Renting in Mallorca – whether renting an apartment or a villa – is neither easy, nor cheap. Over the years, prices of rentals have increased. It can be quite stressful to find the ideal property and often compromises have to be made with regards to space, location, facilities (like having access to a swimming pool or lift) as well as price.
I have been living in Mallorca for almost 17 years and have rented several apartments in my time here. I’ve seen prices skyrocket to almost twice their rental value in a decade. So, getting a good priced rental is never as easy as it used to be. And the cost of renting can generate eye-watering upfront costs.
However, that said, renting in Mallorca is often cheaper than it is many other countries in Europe and few locations offer the amazing lifestyle that Mallorca has; being able to enjoy weekends on the beach, cocktails at sunset, paella by the ocean or hiking in the mountains.
Mallorca has a safe, outdoor lifestyle where you can literally live the dream, even if organising a rental can feel like a nightmare.
So whether you are arriving on the island with children, pets, or just on your own, this article will help give you some pointers of what to expect when renting a property here in Mallorca. From estate agents costs, to what to look out for when making a property inspection to what you must do before you sign the rental contract.
So from my experience, here are my key top 10 tips to consider when renting in Mallorca.
Table of Contents
1. Where To Live in Mallorca
Mallorca is an incredibly diverse island. You can choose to rent by the beach, and feel like you’re permanently on holiday, or you can live in the mountains for a more rustic, traditional way of life.
If you choose to live in Palma city centre then be reassured that you will be paying less in rent than many other European cities. If you want to read more about living in Palma, check out this article here.
Wherever you decide to live in Mallorca, the further you move away from Palma, often prices can get a little cheaper.
If resort living is your thing, be aware of the feeling of solitude during the winter season. Almost every area on the island (except for Palma city) is much quieter in the winter months than it is in the Summer. Especially in the resorts.
For some this is ideal, but for others this can feel lonely. So it’s important to get the balance right.
Personally I would avoid living anywhere that involves long commutes on main roads. And because the island is small, it doesn’t mean getting anywhere quickly at rush hour. This is especially the case on the Via Cintura MA20 motorway which runs around Palma city.
My immediate advice is to avoid living anywhere that will mean having to drive on this road on the daily basis.
If you’re moving with a family, find the school BEFORE you find the property. I commuted on the Via Cintura for around 10 years, and for me, this commute is the most energy-sucking and exhausting way to start the day.
I’ve seen so many accidents and been in a few myself. Especially in the summer, the motorway can grind to a halt and there are regular traffic jams with thousands of hire cars on the roads.
So if you’re on the school run, you may wish to avoid it, as this could possibly be the worst way to start and end your day.
2. The Cost of Renting in Mallorca
Check out my Cost of Living video which I’ll link to here, but expect to pay around 900€ for a two bedroom apartment in most areas. You can find for less, and of course you can find for more, but I would put this rate as the go-to base for finding accommodation in and around the Palma city and other popular areas on the island.
3. How to Find a Mallorca Rental
The absolute best way to find a rental in Mallorca is by word of mouth to avoid expensive estate agent fees. If time is not on your side, then by all means contact estate agents operating in the area you want to live in, but know this is going to cost more than finding a property directly from the landlord.
Also check out websites including Idealista, Fotocasa, and Kyero. Possibly the best social media option in Mallorca is Facebook MarketPlace or ask in Facebook Groups such as “I have a question Mallorca.”
4. Renting with an Estate Agent in Mallorca
Many estate agents ask for a month’s rent in advance, one or two month’s rent as deposit and another month or even a month and a half a month’s rent for their fees. I have even heard of estate agents in the South West of Mallorca asking for 2 month’s rent for their fee. If you are renting a 1,000€ apartment you may need to spend around €3,000 to 3,500€ upfront for a long term rental.
If you feel the estate agent is asking too much for their fee, then either move on and continue your search, or negotiate.
5. Things to Check before Renting in Mallorca
Always ensure you come to the island to view the property rather than renting from photos or videos.
There are so many things you need to look out for. I wouldn’t advise paying anything upfront for a property unless you have seen it. Be aware that visitors have been hit by scams in the past, so it’s your responsibility to check out the property before you hand over any money.
This is my go-to check list before even considering renting a property:
- Does the apartment smell damp or can you see evidence of damp on the walls? Properties in Mallorca are prone to damp. This is either because of the poorer build quality or lack of damp proofing, or just because the Mediterranean Sea is on the door step, but check all the rooms, particularly if they are north facing for signs (or smells) of damp.
- Check the size of the water tank – a small water tank means a very short shower. And check water pressure, particularly if you’re viewing a top floor apartment.
- Does the property have heating and air conditioning? The most economical option in my experience is the split heat/cooling units which should not impact your electricity bill greatly.
- Check the kitchen has an oven. The first apartment I lived in, in Mallorca, had what looked like an oven under the kitchen hob. How wrong I was when I went to cook something and found the fake cover was nothing but draws and an empty cupboard space!
