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Will you be escaping the crowds this year?

Last month, we wrote about all the great options for travelling to and from the Costa del Sol and how easy it is to get to Europe and further afield. So, the million dollar question is whether you will be staying here in this holiday paradise, or travelling to escape the crowds. Have you decided yet?

As you know, the tourists flood in from June and stay throughout the summer, with tourist numbers peaking in August. Predictions are that tourism is going to be very strong again this year, with ABTA putting Andalucia on their list of 12 destinations to watch for 2017 and Easter already breaking records for numbers of arrivals. The head of Costa del Sol tourism predicted a 2.6% increase in visitors to the Malaga province in 2017, which would bring the tourist count to 30 million for Andalucia.

This is of course amazing news for businesses related to tourism, so if you’re thinking of offering tours, diving, car hire, swimming lessons or opening a new bar and restaurant this is the time to make hay while the sun shines. Many hotels are predicted to be at full capacity during the peak summer season and restaurants and bars will also be fit to burst, so it’s a great time to be in hospitality and take advantage the main business in your new home.

However, what about those of you with B2B businesses, or jobs which are focused on year round residents? Although the vast majority of us have relocated to the Costa del Sol because we love the sunshine, the beaches and the holiday vibe, we get used to not having to share it with too many people and can get a little grumpy when the hoards invade and the temperatures rise.

The main problems you face in the summer is traffic, trouble parking and it being crowded on the beach or around the pool. Although these are not huge issues, when you are working and trying to handle the long summer holidays with no school it can start to get you down, so bear it in mind and plan for it.

Check out our guide to surviving the summer for tips on how to overcome these issues if you are staying, or start searching for flights to cooler climes. Have a great summer, wherever you spend it!

Using the Spanish Health System

bigstock-Closeup-portrait-of-a-woman-ho-95914568If you’re living on the Costa del Sol, then you will need access to medical care. Although it’s a very healthy place to live, and life expectancies are long, you need to feel protected should you, or your family fall ill.

The Spanish National Health system is generally very good, with excellent reputation for specialists and we’re lucky to have a wonderful hospital on the Costa del Sol. There are many local health centres which you can join depending on where you live.

You need to get a NIE number and a social security number, then register on the padron in your local Town Hall. This “padron” shows officially where you live and enables you to register for both schools and your local doctor’s surgery.

As long as you, or one member of your family is working and paying their Social Security payments you are all entitled to healthcare. If you aren’t both working, then one of you needs to be a “beneficiario” on the other’s card. Some Doctor’s surgeries will allow you to register as a dependent in the surgery itself, others will ask you to go to your nearest social security office to do it. Here is an excellent guide to getting healthcare in Spain which goes into much more details about the different ways to register and the ins and outs of the system.

Once you’re registered you can make an appointment in person at the surgery, but we recommend using the website of Salud Responde  which allows you to do loads of things from home including making an appointment, choosing a doctor, changing contact details and downloading forms. There is also a mobile phone App of the same name, which enables people to book appointments with their doctors and health centres, which has seen a lot of traffic in 2015, as more people use mobile devices.

The main problem for foreigners is ensuring their level of Spanish is up to visiting the doctor, as it can be tough to explain what’s wrong and understand complicated diagnosis or instructions on what to do. Some doctor’s surgeries in the most popular expat areas and the Costa del Sol hospital have volunteer translators on hand to help you, but it’s best to be prepared to speak Spanish if you can.

There are lots of ways that you can learn Spanish. One great resource is Notes in Spanish, where they do regular audio recordings about different topics to help you hear the vocabulary and be able to pronounce it properly as well as understand it in a spoken setting. They have a podcast all about illnesses and doctors with both phrases and vocabulary that will help you to deal with visiting the doctor.

If this is too daunting for you, then there are loads of options for private health cover including the biggest players such as Sanitas (like Bupa). Shop around, as prices vary hugely and it depends on what you need as to which service is right for you.

