Renting an apartment
by Careers in Poland
in: Living in Poland
, 31 Oct 2014
Depending on the purpose of your stay, you need to consider different accommodation types in Poland. The purpose of your stay, its length and your budget may determine what option you go for. If your house is your castle – see what castle you should look for!
Before coming to Poland you should know where to find an apartment, what to be aware of, and you’ll have a general overview of rental prices.
Types of apartment people can rent in Poland
First of all, you can live in a dormitory and rent an apartment alone or with other people, which is the most popular. It is also possible to rent a room in an apartment with the owner, which is usually cheaper but bear in mind that you live with the landlord.
Moreover, you need to remember that there is a difference in the quality of apartments or rooms to rent. Basically, there are 3 types of building containing apartments. The first one is ‘kamienica’. We can describe it as an apartment inside an old building with a high ceiling, usually around 3.5 metres. Such apartments are generally cheaper. Another type is a block (‘blok’). Such buildings are more modern than ‘kamienica’, but without any additional facilities. The last type, very rare and the most luxury is a new building with plenty of options inside: security, monitoring, parking place, sometimes a gym and a swimming pool. Of course, rental prices are the highest for the last category.
Renting an apartment. How to search offers?
For foreigners who don’t know the Polish language, there is a possibility to use different options of searching for an apartment:
1st : Using portals which are in the English language (e.g., rentflatpoland.com, property-krakow.com).
2nd: Contacting directly a real estate agency. Most of real estate agencies ask for a fee. Of course, with some agencies, the owner pays the fee instead of the tenant. Bear in mind that you shouldn’t pay for visiting an apartment. You can be charged a commission only if you take an apartment.
3rd : Talking to Polish friends or checking for offers at a local university, or at work. You can find other people looking for an apartment and decide to live together.
4th: Checking social media and expat groups in Poland. You can find ‘expats in Warsaw’, Krakow etc.
5th: Asking your company to help you find accommodation.
6th: Checking some forums. It is possible to find something there.
Usually, the minimum period is from six months to one year. Some owners are flexible and can rent their apartment for one or two months. It’s very important to include the termination information in the contract. This way, you won’t have to stay in the apartment until the end of the regular rental period.
In most cases, a security deposit is required. The amount is usually the equivalent to one month of rent, sometimes it may happen to be twice as much. It might be possible to negotiate it.
Monthly bills for electricity, water, gas etc.
Regarding the market in Poland, it all depends on which kind of apartment you live in. For instance, monthly bills are higher when you rent an apartment in ‘kamienica’, especially during winter time. For a studio of around 35 square meters, it is necessary to include PLN 100-150 extra per month for gas and electricity. Usually, water bills are already included in the administrative costs.
It is possible to rent an apartment with all the bills included, even the Internet and TV.
What to pay attention to?
It is always better to rent an apartment with all costs included in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises. As gas bills sometimes are paid every 6 or 12 months, the sum can be high: around PLN 800 to PLN 1,500 (EUR 200 to EUR 400 euros).
Pay attention to these three things: rental cost, administrative cost and bills. Some rental offers show only the renting cost, which can cause misunderstanding as regards the sum to pay in total. Watch out if the price is too attractive, it means that the owner or the real estate agency didn’t put the administrative cost, which can be sometimes almost the same as the rental cost. Before visiting an apartment, always ask if all the costs are included in the rent.
Also it would be better to verify what shops and public transport is around.
The last thing is to check the standard of the apartment. Make sure that you get good equipment inside the kitchen, that the bathroom is equipped with a washing machine and so on. It is essential to examine the apartment, especially the windows. Remember that if something is missing in the apartment, you will need to buy it or to ask the owner to purchase it. Have a look at local offers available on the Internet. Electric heating is more expensive so take it into consideration while choosing an apartment.
Internet and television in apartment
In some apartments, you already have access to the Internet and television. If that’s not the case, you must find a provider or conclude an arrangement with the owner later. There are plenty of Internet providers in Poland. Bear in mind that you need to wait at least 7 to 20 days to get the Internet access with a new installation.
The best solution when it comes to sign a contract is to ask a Polish friend to read it beforehand and check for any uncertain points. Moreover, you can ask for a contract in English. Rental contracts are really important. Avoid living in an apartment without any contract because you can encounter some issues: the owner can evict you anytime they want, and they may ask you to pay for some extras without any proof.
A contract should always contain the following points:
- Contract duration (from… to…)
- Conditions for termination (the period of notice)
- Security deposit amount
- Inventory of what is included in the apartment (furniture etc.)
- Water and gas meter readings before you move in
With this information you won’t have any problems while terminating your rental agreement.
Finally, to sign the contract, you need to provide your ID, passport or your PESEL if you have any. PESEL is an Identification Number in Poland and for you it won’t be obligatory.
Extra points to know!
Usually, landlords or real estate agencies won’t ask about your income or about your work contract as it may happen in other countries, such as France.
Normally, the payment is sent via bank transfer, especially because it is important to have a proof of payment.
The payment of the rent is generally due before the 10th of each month.
The co-founder of two web-platforms providing services for foreigners willing to come to Poland. He had the opportunity to come to Poland during his studies in the area of business. He knew that he would be back there. After a few years of work in multinational firms, he found out the power of new technology and the limitless possibilities in Poland.
An entrepreneur and a co-founder of two multisided platforms, enjoys setting up projects to make people’s lives easier. As a lesson-taker, he always appreciates feedback and analyses it. Optimistic and deeply involved in his projects, Nicolas also enjoys having an impact on the society. He recently established a NGO in Poland.