Have you ever heard about people paying for rental of the apartments that don’t exist? Yes, that happens in Poland as well. So, what you should do to avoid it? What types of accommodation you can expect and at what price? Read this post written by locals before making the decision to rent an apartment in Poland.
I. Go through offer thoroughly.
Check if the information about flat make sense, if location exists and use google maps to see if the apartment building really stands there. Ask the landlord more questions about the place and its surrounding. Make sure if bills are included in rent or you need to pay extra to avoid ugly surprise.
II. Don’t pay rent upfront if you haven’t seen the apartment yet.
Of course, it doesn’t concern known agencies but individuals or fishy organisations. When you see someone advertising on Facebook a great apartment in the centre but doesn’t allow you (for some weird reasons) to see it before paying, don’t bother to start packing your luggage already. It’s easy to delete account and never contact you again. Check out Facebook groups, people often post names or offers that are scams.
III. Too cheap to be true
Before you rent something, get to know the average price on the market for a flat/room of your choice. Below you can find the average prices in the biggest Polish cities:
Centre of Warsaw are within the range:
Studio apartment (average standard) – 1800 – 2200 pln
2 room flat – 2600 – 3200 pln
3 room flat – 3600 – 5000 pln
4 room apartment – 4000 – 6000 pln
If you will come across the luxury flat in the heart of Warsaw at the price of 1500pln don’t get too excited. This is a pure scam and better don’t waste your time on that.
Centre of Kraków:
Studio apartment (average standard) – 1500 – 1900 pln
2 room flat – 2300 – 2900 pln
3 room flat – 3300 – 4500 pln
4 room apartment – 3700 – 5500 pln
Centre of Poznań:
Studio apartment (average standard) – 1300 – 1700 pln
2 room flat – 1700 – 2500 pln
3 room flat – 2000 – 2700 pln
4 room apartment – 2500 – 3200 pln
Centre of Wrocław:
Studio apartment (average standard) – 1900 – 2300 pln
2 room flat – 2400 – 3000 pln
3 room flat – 2800 – 3400 pln
4 room apartment – 3700 – 5500 pln
Centre of Gdańsk:
Studio apartment (average standard) – 1600 – 2000 pln
2 room flat – 2300 – 2700 pln
3 room flat – 3000 – 4000 pln
4 room apartment – 3600 – 5000 pln
IV. Paying for seeing the apartment? No, thanks.
Don’t give money right away you see a person. You should be allowed to see the apartment without any additional fees.
V. Agreement signed for eternity.
It is very common in Poland to sign a contract which is binding at least 12 months so if you’re unsure about staying that long, don’t risk that. It is usually impossible to terminate the agreement sooner than on the paper.
VI. How big should be the deposit?
Typical deposit when renting a flat in Poland is equal to one month rent, sometimes two and some of the properties don’t have any.
VII. Who’s responsible for maintenance of the property?
Usually it should be landlord who is responsible for maintenance of the apartment, however, watch out for hidden or not clear clauses in the agreement that may place this responsibility on tenant. You can negotiate this part of agreement or try to obtain slight rent reduction.
VIII. What are your responsibilities as a tenant?
Remember that as a tenant you also have some responsibilities. The most important is paying rent and bills on time. You must also have in mind the fact that you are not alone and you have flatmates (read how to be a perfect flatmate here) and neighbours. This mean that you have to respect them and try to find a common language which will help you to live in harmony.
IX. Where to live
When you are moving to a new city you probably do not know the districts. Each has its pros and cons. Things that you should pay attention it’s distance to the center, university and shops. Try to also find out whether the neighbourhood is safe. You can find Warsaw districts descriptions here.
X. Accurately calculate what you can afford
Do not choose an apartment which you can barely afford. Good money management is very important, especially when you are a student. Remember that the cost of living includes not only renting, but also food, various bills, parties and many other.
XI. Think carefully who you want to live with
It is very important to rent an apartment with cool people. It is best if these are your friends, with whom you get along well. However, if you are looking for an apartment alone take the time to talk to current tenants to check whether they fit to you. If the apartment does not have other residents, get involved in the search for new ones. In this way, you do not let to the situation, that you live with someone who you do not like. Find out how to be a perfect flatmate reading this post on our blog.
