if necessary, painted) throughout and that all the fitments and contents (appliances, light switches, power sockets, blinds, etc.) are in good working order.

  10. Property management – if all the above sounds like a lot of work, professional property managers like Terra Meridiana can help take the hassle out of letting, look after your property for the duration of the contract, and manage your tenants to make sure they’re satisfied and fulfil their side of the agreement.

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Lettings checklist for landlords in Spain

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