One popular option here on the Costa del Sol is Helicopteros Sanitarios, which is a middle option as it is a home doctor’s service, where they will come to your home to treat you, as well as having some clinics where you can pop in for an appointment. They also have ambulances and helicopters which can take you to a national health hospital quickly, treat you on the way and help you on arrival to the hospital, briefing the doctors before handing you over to their care. In an area with few ambulances and big distances between hospitals this can be a good option and is a lot cheaper than the more comprehensive health insurances.

For more information on living on the Costa del Sol, the benefits of renting long term here, or advice on where to live please browse our site. We’re here to help you find the best long term rental property and make yourself at home here, so please don’t hesitate to ask.

Featured Property – Three Bedroom Apartment in Hacienda de Mijas Golf

When it comes to searching for a new family home in Spain, one of the most important considerations is that the children will be happy, settled and safe. The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular areas with families, with so much on offer including; excellent schools, sport facilities, and a massive choice of fun things to do for all ages.

There are some great family friendly properties available to rent on the Costa del Sol, such as this three bedroom apartment in Hacienda de Mijas Golf. Just five minute drive from Fuengirola and La Cala de Mijas with all facilities nearby including golf courses, supermarkets, salons and garden centres, it’s very conveniently located.

The apartment is set in a secure, gated complex which includes; underground parking, gardens, pools, paddle, tennis court, and a lovely kid’s play area. Plus there are loads of activities and beaches to explore in nearby Fuengirola and Mijas, so the whole family will enjoy it!

            Inside the apartment you will find a modern, fully fitted kitchen and spacious lounge/dining area, leading out onto the terrace, as well as three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The master bedroom includes a king-size bed, built in wardrobes and a full en-suite bathroom. The second and third bedrooms are of good size and both feature twin beds with access to the guest bathroom and walk-in shower.

This property boasts stunning view to the Mijas Hills and offers a fantastic outdoor lifestyle. Great choice for those who are looking for a property ready to move into! To find out more about this apartment or to view other properties for rent on the Costa del Sol, visit our website or call us on 952 839 595.

Why rent your property out long term?

Over the past 5 years, the long term rental market on the Costa del Sol has grown immensely. Hundreds of families have moved here looking for a better quality of life, or to try before they buy, and the slow-down in property sales has left the long-term rentals market with a year round demand for quality accommodation.

Interestingly though, there is a lack of good quality, well priced, long-term rental properties in the most popular areas such as Marbella, Fuengirola and Estepona. Many home owners are tempted by the income from holiday rentals which is the most suitable option for some, but this is mostly seasonal so if you don’t want to have your property sitting empty, long term rentals is a great option.

Contracts usually start from six months and can be as long as two years, providing you with a steady stream of income every month. This doesn’t mean you can’t come on holiday while you have tenants in though! In fact, many of our homeowners who were only using their property for a few weeks of the year now look forward to renting a separate holiday home so you never have to miss out on your summer break!

The tenant would pay you a fixed rate over an agreed period of time, plus all the utility bills during their stay. A safety deposit would also be taken at the beginning of the contact for your peace of mind. The change in rental laws in Spain last year also make things easier for landlords if they need their property back!

HomeRentalontheWeb has taken care of hundreds of properties and tenants on behalf of homeowners in Spain. From finding tenants, managing contracts and sourcing references to dealing with any problems that occur or maintenance work, we have it covered!  Read our blog for more things to consider when renting your property long term, or feel free to call us on (0034) 952 839 595.


The season of giving!

As we take the decorations down and tidy away the remains of Christmas wrapping paper, thousands of households across Spain are preparing to do it all again in celebration of the Three Kings!

Now you are renting long term on the Costa del Sol, you may want to settle in by learning more about Spanish traditions and the Christmas period is a great way to do that. With all kinds of exciting events being held until January 7th, there is still plenty of time to get involved. Every year on the 5th January, the three wise men take part in a big parade through Marbella and San Pedro throwing sweets to all the children in the street who try and catch them all with upside down umbrellas! There is also a big selection of festive events for all ages such as shows, concerts, fun days and competitions, so it is a magical time to be in the area, even if there’s no snow!

