Mid-term rental Barcelona

Short Term Rental In Barcelona Explained

Most investment owners believe it comes down to two choices in regard to renting out their properties. Either Vacation Rental or Long-Term Rental.

In Barcelona a Vacation Rental can be extremely tricky (check out this post: Can you Aribnb your Barcelona Apartment?) and a Long Term Rental might be an overcommitment for many owners. Hence we would like to offer a third and elegant solution. 

The Short-Term Rental will provide many upsides for the owners and very little downsides. Let’s explore this alternative and see if it is the right fit for you

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What is a Short-Term Rental?

First, let’s define Short-Term Rental according to Spanish law. In order to be able to rent out your investment as a Short-Term Rental some conditions have to be met:

  • The possible tenants must have a permanent home already. They can be seeking a Short-Term Rental because of a variety of reasons, specific to each case (work / study / relocation / etc.)
  • The contract must specify all and any reason why the tenants need a Short -Term Rental instead of a Long-Term Rental.
  • In case the tenant doesn’t have a primary permanent home or the reasons for temporality are not specified in the contract, the lease will automatically become a Long-Term Rental according to Spanish law. Be careful with this, because if a tenant has a long term rental agreement with you he’ll be in your property for at least five years.


(check out our post: How to rent an apartment in Barcelona, a 10 step guide)

Main reasons why tenants love a Short-Term Rental

Several people actively search for Short -Term Rentals in Barcelona. There is a huge demand to rent out an apartment temporarily for a variety of reasons. Here we list just a few.

  • Business relocation. Companies will often send their employee/s abroad for a very specific amount of time. Dealing with a company is always a pleasure since these type of tenants will normally look after your property and pay the asking price without a problem. 
  • Entrepreneurs or self-employed workers. Barcelona is rapidly becoming one of the main Start-up hubs of Europe. We have a constant influx of young entrepreneurs who will spend a certain amount of time in the city while expanding their business.
  • Expats. Within Europe it is quite common for the main bread-earner to move ahead, set up everything, and then move out the rest of the family. For them a Short-Term Rental is just perfect.
  • MBA / Master / Postgraduate Students. Since Barcelona is a sunny city with a perfect location, students from all around the world are attracted to finish up their studies. These students arrive with a very specific time table, and just love a fully furnished apartment with a working internet connection.
  • Medical Treatment Patients. Travelling abroad for a specific intervention can get expensive. Especially when you need your privacy and don’t want to pay for a hotel room for the entire stay. 
  • Home Renovation. Renovating one’s home can be a little stress full, and nobody needs the added stress of living within a mess. Many families choose to just move to a Short -Term Rental flat for a few months, while their home gets finished.
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What tenants expect of a Short-Term Rental

The average Short-Term Rental tenant will expect to be able to move in immediately after he/she receives the keys.

For the owner this means fully furnishing the apartment, to include home appliances, have all utilities running and even providing a high-speed Internet connection.

This might seem as an extra expense or added work in the beginning, but if the owner has hired a Property Management company, they will solve and take care of all these issues. So in the long run the owner will simply see an increase in his overall returns, since they can charge a premium for these added services.

Reasons why Short-Term Rentals might be the perfect fit

Owners normally just wish to have their investment as secure as possible while earning the highest return the market has to offer. If at the same time they keep a certain control over the property, and don’t have to overcommit to any specific tenant, why wouldn’t they take the opportunity?

The owners decide on the rental duration

With a Short -Term Rental, you as the owner decide how long the rental period will last. According to the Spanish Rental Law amendment made in 2019 (New rules for renting property in Spain) for a Long-Term Rental the tenant has the right to a  5 year stay minimum (in case of the property owner being an individual) and a 7 year minimum (if the property owner is a corporation). For many owners this time period may be too long since they might want to use the property for themselves in between.

With a Short-Term Rental you can rent out your property for anything in between 32 days and 11 months. Best thing is you can renew the rental contract as many times as you wish after the first period is over.

Higher quality tenants

Short-Term Rentals attract higher quality tenants because they are coming to Barcelona to carry out a specific job or task. Also the screening process for Short-Term is the same as for Long-Term, using a thorough background check before the tenant receives the keys to the property.

In comparison tourist rentals will have the owner exposed to some added risk. Complaints by the neighbours, tenants trashing their furniture and property, fines by the local authorities, etc.

Very high demand

Barcelona has become a Cosmopolitan City. The great weather, culture and many different nationalities attract people from all over the world. This, added to all the reasons mentioned before, will make a Short -Term Rental property stay full.

The norm is to already have a paid reservation, months before the current tenant departs. Vacancy’s are very rare.

Inexpensive investments for the owners

Diversification is often the main priority for any investor. They rarely want to overextend themselves in one single purchase.

Short-Term Rental tenants love the one or two bedroom apartments. This gives the investor a great opportunity to buy a high yielding, inexpensive property in high rental demand (post: How to buy a house in Barcelona, a 10 step guide).

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And finally, higher returns!

Short -Term Rentals will yield a 20-30% increase in returns for the owner. Here are some reasons why the market price for Short-Term is higher than Long-Term.
  • Supply and Demand. As mentioned before, the demand for Short-Term Rentals in Barcelona is very high. This allows the market to adjust the price accordingly.
  • Occupancy. Although the risk for low occupancy is almost non existent in Barcelona, in the long run it’s still slightly higher for Short-Term than for Long-Term. Owners offset that risk by increasing the rent.
  • Work Load. Since the rotation at a Short -Term Rental is higher than at a Long-Term, an increased work load is to be expected. But do not fear, as most of these properties are operated by an Property Management Company the relative cost is basically the same as with a Long-Term Rental.
  • Utilities. For simplicities sake, normally the owner takes care of all utility costs. Although this specific point may not immediately help the owner gains, it does help in keeping the property under control and knowing that everything is working the way it’s supposed to.
  • Premium for fully equipped properties. Since Short-Term Properties rent out fully furnished and with working utilities including internet connection, the tenant expects to pay a premium for this.

Post of interest: Property Tax in Spain (a starter guide)


It doesn’t matter if you are thinking about investing in Barcelona or already own some property. 

Short -Term Rentals is a modality that definitely is worth looking into. Who knows, you might have found the perfect fit!

From our side we simply hope to have helped a bit in your research and clarified which options are out there. If you’d like to ask anything please feel free to write us in the comment section or just shoot us a mail.

We’re always eager to improve

Mid-Term Rental Barcelona 4

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