Should I rent furnished or unfurnished?
With regards the rentability of the property on a furnished or unfurnished basis, the best way forward is to have flexibility. Many tenants now, even if they want a property furnished, always like to bring one or two bits of their own. Equally, tenants looking for unfurnished properties often ask if they can keep a few items that may already be in the property.
Whatever an interested party would like, we would always mediate between the two parties to try to reach a sensible solution that works for both.
I don’t have air conditioning so do I need to get this installed?
Of course, the more equipped a property is then the more interesting it is for potential tenants, but we have arranged many contracts whereby an owner arranges for a unit to be installed, or the two parties split the cost. It very much depends on getting clients interested firstly in the property, then agreeing the other "deal breakers" between the two parties.
I have heard some horror stories where tenants don’t pay rent – should I be worried?
We have come across a couple of instances of tenants outstaying their welcome and not paying the rent. However, these have tended to be when the contract has been poorly prepared by the owner and he has dealt directly with the tenant. We often get asked to try and sort out the problems for contracts we have not arranged!
The harsh truth is that you never know exactly what the tenants will be like. However, our contracts are tight and legally correct so, should anything ever happen like this, legal proceedings can be taken. Whilst they can cost some money during the process, and may take a little time, with our contracts the money will be recouped in full.
Having said all that, VíllaMía has approximately 5 times more tenants looking than we have suitable properties for them. This means that we can quietly "select" the potential tenants we would prefer to work with. We try to take the view that if we would be happy renting our own property to the tenants, then we are happy to recommend them to owners. As a result, we have always had an excellent record of retaining owners that we work with.
How long will it take to rent my property?
This is a very difficult question to answer. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right tenants for a property; other times we have the right tenants before we have even had the time to load the property details to our website. We would visit the property in order to fully understand the location, orientation, size, condition etc, in order to have a better feel of how quickly we could rent it - and the price of course.
We are a very proactive company who work hard for every new property that we take on. We have databases of current clients and will actively contact them all if we feel a new property suits them. We also have an automatic email system, so that each week hundreds of clients will receive details on the new properties we have taken on. We advertise internationally through our website which is ranked at the top of most Google searches, we use other online advertising web portals, we advertise locally and have a very high profile in the area, and we utilise the more modern social media such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and Pinterest.
Can I see a copy of the contract before I agree to the rental?
Yes we can supply our standard contract template. This simply provides the basis for all the contracts that we do as there are often clauses that need adding, changing or amending for each individual rental.
Other than the rent, what else do the tenants pay for?
Tenants are responsible for:
Utilities (gas, water, electric) - meters would be read at the beginning and at the end of the rental period. Payments for ongoing utility bills during the rental period are normally paid directly from your bank (we would organise this)
Other services contracted (telephone, television etc) - these would need to be set up in the tenants’ name and paid from their bank
The owner is responsible for basura (the rubbish tax) and any community fees or IBI (equivalent to council) tax.
If a villa, the pool and garden maintenance is the owners decision but we recommend owners take care of the pool and garden maintenance so they know it is done properly and include in the rental price.
I want to summer-let my property so can you fill in during the winter months?
We would be happy to load the property to the website to see if we could generate some interest for you. Winter lets are harder to fill as there is now a lot more competition so it is always helpful to start marketing the apartment to prospective renters as early as possible.
Can I keep my property on the market for sale if you rent it?
We have recently organised a few rentals, whereby the tenant is open to be being flexible with sales viewings, on behalf of the owner, in return for a slightly reduced monthly rental figure.
This way, the tenant benefits from a lower rent and the owner benefits from earning some income whilst the property is being marketed for sale!
However, the tenant must agree beforehand or the property will need to come off the sales market.
What are the tax implications for renting?
Quite simply, if you earn from renting a property you should pay tax on it as part of your tax return as it is also "income”. The tax percentage is however dependent on your own individual circumstances and not something that we are able to advise on. Best to speak to a gestor in Spain who can advise you.
What are your fees for providing the above services?
Essentially, for a long-term contract (anything from 6 months upwards), we charge one month's rent plus iva. We offer the owners a management service whereby we undertake all the work required during a rental period - which differs greatly with every property - and we become the first point of contact for the tenants for any issues. Generally 10% of the monthly rental figure (minimum 60 euros per month plus iva for apartments)
Any other pitfalls or advice you may wish to share with me?
We always tell our owners and tenants to make sure that they are working with an experienced, professional company that specialises in long term rentals. In the current property market, many agents who have historically made their living from selling property are finding times harder and are turning to long term rentals to supplement their reduced income. It is a relatively straightforward process to find tenants for an owner's property. However, it is much harder to find the 'right' tenants, and to have the capability to respond to any situation that may arise during the rental period. VíllaMía has contracted many hundreds of rentals over the years and is capable of resolving issues or queries for both owner and tenant. We have communicated with many owners over the years who are trying to decide whether to rent their property all year round, or just for summer lets. Many are influenced by the top-line income that can be achieved from holiday rentals, without considering the outlay of agents' commissions, cleaning and laundry, utility bills etc....and it is well known here that people who rent properties on a long term basis will often care for the property more as a 'home' than weekly or fortnightly holidaymakers.
Who holds the deposit?
The deposit would be held - as always over here - by the owners, and the clause regarding the deposit stipulates that they have received it (when they have) and that they have legal obligations to return it at the end of the rental period.
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