Things to think about when looking for a room/flat

Mercado Central in 2018

This is an easy list of random reminders about renting a property on the islands, make sure to check each point before renting a room, apartment or villa.

Commonly unseen problems when renting a property in Canary Islands:

BUSY STREETS Streets can get busy at different times during the week, by that I mean that you can visit the property on a Saturday morning, or on a Thursday during siesta (between 1pm and 4pm) and the place might seem nice and quiet. But in the morning there might be a lot of traffic, or in the evening there might be lot of nightlife. Renting a room or an apartment at Plaza Farray can for example be quite cheap, but that’s because it’s a very loud square full of bars and restaurants and it’s impossible to sleep.

BUILDING QUALITY is usually very low in the Canary Islands. There are no strict insulation requirements and walls can be extremely thin, even between neighbouring apartments. Double glazed windows are very rare, meaning the windows don’t block much of the street noise. Always make some kind of noise check and try to go around the building trying to hear for common noises. If you can hear someone walking in the apartment next door, you will definitely hear their television and other living noises. Always make sure that your bedroom is far from the buildings patios which always increases noise from neighbours even more.

NEIGHBOURS Connecting to the previous point try to always check who your neighbors are and how their place is structured compared to the one you are thinking of renting. Here in Canarias, and Spain in general, it’s very common for people to watch tv with very high volume.

AIRBNB’S It’s common for people to rent a villa or detached house to party, so if you are renting one with the idea of having a nice quiet weekend, you might be unpleasantly surprised.

MARIHUANA It’s common for (young) people to smoke marijuana so try to understand who lives next to your place. It’s not unusual for people to smoke (weed) from early in the morning till late in the evening. It’s impossible to hang your clothes out to dry, because they will smell of weed, plus not being able to open your windows is a true nightmare in Canarias during summer.

CONSTRUCTION There are always many renovations going on, especially in some parts of Las Palmas. Any kind of building, from streets to houses, proceeds very slowly. At the moment of writing this article, there are 33 complete buildings that are under construction or demolition and reconstruction only in the neighborhood of La Isleta in Las Palmas. This means that from 8AM till evening, there are dozens of construction workers working on those buildings, making a ton of noise. If you’re sensitive to noise, it’s good to do a neighbourhood check before signing a contract.

WATER Cold water, to be more specific. It seems something granted but it’s not. Water pipes are external in Canarias so if the sun is strong quite often the water will be warm between 25° and 40°. In the south of the island the water can get between 30-40° during the day so it’s impossible to water the plants during the day, for example.

LOCAL FIESTAS Ask if there are some local festivities that will make a ton of noise. For people from northern Europe this might seem crazy but here there are some local festivities that happen at night during week days and they can last also a whole week. A good example is Virgen del Carmen in the neighborhood of La Isleta in Las Palmas. It takes place mid July and there will be fireworks at 5am- 8am-11am-2pm-4pm-6pm-8pm-10pm-1am for about 5 mins each time for the whole week. I hope you read well, for the whole week.

INTERNET In cities like Las Palmas you’ll most likely get a good fiber connection (600MB symmetric) but many other places, especially in the south, do not have fiber nor ADSL so you might end up stuck with a 4G modem that is capped at 20MB download and 1MB upload like back in the old days. Always make sure there’s fiber in your street, by asking a speedcheck from your landlord.

INTERIOR/EXTERIOR On Idealista you will see exterior or interior. Exterior means you have windows that face the street. Interior means you have windows that face a patio. This usually means a lot of extra noise from neighbours above or below your appartment.

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