Can I rent an apartment in Spain as a freelancer without a job contract or NIE?

Question about how to rent an apartment in Spain

I am moving to Spain soon and need to rent an apartment in Spain – however, im a freelancer, so I won’t have a job contract to show, or a NIE. Will it be completely impossible for me to find a place? Or will it be enough to show paystubs from working my last contract, plus funds in my bank account that I could pay for the whole years rent, plus paying 6 months up front ?? Has anyone worked with an agency that is flexible with freelancers?


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“It’s almost impossible to rent an apartment in Spain without a contract. You might want to contact the agents in the area you’re looking to move to. They’ll send you a list of what, if anything, they will accept in lieu of having the usual permanent contract plus payslips.”

Read How much commission do I have to pay if I rent an apartment in Spain in 2023?

“Depends where. My landlord accepted one month fianza and proof of founds. I found him on Idealista, also I live in the country side. But contacted private landlords trough the app and got some positive answers. In cities I assume it’s a bit more complicated.”

“You will absolutely need an NIE to anything here, especially rent through an agent.
Maybe a private landlord would skip it, but it’s a legal requirement to have one of you intend on living here and renting anything.”

“They accepted my passport the two times I signed a contract for an apartment while my NIE was expired. And I showed them my savings account statement and a few pay stubs (no contract) and they accepted it without having to pay rent 6 months in advance. It’s not impossible and I live in Madrid”

“Don’t worry. I had a chance to rent a nice place with only passport and my income records from freelancing. But it was Catalunya countryside. But really no problems at all.”

“I look all the time but only tried once (still live there) and landlord was good to go with my US tax docs from previous year. Found it walking into local real estate agencies (good things are not there long enough to bother posting online).”

“If you are a resident in spain and self employed, you will need to be autonoma and you will absolutely need a nie. I am a bit confused how you are going to move here without getting any documentation.”

“You need a nie for nearly everything in Spain. Finding an apartment is possible without job, if you proof you have enough funds. It was the same for me. I registered as autonomo one month after we had the apartment, which makes sense because you need an address for that, and to get a bank account as well.

Depending where you are moving to, I recommend checking how to get the NIE appointment and getting it asap, even before you are in Spain if possible, or get it in your home country at the embassy if you can to save yourself time, effort and money. It was very difficult for me to get and I had to pay a private service to help me. I didn’t need it for the apartment but I did to get a bank account, to set up the internet, water and electric services, etc. What I struggled with more at first was the nonpayment insurance (seguro de impago) which every landlord/real estate company I went to wanted. Usually they get the insurance for you and they pay, but they need your paystubs to submit, and some of the insurance companies don’t accept foreign paystubs. If that happens you can suggest to them to check the companies Finaer and Cleverea which do. Hope it helps!”

It’s not 100% true that you need a NIE or contract. I was able to do it with only paystubs. Getting your NIE asap may help though. You will need the NIE anyway”

As demonstrated by the responses from Spainguru’s Facebook group members, it is possible for freelancers without job contracts or NIEs to find apartments in Spain, although it may be more challenging. Many landlords and agencies require a NIE and/or a job contract, but some are willing to accept alternative forms of documentation such as pay stubs or proof of funds. It may be helpful to look for private landlords or to contact local real estate agencies directly to inquire about their specific requirements. Additionally, it is important to note that obtaining a NIE may ultimately be necessary for other aspects of living and working in Spain. Overall, it is possible for freelancers to find apartments in Spain with some effort and flexibility.