Between the arrivals of thousands of Auxiliars and Erasmus students, last September was a crazy time to be looking for room in Madrid. How to Spain’s Maggie was lucky enough to have already moved in to her place for the year by June, but she was pounding the pavement with other new arrivals and helping them with their search! While we all want to get settled as soon as possible, it’s not a good idea to jump at the first place without asking the right questions.
First, it’s important to be clear on what utilities are included in the rent and what the average cost of each tends to be. An important example that can easily be forgotten in the heat September is “Is there heating in the apartment?”. Don’t forget to ask for more specific details regarding the character and behavior of the landlord. Are they responsive when there are problems? Do they ever enter the apartment without giving 24 hours’ notice? Do they try to find reasons not to fix things?
Putting aside the technicalities of the apartment you need to make sure that you would be comfortable living in the flat. Ask the other roommates about themselves and tell them about yourself. BE HONEST with them and with yourself. Ask about cleaning habits and social events. Are you about to move into the “After Hours” apartment? Can you live in a party pad? Even if the place is beautiful, if you don’t get a good vibe from the roommate(s), go with your gut. We all have our musts lists (at the top of mine of course is needing a pet-friendly apartment!), so if your potential bedroom doesn’t have a window and you know that you need natural light, move on and keep looking.
Once you know you like the apartment and have gone over the pros and cons, contact them right away! Apartments go really quickly, so when you know you’ve found the one, take it. Don’t ever settle out of desperation. It’s always better to try and find and AirBnB for another month than move into an uncomfortable situation for the next year.
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on how to find and land an apartment! If you’d like some personalized help with the hunt for your perfect piso, contact us to book an appointment!