- Barking dogs are a big problem in Mallorca, especially when owners leave them on small balconies all day and go to work for 8 hours. So visit the property both day and night and listen out for all day barking. If you are working from home, no matter how much you love dogs, this can drive you crazy!
- And it’s not just pets, but also neighbours who can disturb the peace. Check who your neighbours will be and pass by at night. You don’t want to pay all the upfront costs to move in and realise they play the drums or throw parties every night.
- Mallorca is in the Southern Mediterranean and of course you will see cockroaches. However, you don’t want them in your home. Check under kitchen and bathroom units for evidence of cockroaches. It could indicate the building may have a problem. I would recommend sealing all pipework that enters the apartment with silicone as soon as you move in to keep the critters out!
- If the property has a garden, look out for pine trees which shed what feels like a never ending stream of bright yellow pollen during February/March, as well as poisonous processionary caterpillars which nest in these trees. These are incredibly harmful to small children and pets. And if you are moving into the ground floor property in an apartment block, check the garden for cigarettes and rubbish which will give you an idea of how considerate your neighbours are.
- If you want to rent in a resort area, check the ratio of residents V holidaymakers. I made the mistake of living in a block that was popular with tourists and during the summer months it was incredibly noisy with people on holiday and not really caring about the resident population. After dark, the air was often filled with the sound of holidaymakers arriving and leaving with the sound of suitcases being dragged in the middle of night to catch flights.
And even if you do go through the checklist, you will find yourself compromising on what you do or don’t find.
It’s not easy to find a good value rental in Mallorca unless budget is not an issue. And you find yourself working with what’s presented in front of you weighing up if you can live with the disadvantages, which then boils down to how quickly you need to move.
*These pointers can also apply to buying a property, so make sure you subscribe to my Youtube channel for a video that I will soon make about buying here on the island*
6. Signing a Rental Contract in Mallorca
You would never sign anything you didn’t 100% understand in your own language so do not make the mistake of signing a contract unless your Spanish is 100% fluent and it has been checked by a lawyer.
Do not agree to rent a property without a contract. Check out Idealista which has a basic rental contract available for download on their website to give you an idea of the terms.
Also check what you are renting an apartment and not a “local” or business premises above a shop. It’s likely these properties are classed as a business premises, and cannot be rented legally for residential living.
Also check the address and description on the rental contact actually matches the property you are renting.
7. Documentation Required to Rent in Mallorca
You will need; a resident’s card, identity card (DNI, NIE or TIE) and/or a passport and a bank account. Owners of short term rentals will most likely ask for the money up front. Annual contracts will need proof of funds, so maybe a full time job contract or evidence of substantial savings. Occasionally you will be asked to provide personal references.
8. Check Rental Contract Terms
Check rental contract terms carefully, especially regarding the period of the rental and the notice the renter must give before moving out. If you sign for a year but wish to leave early, you may be able to pass the contract to a new renter if the landlord agrees.
Check that the contract doesn’t include IBI which is a property tax the landlord sometimes tries to sneak in. Also check additional community charges are not included on top of the rent.
Check that you are paying by bank transfer and have the landlords DNI or NIE number too, because you can sometimes get a tax break on your annual tax return if you’re renting.
Also don’t be tempted to pay the landlord cash, because you won’t get the tax break, and if you pay cash, and there is a dispute or a problem, you have no proof that you have paid the rent.
If you have pets, make sure the contract states you can have them in the property or this maybe grounds for the contract to be terminated.
Also check the clause about wear and tear, and breakages, so if you spend some years in a property, double check that you are not expected to redecorate the property when you move out.
9. Before you Move in to your Mallorca Rental
I cannot stress this enough but take photos and videos. Put together an inventory and get it signed and dated with contents and their condition agreed by the landlord.
Landlords refusing to return deposits with spurious excuses are tales as old as time in Mallorca. You don’t have to look very far on social media to read stories of renters – myself included – who didn’t have their deposits returned.
I made the mistake of moving into a property many years ago with no prepared inventory. And I didn’t take photos or videos when I moved in. I left the property spotlessly clean handed back the keys only to be presented with a 400€ bill and claims of items that had gone missing. Never trust that anyone won’t try and fleece you. Regardless of who they say they are or where they work.
Because of so many situations like this, the government has set up a Rental Deposit Scheme so check this article here to ensure your rental deposit is protected and you can get your money back.
10. Renting in Mallorca can be Stressful
Finding somewhere to live in Mallorca will be the most stressful part of your settling into the island. But keep this to the minimum by doing your research, keeping it legal, and getting the contracts (and inventory) in place. And don’t feel pressurised to rent with agents unless you are 100% happy with the agreement. If you miss out on a property for whatever reason, then the right place will come up for rent soon enough.
And finally… When you’ve moved in and got settled, you’ll realise moving to Mallorca is one of the best decisions you have ever made.
Renting in Mallorca on Youtube
Check out the video I made about renting in Mallorca.