With a reasonable cost of living and easy way of life it’s easy to see why living in Andorra is at the top of the list for those of us who are location independent. It’s been almost a decade since put down roots here, and we’re still glad we did.
Whether you are looking to settle in Andorra long term and need a home base while searching for something more serious or only plan on staying for a few years, renting is the obvious solution.
In this guide, I will walk you through the steps you’ll need to follow to make renting in Andorra as painless as possible.
We’ll look at average rental prices and how they differ across the country, what deposit you’re required to put down, the documents you’ll need and lastly, how to go about looking for a place to rent.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent in Andorra?
Rental prices vary considerably depending on of the parishes you are choosing to call home, and where the property is located within the parish.
Figuring out the best place to live in Andorra comes down to your work and family needs as well as lifestyle preferences. But let’s not kid ourselves, budget is also a huge factor when deciding where to settle.
The most expensive residential area in the principality is Escaldes-Engordany. Bordering the capital of Andorra la Vella, Escaldes is more than just Andorra’s financial and business hub.
It also plays host to a much of the shopping district, modern apartment buildings, restaurants and bars, playgrounds and parks, as well as a thermal spa resort. Given how many people like the small city vibe, it’s obvious why Escaldes is so popular (and pricey).
The cost of renting an apartment in Andorra can be anywhere from €500 to €3,000 per month.
Prices can go higher for something bigger and better equipped, but it’s not the norm. Similarly, you may be able to find something cheaper, but in the current market it’s extremely difficult and probably not something you want to live in.
Whether the apartment is unfurnished, partly furnished or fully furnished, if it has parking and so on, all play a role in determining how much rent you’re likely to pay.
If you’re of modest means, there are options available though they’re becoming more and more limited. At the time of writing, a 40m² one bedroom apartment in Encamp can set you back approximately €550 per month.
Where to Find Places to Rent in Andorra
The first step when looking for apartments for rent in Andorra is deciding exactly what you need:
- the size and type of accommodation,
- how many people will be living there,
- what sort of parking and storage you need,
- your budget, and so on.
Knowing what you want will help you narrow down your choices. There’s no point looking at something if it’s out of your price range or in an area you’re not that keen on.
That being said, finding rental properties in Andorra requires flexibility. You may discover that in comparison to where you’re moving from, the options are quite limited.
Don’t let that put you off though. Instead, be prepared for the fact that it might not happen as quickly as you’d like.
You can find online listings via these sites:
This said, I’d be willing to bet that 90% of rentals never make it to these sites. The real estate agents tend to keep the larger slice of the rental pie.
In addition to visiting the sites listed above and contacting an agent, another option is to get word out that you’re looking for a place to rent. Speak with contacts you already have in the country, and seek out expats on social media.
Word of mouth and persistence pays off in this part of the world. Keep at it and you’ll find your new home base soon enough.
Steps to Renting a Home in Andorra
While renting a place to stay in Andorra is a relatively straightforward process, there are some boxes to check before you’ll be able to move ahead.
Some of these may seem obvious, but I’m including them anyway so you can familiarise yourself how things work with Andorran rentals.
Open a Bank Account
Opening a bank account is a mandatory first step, as rent is paid each money via direct debit.
In addition to this, registration and payment of services (electricity, water, rental insurance, etc.) is also done via direct debit.
You may find a landlord that is happy to have you deposit the money in their account each month, but this is rare. Typically in this case they will require a larger up front deposit, which as you will find below, is already substantial.
What to Expect in the Rental Contract
The standard lease length in Andorra is five years. While that is certainly longer than a lot of other countries, you do have the option of terminating the contract early provided you give the required amount of notice.
Depending on where you are in your term, this could be anything from 1-5 months (calculated at one month for every year remaining).
Although you have the liberty to change your mind, the owner does not. During the five year period they may not terminate the lease early without good reason (e.g. proving that you aren’t properly maintaining the estate).
Your rent will only increase according to inflation, so you won’t be subject to random hikes in rent that could easily derail your budget. However, you will be expected to take out housing insurance to protect the owner’s property.
You are also responsible for local taxes as well as the maintenance and upkeep of the place you’re renting.
With the lease signed and sorted it’s off to the local authorities for your next round of admin tasks.
Documents and Other Requirements
To get electricity connected and in your name, you need to place a request with one of the providers. This document will set you back €50 to €150 depending on the area you’re renting in and the provider you sign with.
Most people opt for FEDA, Andorra’s largest energy company. (The parastatal has long had a monopoly on the country’s electricity supply.)
To get yourself onto their books there are some things you’ll need to have on hand when you visit their offices. These include proof of identity, your rental agreement, bank details and the Electricity Bulletin (available after inspection by a certified electrician).
The final admin hoop is a visit to your local comu office to register your rental contract. Failure to do so will render it invalid. The last thing you want is to risk being booted out of your new place because you were too lazy to check this box.
How Much Will the Deposit Be?
When renting property in Andorra you’ll need to pay four months’ rent in advance, broken down as follows:
- Two months’ deposit, which you’ll get back at the end of the contract.
- One month goes to the real estate agent.
- One month’s rent paid in advance.
Thereafter you’ll pay your rent monthly on the agreed upon date. Make sure this is outlined in the rental agreement before you sign.
Remember, the contract is for 5 years, which means a 5-month notice period should you wish to renege in the first year.
Final Thoughts on the Andorran Rental Market
When you first arrive in Andorra, renting is an ideal way to get started. It’ll give you the chance to decide if it’s a country where you can see yourself staying long term before committing to buying a property.
I’ve outlined the steps required to rent a place, including the deposit you’ll need to cough up, what you can expect to pay rent-wise as well as where to find places to rent.
All that’s left is for you to get your relevant ducks in a row, pack your bags and come on over!
Leave a comment if you have any questions. As a long-time resident of Andorra, I have a fairly good grasp on the way things work and I’m always happy to share my learnings with prospective newcomers.