Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city and a hub for tourism, with lots of international movement. Finding housing is no easy task. Yet no matter if you're looking for a student residence, a flat or a room in a shared accommodation, we recommend you follow these tips:
Don't wait until the last minute, start looking early, at least 3 months before coming to Barcelona.
Renting a flat:
- Location: make sure it is easy to get to the university in public transport.
- Type: make sure it fulfils all your requirements.
- Inventory: take an inventory when you enter and leave.
- Owner: report any defects or damages to the owner.
Signing an agreement:
- Read the agreement and clarify any doubts you may have before signing it.
- Joint payment of the deposit, rent and utilities.
- Ask for a copy of the rules and regulations of your rental agreement.
- Keep a copy of all important documents: rental agreement, rules and regulations, inventory and other documents.
We at UIC Barcelona recommend you contact Barcelona Centre Universitari (BCU), the official house-hunting service recommended for students and lecturers at all Catalan universities. BCU is a big help for newcomers to Barcelona thanks to the many services it offers: housing; safety; culture; healthcare; information on administrative procedures, such as how to open a bank account, how to register your residence, how to qualify for public healthcare, the main telephone and Internet provides, Barcelona Wi-Fi, public transport cards, where to learn Spanish and Catalan, where to go for inquiries on issues relating to immigration and consulates in Barcelona.
Other search options UIC Barcelona does NOT recommend:
Agencies are not the best option for students, as they deal with selling and renting properties and are geared more towards long-term stays (of at least two years). Agencies also charge fees of between 1 and 2 months of rent, in addition to the deposit required by the landlord.
There are lots of independent house-hunting websites and online platforms that allow users to create a profile and contact private advertisers.
Some of these websites may charge fees to view the advertisers' contact details or for other administrative services. We urge caution when it comes to deals that seem too good to be true, as they may be scams or false advertisements.
Never pay by bank transfer or via online links, particularly if you have not signed an agreement or visited the accommodation beforehand: they may be trying to deceive you. Though not everything is a scam and it is possible to find decent accommodation online, we recommend you stay vigilant and not be overly trusting.