There are two types of rentals in Spain: short term and long term. Short term rentals are basically designed for holiday makers and come with contracts headed by the phrase "Por Temporada", which translates literally as "seasonal". Long term rentals contracts are headed by the word "Vivienda", which means "home" or "residence" and are designed for those planning to stay long term in this country.
As a potential tenant, it is important that you understand the difference between the two types of rental properties and their contracts as your rights differ in each case. For example, if you are planning to stay in Spain for a few years at least, and you sign a short term contract for nine months, you might find yourself looking for a new home when the contract ends.
However, if, knowing that you intend to stay here for some time, you sign a "Vivienda" contract, you will automatically have the right to renew for five consecutive years. During this time, rent can only be raised to accommodate inflation.
You might be asked to make a deposit when you rent, and this is in keeping with Spanish law, which permits the landlord to ask for one month's rent for unfurnished quarters and two months' for business space and furnished homes. To protect yourself you should ask that the deposit be held by a neutral third party such as an agency or a government office called the "Consejería de la Vivienda" (Málaga telephone: 951 038 355).
If you hold a long term rental contract and feel that you are not being treated fairly, visit the nearest municipal consumers' office (OMIC - Oficina Municipal de Información del Consumidor). Here you should be able to present your case to someone knowledgeable in consumer affairs and obtain advice. Personnel at these offices can also help you to take complaints through the appropriate channels. To help them help you, bring your rental contract with you and any receipts or other documents that could be of use.