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Estepona announces the building of a new hospital

Marbella has often been seen as the centre of the Costa del Sol and had the lion’s share of facilities, including the main hospital for the region. However, this is changing, with towns such as Estepona on the Western Costa del Sol developing amazing amenities, restaurants and shopping to rival Marbella.

Estepona has pretty streets, lots of charm and great wide beaches. It already has some lovely shopping on the pedestrianised Calle Mar and scattered around the town, with lots of the big brands, plus independent shops. There are also plans to build a shopping centre and cinema right in the centre, which be a big boost for the area.

The latest development is that a new hospital has finally been given the official go ahead and they are starting the tendering process. This is a great result for the residents of the western Costa del Sol who have had a 40km journey to the nearest public hospital. This impressive modern hospital will be built within two years and will have A&E, surgical wing, areas for women and children and much more.

This final piece of the puzzle will add to the already great changes that Estepona has seen over the last five years. Its Old Town has been transformed with coloured pots and lovely squares to explore, everything is clean, neat, tidy and very welcoming. They have added huge murals around the town, as well as a new botanical garden which has a wonderful collection of orchids, not to mention a huge indoor waterfall, and it’s a joy to stroll down the long sea front promenade.

The restaurants and bars are excellent, with a great atmosphere in the beachfront restaurants, in the pretty squares or streets with cafes and restaurants spilling out onto the pavement. The area is becoming very desirable, yet prices for long term rentals in Estepona are still significantly below those of Marbella, so it’s an excellent option if you’re looking to relocate to the Costa del Sol.

We have a great value two bedroom long term rental apartment which is just ten minutes from the centre of Estepona and a short stroll to a golf and country club. The luxury commercial centre of Laguna Village with its excellent restaurants is nearby too. You can get two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two terraces, a large lounge and dining area, a well equipped kitchen, and access to a shared garden and pool for just 550€ per month.

If you would like to live in Estepona, but aren’t ready to buy, long term rental is an excellent choice. Please contact us to find out more.   

Expats – Don’t worry about whether the UK will leave the EU

bigstock-Brexit-text-with-British-and-E-93444095Since the topic of the EU referendum has been in the news, we’ve had a lot of our long term rental tenants on the Costa del Sol concerned about how it would affect them if the UK did choose to leave the EU. There were fears that we’d all have to return to the UK or become illegal immigrants! So we were really pleased to read an article in the Telegraph at the end of June that these fears were not grounded in legal fact.

The article states that in the case that the UK did leave the EU, British expats would be protected by the Vienna Convention, which means that people living in an EU country before any exit would have “acquired right” to remain in Spain legally, as when they moved this was sanctioned by law and the “the EU’s freedom of movement rights would be honoured for all those citizens who reside in other EEA nations prior to any Treaty changes”. Read the full article here So the 55,000+ British expats living in the Malaga province can relax and enjoy the great lifestyle on the Costa del Sol without worrying about what may happen in the referendum.

Another concern which we are seeing is the impact of the crisis in Greece on Spain, commentators have said that if they leave the EU then it could be a signal to Spain, Portugal and Italy that they could leave too, but with Spain having adopted the austerity measures and now coming out of crisis, there is little suggestion that they would really want to come out of the EU. In fact the signs for the whole economy are excellent, with a recent IMF report predicting that by the end of 2015 growth will be over 3%! This growth and positivity and the improving property market will lead to more jobs and opportunities for people in Spain, so there’s lots of reasons to be cheerful.

In our experience most people relocating to Spain love it so much they never want to leave, but if you’re not sure, then a good move is to rent long term first and then decide your long term future later when you’ve had a chance to try it out for yourselves.  You can check out our selection of long term properties in your favourite area by using our click and view interactive map, or if you’re not sure where you want to live don’t worry, our experience team of long term rental specialists can help you find the perfect place.

Local Elections in Spain

Election_MG_3455This month Spain goes to the polls for the local elections and you will see a lot of campaigning on the streets, posters, flyers and events to gain support from the town for a particular party.  The date of the election is 24th May and if you are living in Spain and registered on the electoral role and the padron then you’re entitled to vote, even if you’re renting long term.

Local Town Halls are finally realising the importance of the foreign residents’ votes and making it easier for them to vote, as well as offering incentives such as reduced IBI tax for property owners, which you apply for whilst also applying to vote. The Mayor of Marbella wrote a letter to the foreign residents of their district back in April, encouraging them to get involved in the elections. In this letter she also introduced the new mobile app “Marbella vota” where you can find your local polling station and get involved.

If you’re out of the country but would like to cast your vote, you can do so before 14th May in any post office. You may have received an electoral census to your address, but don’t worry if you haven’t you can find your nearest polling station by asking in your Town Hall. Please note that if you plan to vote on 24th May, you must take photo ID.

Costa del Sol long term renters and foreign property owners are an important part of the community and if you work here, use the health system, or schools, then go and have your say on 24th May.

