I have a flat. WOOHOO! I’m writing this blog post in it! AHHHHHHHH!
After a couple of weeks of uncertainty and numerous flat viewings I can now say that I successfully rented a flat in the tumultuous Spanish property market. As an Economics student I feel particularly pleased with myself after ‘el crisis’ of ’08-’10.
For those of you thinking of doing Erasmus in Spain and have a million questions about where you’re going to live in Spain, I hope I can answer a few with the following advice.
What are your options?
UNI ACCOMMODATION – while this is a popular option in the UK for first year students, many savvy Spanish students prefer to rent a private property in the city. In Oviedo the Uni accomodation is run by the nuns who have a strict set of rules that you have to follow. Not exactly like Murano…
FAMILY – many families are happy to provide accommodation for Erasmus students and it’s a great way to improve your language skills and have a surrogate family while living abroad.
RENT PRIVATELY –by far the most popular option among Erasmus students (in Oviedo anyways), this is often the cheapest option.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! Look at the location, popularity with other students (home students and Erasmus students) and the price!
Who am I going to live with?!
My flatmates are two other girls from Glasgow uni, one is doing Erasmus at uni ovi with me and the other is doing British council at a local secondary school. We came into contact through our course as well as the Erasmus information evening. You can find flatmates on Facebook too, I joined the Erasmus Student Network Oviedo Facebook group and plenty of people have found flatmates through that. The ESN is a national group across Spain, they can be found across Europe as well and they organised the Welcome Week here in Oviedo too (YAY FUN STUFF).
What do I need to rent a flat in Spain?
- MOBILE PHONE: Get one with a pay as you go sim, I just got a cheap phone from orange and I used that as my contact number to organise viewings.
- BANK ACCOUNT: I decided to open a bank account here in Spain with Santander. All I needed was my passport details and a phone number to set up online banking.
- You may need a NIE (Numero Identificacion de Extranjeros). This is just an identity number for foreigners and you get these at a local police station with an international office. All you need is your passport details, confirmation of why you are here and some passport photographs. It may be necessary to have this for certain things! Better safe than sorry 🙂
How can I find a flat in Spain?
KNOW YOUR VOCAB
Alquiler – to rent
piso – flat
inmobliaria – estate agent
amueblado – furnished
LOOK ON WEBSITES!
www.fotocasa.es – this is a national website and was recommended to one of my flatmates by our Spanish tutor.
www.idealista.com – this was used by one of my friends also doing Erasmus in Oviedo, she found her flat before arriving in Spain on this website.
www.easypiso.com – great way to find international flatmates and a flat; recommended to me by a friends boyfriend who did Erasmus in Seville last year.
Ideally, go see your flat before you rent it, sometimes the pictures are a few years old that are posted and sometimes flatmates on easypiso are not as they seem. Sometimes flats posted on these websites are for holidaymakers, email the landlord and let them know you’re a student wanting to stay for x number of months.
My advice is to arrive in Spain and stay somewhere for a few days while you find a flat. Have some flat viewings prepared before you leave and then you have something to do when you arrive. Email lots of people and get lots of viewings!
What I did was travel out with my family and we stayed in a house 20 minutes away from the centre of Oviedo as part of our summer holiday. Most of my time was spent by the pool sunbathing as well as organising flat viewings. My mum was invaluable when it came to looking around flats, getting a bank account and a mobile phone (THANKS MUM!).
I’ve found one! What now?
CONGRATS! Urm, well, there’s a number of costs involved in actually renting a flat. As in the UK you pay a deposit to the landlord (un mes de fianza) and a months rent (un mes de renta). However, some estate agents charge a month’s rent as a fee (un mes de agencia). Don’t forget to see if the flat has central (gas, water and electricity is included in the price – although it depends on the flat as to what’s covered) or individual services (you pay them separately).
I’ve heard that there are more rooms than people in Oviedo, so you will find a place to rest your weary head after all those sidras on Calle Gascona. My advice for the city is, stick to the centre – the area which is encapsulated by the ring road. My flat is on the ring road, it takes me 10 minutes to walk to the university and 10 minutes to walk to the centre of town. It’s cheaper to rent near the uni rather than in the old quarter – the most expensive area but arguably the nicest. For my flat, rent is 215 euros (central services) and I have to pay for electricity and wifi separately.
For wifi I went with Telecable, there was an offer on for 25 euros a month and you get access to an icloud sort of thing throughout the city.
PHEW! That was an incredibly serious post. I think I need to go have a lie down after that. If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome week just finished and today is ‘El dia de Asturias’… More on that in my next post!
Hasta luego! Time to go and have FUUUUUUUUUN! … and get some food, I’m starving after all that seriousness. Phewph.