If you find that you have lots of left over, non perishable food and some unwanted gifts, why not put those to good use and donate them to charity? Unfortunately there are many families in Spain who haven’t been able to celebrate Christmas with the food and presents they would have wanted and the Three Kings day will see many go without again. If you have gifts from Christmas which will be likely to end up in the back of the cupboard never to be seen again, donating them to charity could really make someone’s day and a donation of food could make a big difference to a family.

When out shopping in the sales this week, keep your favourite charities in mind as any donations made now could easily be distributed to those in need just in time for Three Kings Day. Getting involved with charity is also a great way to start settling in! If you don’t speak Spanish you could drop your donations into somewhere like Specsavers Opticas in Marbella and Fuengirola who are currently collecting on behalf of Red Cross and AECC (Spanish Cancer Care Association).

You can see all details of local events, things to do and be involved with, including charity work, in the local newspapers and local websites such as Marbella Family Fun. Visit our website if you are looking to rent on the Costa del Sol in 2013 or call us for more information on 952 859 595.



Why Sign Up To The Padron?

There are a surprising amount of expatriates renting property on the Costa del Sol who have not yet signed up to the padron. As an expat in Spain you are obliged to sign the register yet still many are unaware it even exists or unsure why they need to.


So why should you sign up to the muncipal register even if you are not a not a home owner?  Here are some of the benefits you will have;

·         Register with doctor

·         Have the right to vote in the local and European elections

·         Have access to free or discounted activities

·         Free or reduced cost Spanish classes

·         Register kids at school

·         Help and support for the elderly

·         Reduction in bus fares

·         Tax reductions on certain services such as rubbish collection

Signing the padron is not a complicated process, it’s simple, quick and free and if you are spending the majority of your time in Spain you should be signing up. If you are worried about how this would affect your taxes or rights in the UK, the HMRC and new websites provide lots of useful information about this. However the Town Hall itself is the best place to get information about the padron and its benefits.

It’s worth bearing in mind that some of the benefits are only available to those who have been signed up to the padron for a few years such as social care for the elderly, which is why its important to sign up as soon as you move to Spain.

By renting long term on the Costa del Sol and not signing up to the pardon, you risk not having access to your rights here in Spain and possibly wouldn’t be considered a UK resident either. Your resident status simply depends on where you spend the most time.

The budget allocated to each town depends on the amount of people who are signed up to the town’s padron so it’s important everyone does it to ensure their town receives the correct budget. In fact, Mijas Town Hall is sending out fines up to €150 to residents who don’t sign up as it could lead to the town losing out when it comes to budget allocation as they depend on the number of registered inhabitants.

If you have already signed up to the padron and are wondering whether you need to renew or make any adjustments, pop to your local town hall to check and bring with you original paperwork such as passport and residence tarjeta. In general, foreign residents should renew their empadronmiento every two years to avoid being dropped from the register and losing their rights.

The deadline for enrolment is the end of the year so best to head to your local Town Hall as soon as you can if you haven’t signed up yet.

For more information about renting long term on the Costa del Sol visit our website or call us on 952839 595.

Why rent your property out long-term?

The Costa del Sol still remains a year round destination loved by thousands and many home owners rent out their property to holiday makers as a way of earning extra income. However, this time of year the demand for holiday rental homes is less and hundreds of properties will be left empty until next summer.

If you are a property owner on the Costa del Sol, have you thought about renting out your property long term? Some home owners are put off by long term rentals after hearing horror stories about landlords not being able to evict tenants etc but the Spanish rental law has changed this year so owners need not worry about this. In Spain, long term rental contracts typically start from 6 months, which would be a great arrangement if you only wanted a long term tenant for the winter season, then the 6 months summer season can be yours to use for holiday rentals or for your own holidays!

Benefits of renting your property out long term

  • Provides a steady monthly income throughout the year
  • Bills are all paid for by the tenant
  • Your property is not left empty for long periods of time
  • The rental law has now changed to make it easier to evict tenants
  • If you are trying to sell your property, long term rentals is a great way to earn income while you wait for your property to sell.

