This decision will depend on whether you want to rent in Spain, or can afford a second home and also if you are confident that retiring to Spain will be permanent. Arguably it is wiser to only sell the UK home if you are sure of your long term plans and definitely wish to buy a property in Spain, which in itself will require the proceeds from your UK house sale.
This is advisable if you are unsure whether retiring to Spain is definitely what you want to do, or you are unsure which area best suits your lifestyle aspirations. If you do rent out, then make sure you have left it with an agency that can be relied upon to do the maintenance and call-outs.
If you are undecided about where you want to be, then renting makes sense. It is also advisable in a market of dropping property prices. Also, rental properties are often fully equipped and ready to move into, so you won´t need to change anything at all to make life more comfortable.
The rental property will be fully furnished. The cost does not include utility bills. Normally the owner will change the direct debit to your bank account. You will of course be responsible for the general upkeep and cleaning of the property. The property will also be periodically inspected by the owner to ensure there are no problems.
The rental agreement will be set up by Professional Business Support. They are a Spanish registered company, and the agreement is a legal document for protection of the owner as well as the tenant, similar to a tenancy agreement in the UK. The contract usually includes an inventory of items in the property at the time of rental. This is very important to check, as every item outlined on the list must be returned as listed when the tenant leaves, otherwise the deposit (or part of it) may be held by the owner.
The following provisions are contained the in rental contract :
• Identification details of both the owner and the tenant
• Address and description of property
• The contract term
• Amount of rent, deposit and payment terms
• Any other legal provisions that the parties agree to
• Details of property expenses and who is responsible for them
• Terms for subletting
As in all countries, prices vary in Spain from area to area. The big cities are expensive, as are the more popular coastal areas such as Marbella or Barcelona. In these areas you can expect London prices for everyday living and some of the most expensive property in Spain. If your pension is limited, then going a little way inland will reduce living costs substantially. In general terms a Euro will buy you what a Pound does in the UK. As for a budget, it is possible to live off 1000 euros a month for a retired couple (with no rental or mortgage costs), whereas 1400 euros would be more comfortable and allow for some flights back home, and 1800 euros per month or above will make retirement in Spain easy.
It is possible to have your pensions and income paid directly into your Spanish bank account. However it is important to set everything up correctly in order to minimise bank transfer charges, Spanish reception fees and to ensure that the best exchange rate is always achieved. Doing this properly will save you thousands of Euros a year.