Category the Ugly: Renting an Apartment in Barcelona – 3 common pitfalls.

Don’t rent an apartment in Barcelona before reading this article! In fact, you’re better off not renting an apartment in Barcelona at all.
Why? Basically, because there’s so many ways to get screwed. Let us introduce you to the three most common pitfalls that will get your blood boiling:
#1 Agencies.
So, if you’re using any of the rental portals (“Habitaclia”, “Idealista” etc.), 99.9% of the listings will be by agencies. And, why is that a bad thing? Well, because you, the customer has to pay for their “services”! In what other line of business does the customer has to pay for the privilege to buy a service or product?! 
It’s like if you had to pay an entrance fee to get into a shoe shop to buy new sneakers. Renting via an agency, you end up paying 10-15% of the yearly rental sum + taxes, or a flat fee, which is really wonderful if you are looking for a short term solution as it ads 60-100% to the total rental price. How to avoid? Take your time, eventually you’ll find an owner who doesn’t deal with these leeches.
#2 Fake ads
In danger of stating the obvious, never send money to anyone without personally assuring the legitimacy of the offer! Secondly, if an offer looks to good to be true, it is just that – guaranteed! No one rents out a “palace” in Barcelona for 550 euros a month. Period.
So, how to spot the fakes? Fortunately, this is easy. First of all, the above argument – the quality-price ration should be realistic. Secondly, normally people don’t share their life story via e-mail when replying to a request, so if you get this, the alarm bells should go off. In particular, if this life story involves the owner “being abroad”.
Thirdly, is you get an e-mail fromReverend Someone”; this is a tell-tale sign. For some reason, these geniuses seem to think that signing off with “Reverend” actually makes their scam look more believable. They could just as well sign it “Sir Swindle”.
#3 Additional costs
When renting from an owner there are costs that is only fair that are covered by the tenant; gas, electricity, WiFi etc. However, there are several taxes and costs that are directed to the owner and should never end up in your bill pile. Otherwise, beware of “gastos de comunidad”- these cover monthly maintenance of the building, which is fine if, well, if there actually is maintenance being done, cleaning of the stairs and other common areas, for example.
Happy hunting!

Agencies to avoid: Oh-Barcelona, Barcelona-Home, SH Barcelona, Friendly Rentals.  These are just a few that charge a ridiculous monthly rent with an outrageous fee on top.

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