Much of Tenerife’s accommodation market is aimed towards holiday-makers or Timeshare apartments and is very expensive if you intend to stay for longer than the standard two week vacation, but it is possible to take out a long-term lease if you are planning to stay three months or more.
There are a number of ways to approach securing a lease:
- Find an Estate Agent to Help You
Estate agents are plentiful – certainly in the busy south of the island – and while not all of them deal with long term leases, many of them do. Most speak some English but if you are worried there are a number of native English speaking estate agents able to help you. If you lease your apartment through an agency then you will probably pay higher rent and you may have to pay a one-time “finders fee” of up to €150. The advantage of going through an agent is that you are guaranteed that your apartment is not an illegal let (which sadly is quite common on the island) and your agent will be able to contact the property owner for you should the need arise. You may also have an agent who offers to help you with the paperwork required to obtain residencia and advice about job-seeking.
In my experience the British estate agencies are far more efficient than any of the other agencies. We turned to the British agencies after a few others let us down: one agency we visited promised to call us back the next day and never did. Another one made an appointment to show us an apartment but the office was locked up when we arrived at our allotted time, they then lied to us and claimed they had made the appointment for the following day. The next day we turned up to find the office empty again, this time they told us to come back in a week.
We didn’t go back.
- Respond directly to Advertisements
When an apartment is up for sale or to lease then you will see a sign on the balcony; here in Tenerife ‘se vende’ means ‘to buy’ and ‘se aquila’ means ‘to rent’. This method is going to be most effective if you speak the local lingo as the letting agent/owner will most likely be Spanish but you do sometimes find an advert in English. By negotiating directly with the owner of the apartment you are likely to save yourself a few hundred Euros in monthly rent, plus you might also avoid a hefty finders fee, but you should try to check that you don’t inadvertently rent an illegal let which could land you in trouble with the police. The free papers are also a pretty good place to start searching: Island Connections and Canarian Weekly are two of the major free papers and come out fortnightly.
- Word of Mouth
Never underestimate the power of word of mouth on an island such as Tenerife. Ask around and you are sure to find somebody who knows somebody who’s renting an apartment. If you ask around in bars, restaurants or the touts on the street then it won’t be long before you’ve got a few names and numbers to follow up on. You could also hop online and ask the expert residents on the Tenerife Forum who are full of helpful advice.
Finding an apartment in Tenerife is not a difficult task but you should try to give yourself plenty of time to find one that is suitable for you. Many of the apartments are ex-holiday apartments so remember to check if there is an oven, washing machine and sufficient dishware and cutlery if you don’t want to spend a lot of money purchasing these things. Expect also to find single beds rather than a double in many of these apartments.
If you are planning to stay in the more lively areas of the island then look around at night too, the apartment block might seem suitable in the day but will noise from nearby bars affect your quiet balcony evenings, or do the local streetwalkers hang out on the corner? Cheaper apartments can be found further away from the beach but you might need to get a car to get around, or you’ll be facing plenty of long walks up steep hills.
If you arrive in Tenerife before you have secured a job then it is quite probable that you will have to pay a few months rent plus a deposit upfront so you will need to have a cash float at your disposal.
The important thing to remember is to come prepared and give yourself some time to find an apartment from which to enjoy Tenerife!