Renting or Leasing a Home in Spanish

If you need to rent a house or apartment in a Spanish-speaking location, you need to be able to talk about leasing terms and the type of housing you’re looking for. The following Spanish words and phrases can come in handy in your search for a place to live.

Rental properties can include several different kinds of housing, as described by these terms:

  • edificio de apartamentos (eh-dee-fee-seeoh deh ah-pahr-tah-mehn-tohs) (apartment building)

  • casa de una planta (kah-sah deh oo-nah plahn-tah) (one-story house)

  • casa de dos pisos (kah-sah deh dohs pee-sohs) (two-story house)

  • casa adosada (kah-sah ah-doh-sah-dah) (semi-detached house [meaning one of its walls touches the wall of the neighboring house])

  • casa residencial (kah-sah reh-see-dehn-seeahl) (residence; house used for residential purposes)

  • apartamento en arriendo (ah-pahr-tah-mehn-toh ehn ah-rreeehn-doh) (apartment for rent)

  • apartamento en régimen de propiedad horizontal (ah-pahr-tah-mehn-toh ehn reh-Hee-mehn deh proh-peeeh-dahd oh-ree-sohn-tahl) (condominium) Literally, this phrase means an apartment that is governed by a set of rules related to horizontal — meaning on the ground — real estate.

Spanish has three words for “room.” You can take your pick from any of them:

  • la habitación (lah ah-bvee-tah-seeohn)

  • la pieza (la peeeh-sah)

  • el cuarto (ehl kooahr-toh)

Some specific rooms that you’re likely to talk about include

  • la sala (lah sah-lah) the living room

  • el living (ehl lee-bveeng) the living room (in Chile)

  • el comedor (ehl koh-meh-dohr) the dining room

  • el dormitorio (ehl dohr-mee-toh-reeoh) the bedroom (in Chile and Argentina)

  • la recámara (lah reh-kah-mah-rah) the bedroom (in Mexico)

  • la cocina (lah koh-see-nah) the kitchen; the stove

Some other Spanish vocabulary words that relate to the rental process include

  • el depósito (ehl deh-poh-see-toh) the deposit

  • reembolsar (reh-ehm-bvol-sahr) to refund

  • incluido (een-klooee-doh) included

  • pagar (pah-gahr) to pay

  • amueblado (ah-mooeh-bvlah-doh) furnished

  • limpiar (leem-peeahr) to clean

  • disponible (dees-poh-nee-bvleh) available

  • ocupar (oh-koo-pahr) to take up; to occupy

  • desocupar (dehs-oh-koo-pahr) to vacate

  • lástima (lahs-tee-mah) pity; shame

  • pintar (peen-tahr) to paint

  • el refrigerador (ehl reh-free-Heh-rah-dohr) the refrigerator

You can use the following phrases to convey your need for a dwelling to call your own:

  • Sin falta necesito un apartamento. (seen fahl-tah neh-seh-see-toh oon ah-pahr-tah-mehn-toh) (I absolutely [literally: without fail] need an apartment.)

  • Es urgente encontrar un apartamento. (ehs oor-Hehn-teh ehn-kohn-trahr oon ah-pahr-tah-mehn-toh) (We must find an apartment urgently.)

  • Como tenemos niños, debemos encontrar una casa. (koh-moh teh-neh-mohs nee-nyohs deh-bveh-mohs ehn-kohn-trahr oo-nah kah-sah) (Because we have children, we must find a house.)

  • Hay que preguntar a los amigos. (ahy keh preh-goon-tahr ah lohs ah-mee-gohs) (We must ask our friends [to help us find a place].)

  • Hay que ver los avisos del diario. (ahy keh bvehr lohs ah-bvee-sohs dehl deeah-reeoh) (We must look at the ads in the papers.)

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