Unfortunately, if you didn’t register on the electoral roll then you won’t be eligible to vote, so you will have to wait until next year. However, check at your Town Hall if you’re not sure, as many official processes obliged you to register, so you may have done it without realising.  

Spanish Health Care System

healthcareGreat news for anyone renting long term on the Costa del Sol is that that according to Bloomberg, Spain has the 5th most efficient health care system in the world and the most efficient in Europe. There is an average life expectancy of 82.3 years, compared to 80.8 in the UK, due in part to the better lifestyle, weather and healthy Mediterranean diet.

We have many people renting with us who have retired here and say they feel better than they have for years. They are keeping their minds busy with lots of clubs, societies and language learning and their bodies moving with golf, swimming and walking incorporated into their daily life. Spain really is a lovely place to grow old and stay young at heart!

Should you fall ill the public health service is excellent (as well as highly efficient) with some of the leading specialists and facilities available for more serious conditions and many local GP surgeries. There are translation services available in many doctors’ surgeries and through the service Salud Responde which allows expats to call a special number and have help with communicating with medical professionals during their appointments.

In order to register for the national health system you need a social security number, to be paying your social security payments and be registered on your council’s register (empadronamiento). You then get issued with a green medical card and can take your padron to the surgery to register.

If it seems a bit difficult in Spanish, or you don’t want to wait, there are lots of private options as well, which you can read about in one of our past blog posts about accessing healthcare in Spain

If you are relocating to Spain and want to find a place to live and get insiders information don’t hesitate to get in touch. As well as a great network of long term rental properties on the Costa del Sol, our team are all here enjoying the Spanish dream and can give you information, advice and insight, we also have a number of useful guides on the area to help before you arrive and whilst you’re settling in.

Doctor strikes on the Costa del Sol

A recent article in the Euro Weekly News informed us that from this week, doctors in Andalucia will be holding various strikes at healthcare centres in the area.

The 24 strikes will be called randomly at a different health care centres everyday in order not to disrupt hospitalised patients, so if you have an upcoming appointment we suggest you check with your clinic before you leave.

When renting long term on the Costa del Sol it’s a good idea to register with a doctor when you arrive. If you are working here and paying social security contributions you and your family are entitled to free, high quality medical care so it’s definitely worth making it a priority after the move.

In order to register with a doctor in Spain you need to be registered on the padron first to prove your address and residential status. Signing up to the padron is free and simple and you can read more about the benefits and how to register in our previous blog.

You can find lots more information about looking after your health in Spain and a range of other interesting topics on our blog. Just use the search box if there is a particular subject you are looking for.

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.



Valencia High Speed Link Now In Action

Taking a trip to Valencia from the Costa del Sol has just become easier and quicker than ever. The new AVE high speed train service which connects Malaga to Valencia launched last Sunday.  Cutting the journey time by four hours, the new service makes it possible for both tourists and residents to visit Valencia hassle free.

The train leaves Malaga station at 5pm daily with the exception of Saturdays, offering   a direct service. This allows passengers to travel to Valencia in less time, without having to pass through Madrid.

The price for a single ticket is €106.70, which is slightly more expensive than the usual service to Valencia however it takes considerably less time to get there dropping from the usual eight hours to just  four and a half.

The new route allows you to experience the true beauty of the Valencia regional capital, famous for its nightlife, festivals and spectacular architecture. Whether it is for a long weekend or a one night stop over, this metropolitan city is definitely worth a visit while on holiday to the Costa del Sol.

Malaga now offers high speed direct service to ten major cities including; Madrid, Cordoba and Seville.

For more information about long term rentals in Spain please visit our website, or contact us on UK 0208 123 58 53, Spain +34 952 83 95 95 or email us at



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.

New Rules For Pet Passports

Great news for pet owners, from January 1st new regulations have been introduced for pet passports. Previously, owners have been required to wait six months for a rabies blood test certificate before their beloved pets to be returned to the UK, however the new regulations mean the animal can now be eligible to travel from just 21 days after vaccination.

Many people who rent long term on the Costa del Sol have dogs and cats so its excellent news that owners now have more freedom to easily bring them with them and take them back to the UK at will. Continue reading “New Rules For Pet Passports”

More time given to foreign national residents declaring intentions to vote

Foreign national residents declare intentions to vote

I’ve come across an interesting article on notifying foreign national residents in Spain, that they have been given longer to submit their voting application in the local municipal elections that are due to take place on May 22nd.

If you’re renting long-term in Spain but missed your opportunity to declare your voting intentions back on January 31st, you will now have a chance this week between Monday 4th April- Monday 11th April.

Please note that the extra week does not allow you to register to vote, it only allows you extra time to declare your intention to vote. This extra week has been given to foreign national residents who are already on the municipal census but who have not yet applied to vote. Being part of a local community is important to most foreign national residents, and if you have the right to express your desire to vote then this is the time to take that opportunity.

Mario Bravo, the deputy secretary of the foreign residents’ department for the Mijas Partido Popular expressed his views in the Sur in English article, “We call on all foreigners who are registered to exercise their right to vote and actively participate in municipal life.”

Click here to read the full article.