Just arrived in Malaga? You’ll need to find somewhere to live – and you’ll probably be looking to rent an apartment.
With Malaga forging a strong reputation abroad, and the Covid pandemic, it’s trickier than ever to find an apartment or house that meets your needs… especially in the city centre.
Prices have gone up a lot, especially with an increasing number of landlords choosing to convert their properties into holiday lets or to target Erasmus students.
That said, if you follow the advice below, you should be in your new home in no time at all!
Nowadays it’s still possible to find adverts stuck on lampposts but of course looking online is your best bet.
If you’re renting, there’s no real need to go through a real estate agent (tip: search for ‘particular’ (private owner) when searching).
However, if you do go through an estate agent, bear in mind that you will have to pay them anywhere between a month and two months’ rent for their services (plus one month’s rent as a deposit and another month in advance).
Even for a ‘cheap’ apartment, this could mean paying 1,500€ up front. Yikes!
If you’re only staying for a short time, a lot of good deals can be found on Airbnb (outside of peak summer time). Likewise, many owners share property listings (both short and long-term) on Facebook, whether in local groups or on Marketplace.
However, if you’re planning on staying long-term (at least six months), we recommend using either Idealista (with its ‘draw your own map’ function) or the similar Fotocasa.
If you’re looking for a room in an apartment shared with others, Piso Compartido, as the name suggests, has a strong focus on that.
Unfortunately, it’s quite common for property owners in Malaga not to respond to requests through website portals.
Worst still, many landlords will leave the ad up long after the room or apartment has been taken.
So, if there’s a phone number on an ad, call or send a Whatsapp message. It will help you to save a lot of time.
If you’re looking to live in the centre of Malaga, be aware that most properties will be quite old. As a result, this means that the building materials are not of the highest quality (compared to Northern Europe, for example) and therefore the insulation is poor.
So keep in mind when you’re viewing the apartment in spring that if it hasn’t got new windows, or it has thin walls, it’s likely to be freezing cold in winter and boiling hot in summer.
Additionally, many ads will specify if the apartment is ‘exterior’ (windows onto the street) or ‘interior’ (windows into a patio or facing a wall). While everyone wants a bright place to live, the resulting temperature should be taken into account.
Also, many landlords will only specify that they only want students as their tenants. In this case, expect to pay the ‘Erasmus surplus’ (!)
Daryl moved to Malaga permanently in 2014 having first fallen in love with the city on his Erasmus year. After working for many years at local expat newspaper SUR in English, Daryl gained expert knowledge in life from the perspective of foreign residents and decided to co-found Malaga Guru in 2016.