Find Your Flat-Share in Spain From Your Home Country

apartment-hunt1It is official, you are going to Spain to study Spanish and you need to find a place to live pronto. You have chosen to search for a flat-share by yourself, foregoing other housing options, and ideally, you would love to be able to visit each and every flat in person …but that won’t be possible since you are still in your home country and will not be in Spain before your Spanish courses start.

So what to do? Conduct your search online, of course!
With our mini-guide below you will be able to find your flat-share on your own before you even arrive in Spain.

Get Started
All you will need is a computer with a good internet connection, a great web browser like Google Chrome that has a built-in language translator (in case your Spanish level is truly very low) and a basic writing software to take notes and organize your findings.

Determine the Length of  Your Stay
First things first. Before any flat search can begin, you need to verify the start and end dates of your Spanish language course so that you know when and for how long you will need to rent a room in a flat. The (approximate) dates of arrival or departure will determine whether you will fall into the “short-stay” or “long-stay” category as a renter, and in turn, could influence whether it would make more sense to sublet or sign a lease, correspond directly with a landlord/home-owner or go through an agency.

NBUniSpain offers an accommodation rental service for students which could be a good option for short stays in Spain as you would be sure of the booking and would have the added support in case of any issues with the landlord. For stays longer than 3 months, unless you otherwise do not feel comfortable,  renting directly without a third party is something you could do and save yourself money on agency fees. 

Put an Ad Out
It would be more efficient to specify your exact criteria so that you receive messages only from people with flats who correspond to what you are seeking.


  • maximum rent you will be willing to pay (charges included)
  • (approximate) arrival and departure dates and the length of stay
  • gender preferences for house-mates (women only for example)
  • smoking or non smoking
  • pets or no pets
  • couples or children…or not
  • specific neighbourhood(s) if you are familiar

Be as concise as possible and present briefly yourself, “South-Korean student to study Spanish in Málaga Capital looking to rent room for 7 months near city centre.”

 Respond to Ads
Look under categories that contain Pisos compartidos Habitaciones etc.

  • Try to familiarize with the neighbourhoods of the city that you will be studying in and limit the scope of your search to neighbourhoods that suit your tastes and needs.
  • Create a standard response to ads that briefly state your interest in the flat, who you are, your purpose of coming to Spain and length of stay.
  • Translate this response into Spanish if necessary and then modify it accordingly with each ad that you respond to.
  • Include a few qualities about you as a house-mate if you like and of course use the opportunity to ask questions about the flat.

Flat-share Websites in Spain
Many of the links are in English, some are in Spanish and several have the option to view the site in other languages.



  • View sites and ads with Google’s translator, but be aware that many things often get lost in translation.
  • tipsUse Wordreference to look up individual words to assure comprehension of important words.
  • Create a flat-share folder in your chrome bookmarks for better organization.
  • Ask for pictures pictures and more pictures (your only way of seeing the flat from afar)
  • Get the exact address of the flat to key into Google Maps and get a street view of the neighbourhood
  • Go to official public transportation website of the city to familiarize yourself with bus routes, metro systems etc.
  • If you Spanish is decent,  call to speak to the landlord/house-mates or have a Skype session or interact on Facebook to get a sense of the situation and who they are.
  • If you can speak confidentially to the house-mates who is moving out (sometimes they are the ones in charge of finding a replacement to rent their room.)

Closing Advice 

It is very much possible to land the room of your dreams from afar, but to be 100% sure that you will get what you want, we recommend, if you can, that you come to Spain a few days before your course starts and visit the flat(s) that you found online in person. Stay at a hostel, with a friend or with a host from Couchsurfing and try to be accompanied by a Spanish speaker or someone familiar with the city on your flat visits.

NB Beware of the numerous apartment scams out there.

If you are asked to send a deposit in advance in order to reserve a room, if possible, have someone from your job or school call to verify the validity of the ad by thoroughly confirming the address and speaking to the correspondent in Spain.

Scams aside, be warned that many landlords do not return security deposits if you arrive and find that you no longer want to rent the room-even if the room was negatively misrepresented.

If you can wait, visit the flats you found online in person upon your arrival before you make a final decision.


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