It’s cyclical, but once again we have a real shortage of long term rental accommodation on the island, and we’ve been contacted recently by increasingly desperate people looking for somewhere to stay for more than a holiday.

Long term rentals fall into two categories – those who live here, or are planning to move here, and those who want to rent for several months for an extended break – often retired and referred to as “Swallows.”

One thing everyone should consider is where they want to live. Whilst it’s true that there is very little available in the resort areas, there is usually a much larger choice outside of them – Arrecife, Playa Honda, Tinajo and the rural areas tend to have much more available. They will also be cheaper, which might cover the cost of travel into the resorts if you need to work or spend time there.

Another thing to do is learn enough Spanish to be able to at least read adverts in Spanish, and ideally have a brief conversation about a property. There are many more properties here being offered by Spanish speaking owners than by English speaking owners. Grab a dictionary and teach yourself the words for things like “Viewing appointment,” Furniture,” “Deposit” and so on.

To help people, we’ve listed the best places to look for properties for long term rental, in no particular order:

Estate Agents

Some agents on the island offer long term rentals, so do a Google search for “Estate agents Lanzarote” or in Spanish “Inmobiliiara Lanzarote,” and check their websites to see if they offer rentals. In many cases you will need to pay a “finder’s fee” to them, usually a month’s rent.

Facebook

There are a few Facebook groups relating to Lanzarote rentals where you might find properties to rent. One is this one: https://www.facebook.com/groups/154519098019099/  but do a Facebook search for “Lanzarote rental,” Or “Alquiler Lanzarote.”

Websites

The two best websites for rentals on the island are http://estohay.com/ and https://www.idealista.com/ – they are both in Spanish, but they have a decent selection of properties.

Signs on properties

In Arrecife and rural areas, many owners put signs in the windows of their properties – “Se alquiler” is typical, with a phone number, so drive around and look for notices.

Networking

Let everyone you come into contact know you are looking for somewhere – either face to face or via the social networks. The market isn’t that sophisticated here, and many properties get rented even before they are advertised, so if you tell everyone, there’s a chance they might tell a friend who has the perfect property for you.

Contact owners of short term rental properties

It’s a long shot, but if you can spot the perfect place for you, which is available for holiday letting, it can be worth contacting the owner to ask if they are interested in a long term rent at a lower price. If they are struggling to get holiday rentals, they might take the option.

A word on contracts

You should seek a proper, legal contract for your rental – apart from anything else you will need one to apply for various pieces of paperwork here. Of course the document should be in Spanish, and it should be very clear about the terms of the rental, the payment of the deposit and what is and isn’t included.

Finally, let me add a caveat – we’re aware of people who have been scammed on long term rentals – paying a deposit and then arriving to find they were never in touch with the actual owner, but some scammer who had copied the property details from elsewhere. We would advise never taking on a long term rental without seeing the property, but if you really have to, apply some common sense and speak to the owner on the telephone and use a secure payment method to safeguard your money.