Renting with pets in Madrid can be a challenge, but with the right approach and a little help, you and your furry family can find the perfect place to call home.
Renting in Madrid has taken us from vibrant neighbourhoods like Lavapiés and Pacifico to the suburbs of Vallecas, and now, the picturesque town of Meco. Over the years, we've had the pleasure of sharing our home with a diverse range of animal companions, including dogs, cats, rabbits, chinchillas, fish, tortoises, turtles, and hamsters.
I'd love to share some of the knowledge I've gained through these experiences to help other pet owners in their search for a suitable home in Madrid.
Although the search can feel a bit exasperating at times, it's not impossible!
In Spain, around half of all households have a dog or a cat as a member of their family, according to the OCU. However, despite this prevalence, finding a pet-friendly rental property remains a challenge. According to data from Fotocasa, it's important to note that a significant number of landlords in Madrid are open to the idea of allowing pets in their properties, even if it's not explicitly stated in their rental listings. Approximately 58% of landlords in Madrid express a willingness to consider pets. However, only a mere 4% of them make this known in their rental listings. This suggests that many pet-friendly opportunities may go unnoticed unless you engage with landlords directly and inquire about their pet policies. When you're searching, forget about the "pet-friendly" search option, and just look for an apartment that meets your needs in other ways. Unless the ad specifically states, "No animals allowed", then keep your fingers crossed that the landlord is open-minded, and reach out to them.
Many landlords may not explicitly mention their willingness to accept pets in rental listings due to a lack of awareness or knowledge. It's essential for landlords to include clauses regarding pets in rental contracts to promote a balanced rental market. Such clauses provide security and assurance to both landlords and tenants in case of any damages caused by pets.
The size of your dog can make a significant difference when it comes to finding a pet-friendly rental. Smaller or medium-sized dogs have a much easier time, with 37% of landlords having no objections. In contrast, only 17% of landlords would accept larger dogs. Some landlords, about 10%, are willing to accept pets only if they are crated or confined to specific areas like the garden or terrace.
Top Tips for Finding a Pet-Friendly Rental:
1. Begin Your Search Early:
Starting your search for a pet-friendly rental in Madrid well in advance is a wise strategy. The Madrid rental market can be competitive, so early planning can give you a significant advantage. Bear in mind that in August most places shut down for summer holidays, so you're less likely to get a speedy response. September is probably the busiest month as students compete for accommodation. If you can plan your move for another time in the year, you're likely to see more availability.
2. Know Your Budget:
Understanding your budget is crucial. Before you begin your search, determine how much you can afford, factoring in your monthly rent and pet-related expenses.
3. Online Resources and Madrid Pet Lovers:
As well as using online search platforms like Idealista, Fotocasa, and Pisos.com, consider joining Facebook groups that cater to the neighbourhood where you're interested in renting. Walk around the neighbourhood and keep an eye out for "SE ALQUILA" signs hanging from buildings. Also, feel free to join the "Madrid Pet Lovers" Facebook group. I set it up a few years ago to create a community for animal lovers in Madrid, and it can be a great resource for English speakers in particular.
4. Pet Resumé:
Much like a traditional resume, creating a "pet resumeé can be an excellent way to introduce your pet to potential landlords. Include information such as your pet's age, breed, size, and any training or certifications they have. Bear in mind that in Madrid it is a legal requirement to have third-party insurance for your dog, so if you already have that, you could also mention this in your communication.
5. Communicate Openly:
When reaching out to landlords, be transparent about your pet and inquire about their pet policy. Open communication is key to understanding each other's expectations and ensuring a smooth rental process.
6. Offer a Pet Deposit:
To address concerns about pet-related damages, you may consider offering a separate pet deposit in addition to the standard security deposit. This extra security can ease the landlord's worries and show your commitment to responsible pet ownership.
Among landlords willing to accept pets, 56% wouldn't include any specific clauses in the rental contract. They don't consider pets to be a significant risk for damage. However, among the 44% who do include clauses, 23% specify compensation for property damage, and 14% stipulate an additional security deposit.
7. Pet-Friendly Areas:
Madrid's city centre has limited outdoor spaces, which could be challenging if your dog is used to a garden. In such cases, consider moving to the outskirts of the city or surrounding towns where outdoor spaces are more readily available, and the excellent public transport system in Madrid ensures easy access to the city center. Dogs are allowed on the Metros and Cercanía trains.
Acceptance of pets in rental properties varies across different regions of Spain. Catalonia stands out as the most welcoming region, with 65% of landlords willing to accept pets. Madrid follows closely behind with 63% of landlords being open to the idea. The Valencian Community and Andalusia also show a significant willingness to accept pets.
8. Unfurnished Rentals:
Choosing an unfurnished rental may appeal to some landlords as it minimizes concerns about potential damages to their furnishings. This can be a selling point when discussing your rental agreement with potential landlords.
9. Behavioral Concerns:
If your pet exhibits behavioral issues such as excessive barking, destructive behaviors, or separation anxiety, it's advisable to seek professional assistance. A dog trainer can provide valuable guidance and training to address these challenges and make your pet a more desirable tenant.
Although renting with pets in Madrid might seem utterly exhausting, don't give up! Patience and perseverance, and it'll be worth it in the end! ¡Ánimo!