Can I rent a flat in Madrid with only €1000 income?

Question

How did you all rent a flat in Madrid with 9-month student visas and only 1000€ of demonstrable income?
Everyone I contact says they want contratos fijos (indefinite) and some want 3x the rent in nóminas.
Am I missing something? How are we meant to qualify?

Answers

These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“Luck. The two things you mentioned (indefinido and 3x the rent) are difficult to overcome. If you’re just renting a room in a flat then no problem. But if you want the whole piso then muchos problemas.
I lucked out and found a landlady willing to rent to me but she then asked for an additional month’s fianza. From your post, I assume it’s just you and you’re not renting with a friend or partner. If that’s the case, you’ll just have to keep looking. Avoid agencies if possible as they’re less likely to be flexible.”

“I love Spain but sometimes Spain makes no sense. I had found a piso I really liked. I couldn’t do the contrato indefinido so the guy said I can use a guarantor. My guarantor is my mom and she lives in the UK. They said that wouldn’t work. The guarantor has to be in Spain. Fair. So we offered to pay six months’ rent at once and they said no. I don’t even know how that makes any sense. Pero bueno.
If it’s you and a partner then this should be easier. Assuming you’re both auxes, the contrato indefinido will still be an issue. But two salaries will make landlords feel more at ease than just one. Definitely avoid agencies under these circumstances. Buena suerte!”

“my partner and I are on the same boat and it just makes no sense!!!!”

“This might be difficult as someone just arriving to Spain but if you have any Spanish friends/ friends from the EU sometime a place will let you put a guarantor. Putting down 2-3 month deposit is pretty unavoidable tho”

“photoshop”

“Just keep searching, and avoid agencies. There are reasonable private landlords out there, you just have to find them. I’ve only ever used Idealista and have never gone with an agency. I find them after I’ve spoken to a lot of duds and non-fits. It’s a numbers game. Takes a bit of frustration, but if you know what you’re looking for and speak to enough people, you’ll find one eventually.”

“Have you tried offering a bank statement instead and what about your partner? agreed that a particular is more likely to work, Spain is down for a big crisis so people are being even more demanding to avoid okupas, I am on my third apt, for the first we used my partners parents as avales, for the second one we got lucky that my bf had just been hired for a job and I was making 1300 with UCETAM, now I make 48k with a US remote job and my bf is indefinido, so we got an agency and got approved fairly easily, however I literally called 4 mins after the ad came out, so being the first to call helps a lot too”

“when you look on idealista, at the bottom where the contact info is, if it says “particular” that means it’s not with an agency and sometimes it says on the ad, it’s easier to also find those not in the center, like I am near Atocha, but not in Sol and saw more ads for particulares, so not so central locations can also help you”

“I would second being the first to call and just presenting yourself in the best light to particulares (landlords who own the property) VS agencies. They are more willing to work with you (not all, though) and if you can find any type of connection (through your school) to someone renting an apt/room, go for that. I got my last two apartments through connections alone (and the landlords were private).”

“I feel your pain, it really is hard. I’ve been in Spain 9 years (Madrid for 7) and have always rented directly with the landlord (particular). I moved over the summer and it was my first time renting a whole place for myself and my bf and it was easily the most difficult search I have had. I’m American, bf is Finnish, both have indefinidos, and are paid in euros and people did not want to rent to us bc for one of the following –

  1. We weren’t Spanish (he literally said he “would rather have an empty apartment than tenants who weren’t Spanish.”)
  2. Only one of us had a Spanish bank account.
  3. Could not qualify for an aval bancaria and would not take an aval personal.
    It is the absolute Hunger Games out there and can be really tricky finding a place but keep at it, as people have said look for particulares (but keep in mind that they can say no for ANY reason). Someone mentioned that they saw a lot of particulares in the Atocha area, if your commute allows try looking there and the Palos de Frontera, Acacias/Embajadores area. I had a lot of luck finding particulares there too.”

“One person recommended to me asking your boss or bank to be an avalista, this is essentially a financial sponsor that agrees to pay if you don’t. It’s a little uncomfortable but the agency lady I spoke to today made it seem like it made me quite appealing.
In the past I’ve also been asked to show my bank account and savings to prove I could make it work.”

“Only contact the landlords that are “particular” without agencies (you can see this on the right hand side of a listing on idealista)— I think you’ll have more luck. But like someone said here, it does involve some luck.”

“I dipped into savings and paid 6 month up front.”

“old fashion but one way to find an apartment without agency is walking around and calling the signs they post in front of buildings. to get your foot in it helps to speak spanish and to be flexible as to when to see the apartment.”

“You probably wont be able to rent a whole place. If you are lucky to find a particular as others have commented, it is very normal that they will ask for up to 6 months advance. If you do want an agency who may consider you try alquileres seguro— its a scam and they ask for 4 months up front but … maybe. Usually auxiliares rent a room in a shared apartment. Also be careful of predatory landlords. I have never gotten my down payment back in my 8 years here so dont put more than 1 month down anywhere!”