Things that you need to pay attention when viewing flat
If you rent an apartment for the first time, you may do not know what to look for during viewings. Do not worry, we listed the most important points below:
- watch carefully every room, make sure that the flat is well maintained, look for the “hidden” attributes and if there’s any damage ask for it to be repaired otherwise you may be blamed for it later,
- if you can, talk with current tenants, in this way you can find out more about the apartment, the owner and neighbours,
- ask for the amount of deposit (usually the amount of 1 month rent),
- check how well connected is the area, commuting to schools, shops, cinemas and so on,
- check whether you get along with the owner of the apartment, talk to him about the apartment, its condition, etc.,
- if you have a pet and want to live with him, mention it to the owner, sometimes they do not allow it,
- it makes the whole process even harder when you don’t speak Polish or don’t have any Polish friends, signing the contract you don’t understand is a pretty bad idea, therefore ask the landlord for translation if possible.
How to make good first impression?
Remember that you have only one chance to make a good first impression. Landlord will evaluate you, just like you will evaluate him. Firstly, be sure to not be late for a meeting with owner. It’s very important because if you are late, the owner may interpret this that you will be late with rent payment. Secondly, dress smartly. Of course, you do not have to wear clothes like for a wedding, but tracksuits also will not be suitable. Choose something in between. Also, try to be polite, smile and do not be too restitutionary.
What should you know before signing contract?
It makes the whole process even harder when you don’t speak Polish or don’t have any friends in here. Signing the contract you don’t understand is a pretty bad idea, therefore ask the landlord for translation if possible. When you are already in the apartment, make sure that nothing is missing in the apartment or seems broken, the best time for landlord to replace or fix anything you believe might be necessary is at the beginning of your lease.
Carefully read through the contract and pay attention to details. We listed a few points you need to make sure are included in your lease contract:
- payment method, the recommended method is to pay via bank transfer to the owner’s bank account – ask your landlord for such possibility,
- the personal data of landlord and tenant,
- the duration of lease, we do not recommend signing 12 months contracts if you are not sure how long will you stay in Poland – ask landlord for lease notice period (in Poland usually it is from one to three months),
- the costs of lease, and what it includes, utilities such as gas, water and electricity are not always included in the rental cost, and are normally for the tenant’s expense,
- the payment deadlines,
- the deposit and the form of return, the deposit should be returned at the day of tenancy ending, or taken as a payment towards the last month’s rent.
What you should you do before move out?
Here are some tips before you move out from your flat. It is pretty important to keep them in mind if you want to avoid losing the deposit and leaving your crib in a bad atmosphere.
- put furniture in their original position (if you have changed it),
- clean up the flat to the state in which it was on the day you moved in,
- repair the damage that you caused,
- keep receipts for furniture that you had to replace,
- inform the landlord about the flat related problems and keep him up to date, don’t hold off it till the day of your move out if you want your deposit to be returned,
- you might take photos to prove you left the flat in good order, these could be useful evidence later if a dispute arises over your deposit,
- if your tenancy agreement states you must get the property professionally cleaned, you may have to provide receipts to prove you’ve done it
Types of accommodation available in Poland
If you are an international student you might take the advantage of living in one of the university dormitories. For those ones who prefer better living conditions or value privacy living in an apartment could be a better option.
Public Dormitories – the cheapest option for the least demanding ones, as well hardest to get. Usually students need to share the kitchen and bathroom with whole floor or at least few rooms. They belong to the universities and only a limited number can get a place there.
Costs: Start from 500 pln
Private Dormitories – dedicated to students but managed by private organisations or individuals. Private dormitories usually have better standard than public ones but the costs are much higher, especially for the ones who don’t want to share room with anybody.
Costs: From 900 pln
Private/Shared accommodation – If you are coming with friends to study or you already know any Polish people you would like to live with, then sharing the flat is a perfect option for you. The rent depends on location and size of property but splitting costs is the best option. If you prefer to live on your own, studio flats are really common especially in central location. The properties in Poland are usually furnished so there is no need to organize multiple trips to Ikea if you’re fine with the offered standard.
- Studio flat is a perfect option for those who prefer to live on their own, studio flats are really common especially in central location. Prices of studios depend on the size and the standard of flat. Usually studios are about 30 meters and consist of a living room with kitchen, bathroom and hallway,
- 2 room flat are usually about 50 meters and consist of a living room with kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and hallway; often, there are also two separate bedrooms, separate kitchen and bathroom,
- 3 room flat or more are about 60-70 meters and consist of a living room with kitchen, bathroom, 2 bedroom and hallway; often, there are also three separate bedrooms, separate kitchen and bathroom.
Do you need assistance in searching for perfect accommodation in Poland? Contact Pepe Housing team! We will help you to find the offer that meet all your requirements. Browse through active listings at www.pepehousing.com.