There is currently a shortage of quality long term rental homes in key areas of the Costa del Sol and the demand is increasing as people are looking to ‘try before they buy’.

This is a great time to rent your property out long term, if you want to make some extra income and don’t want to see your property sitting empty during winter then this is the way to go. A good property management company will take care of everything for you from finding the tenants for you and sourcing references, to handling the contracts, collecting deposits, and dealing with any problems if they occur.

If you have any questions about putting your property up for long term rentals on the Costa del Sol, call us on 952 839 595 or visit our website for more information.

Featured Property – Stunning Winter Rental

Now that summer is over on the Costa del Sol, hundreds of season workers have headed back to their home countries with a head-full of happy memories. That means an excellent choice of properties on the rental market!

One of the great things about long term rental properties on the Costa del Sol is that most of the properties come completely ready to move into. Compared to the UK, you get so much more for your money as many properties come fully furnished to a high standard, and include all electrical and domestic appliances including satellite TV. The weather and surroundings are also a big bonus!

When planning to spend at least 6 months in a property it has to be somewhere comfortable and that feels like home at the end of a day’s work or play. With such a good choice of properties on the rental market you are bound to find something perfect for you so you can get settled in straight away.

If your looking for a long term rental property on the Costa del Sol why not do it in style without breaking the bank. Take a look at this stunning property for example.

Set in one of the most picturesque gardens on the Costa de Sol, this property comes with absolutely everything you need to settle in nicely and at a great price. Click here for full details.

Visit our website for a full list of long term rental homes.

Rent and Remain Flexible – The Life of an Expat

There was an interesting article in the Telegraph on the 3rd August about the financial problems faced by many expats; the article puts across the argument that many expats are too quick to blame the financial crisis for the problems which they are facing. Here is a basic overview of the article;

While moving abroad can seem like a dream, especially when it involves a job offer and a supportive family, there are things which you should consider before jumping ahead and making a purchase abroad.  The challenges of life are no different abroad from the ones which you face at home.

There are all too many expats who pack up and head for the sun, spending their life savings on a new luxurious home, sure the dream can last for a while, but it can also soon come to a halt and there are many businesses and homes around the Costa del Sol which have been abandoned because of financial difficulty.

Without a doubt the recession has contributed to expats problems, forcing them to sell up and move back home, through no fault of their own, but many people bring the problems on themselves by making the move abroad permanent before they have sampled the water. It is important to remember that career plans, finances and the needs of family can change.

This is why planning is important; renting long term enables you to sample the lifestyle changes, while allowing you to be flexible, without causing distress or financial hardship.

What do you think? Do you agree with the Telegraph and think that expats are too quick to blame the financial crisis? To read the full article, click here.

To view our long term rental properties on the Costa del Sol, visit our website or contact us on UK 0208 123 58 53, Spain +34 952 83 95 95.

New Changes to Rental Agreements in Spain

This month the Government has announced new changes to rental agreements in Spain.

Under previous law there was no easy way to evict a tenant without their agreement. If they were up to date with their rent payments and refused to leave, there was little homeowners could do to regain possession of their property for a period of 5 years (this has now been reduced to three years). Evicting a non-paying tenant could also be a slow and frustrating process for homeowners.

From now on if tenants do not keep up with payments they will be notified of a 10 day period in which the balance must be paid. If the balance is not paid without a valid reason, the court will issue an eviction order immediately.

The new law also cuts the maximum legal duration of rental contracts from eight years to four years and if the owner or his family needs the property back, he now only has to give the tenant two months’ notice. Rafael Catalá, Secretary of State for Infrastructure has said that reducing the maximum duration of rental contracts will bring more properties onto the market giving owners more peace of mind.

However there is good news for tenants also. The new law means that tenants may now cancel their rental agreements at any time provided they give at least one months’ notice.

If you would like any more information on long term rental agreements in Spain, give us a call on UK 0208 123 5853, Spain 952 839 595 or visit our website.