Searching for an Apartment to Rent

It is important when you are renting apartment, especially if you have never been to Brno/Czech Republic to know exactly what you want, and what to look for.

It is also essential to be flexible because you cannot always find everything you are looking for in one place, and for the price you want. Make a list of priorities and decide from there.

So what kind of things should you consider to be sure you would be happy in your apartment in the Czech Republic/Brno or just about anywhere?

Location

Location is a top priority for me. There are a few important things to consider when deciding what makes an ideal location for you.

Of course most important is to consider its location in regards to your work/school. This doesn’t mean it has to be a 5 minute walk, but check the tram/bus lines to see if a location you’re considering has direct lines to the places you will be the most often.

You should also look into what grocery stores, Tesco’s, small shops, etc. are around. It really makes a difference – rather you just need something for breakfast, or something to drink with your liquor, it’s nice to have a convenient shop to buy necessities, but also a close larger store for buying items for the flat, and groceries to save you time and money.

– Don’t forget to see what pubs, bars, nightclubs, pharmacies, take out, and sit in restaurants are in the area. :)

Also consider the noise, lights from surroundings, and what the apartment will be like in other seasons. These things might not seem important, but they can really make a difference in an apartment.

My apartment is the last one in the row, therefore, it has an outdoor wall – and I believe it makes my apartment significantly colder than if I was in one that had apartments on both sides.  It is also next to a train station, so sometimes the trains passing by are loud – but I actually enjoy it :)

View from my balcony – Královo Pole

Neighborhood/surroundings – Of course you want to find a safe area in Brno for your own peace of mind. Also, if you leave for holidays and vacations, you want to know your things are safe while you are away.

Neighbors are always to be considered. Inquire about what the other residence in the building are like. Are there many foreigners? Students? Families?

Brno Neighborhoods/Areas  (most popular areas for living)

  • City center – Most popular, expensive, generally the apartments are very nice
  • Masarykova čtrt’ – “Masaryk district”  bigger houses & villas, most popular for Czech families to live in this area
  • Luzanky – The biggest park in brno – Close to veterinary & pharmacy schools & close to IBM & Red Hat
  • Kralovo pole – Close to veterinary & pharmacy school & IBM & Red Hat. Also has good transportation lines and cheaper rent
  • University campus/Bohunice Lískovec – Good for medical students, and close to AT&T. Cheaper rent but further from city center. This location has many offers of  apartments for sharing (i.e. 4+kk, 3+kk) and many studio apartment offers.
Brno Areas (locations mentioned above marked with red dot)
No where in Brno is really “unsafe” or “dangerous” You often hear (relative to Prague) Brno is a big village, and many foreigners like that charming quality. :)

Size & Roommates

You will want to decide if you want to live alone, with one, or several flatmates, and if  you don’t mind sharing one room, or if having your own room is a requirement.

First lets understand Czech apartment descriptions

  • 1 + 1 – This describes a flat with one bedroom + one other room – a small kitchen
  • 1 + kk (studio)- Again, this describes a one bedroom flat. KK stands for kuchyň, koupelna in Czech or, kitchenette and bathroom so this type of kitchen generally only has hot plates, fridge, and sink.
  • 2+kk – Separate bedroom + separate kitchen together with a living room. (People really like this option because of it’s size)
  • 2 + 1 (3 + 1, 4 + 1, …) – This is a flat with two rooms and a kitchen (or three or four rooms respectively
Examples of 1+kk & 2+kk

So, of course you have the option of living alone, renting with a colleague or friend, or you can rent in a shared apartment. A shared apartment is when you rent a room in an apartment that is already lived in but the current residence has an open room. It’s a great way to save money, and save yourself from finding a roommate on public forums,etc. :)

I live alone in a studio or 1+kk. This means its one room where the kitchen, table, and sleeping area is, plus a bathroom, and I have a balcony. This is perfect size for one person, and I really do enjoy living alone, living by my own rules. That being said, I wish I had at least one other person to share utility + Internet bills. Although relative to the United States, Brno’s apartment prices are reasonable – it always makes sense to save a few hundred crowns each month to live with at least one other person.

*As a foreigner you will most likely want an apartment that comes fully furnished, or at least partly, unless you plan on being in Brno for a longer period of time.

Utilities/Appliances

Make sure you understand the utility payments, because in Czech Republic it might be done a little different than your home country. For example, electricity is paid in monthly deposits then the electricity is paid in one lump sum once a year. Often times most payments are done online or you can directly to the providers bank and make the payment.

Also, many times a lease will state that utility usage are added up at the end of your lease, and you may owe, or get money back depending on how much of the utility used/lease agreement.

Check the appliances/amenities – Do you require an oven, should it be gas or electric, or is a hot plates/cook top enough? Do you need a dishwasher, washer, and microwave? Make sure you ask about these things, because there are a lot of variations in what they offer.

My flat offers the hot plates, sometimes I miss being able to bake some delicious cakes and cookies – but I have become pretty good at making meals that require one frying pan and one pot. :)

Also, make sure appliances in the flat are in good working condition. Check the oven/hot plates, inquire about the washer, showerhead, window and door locks, etc. Don’t just assume everything will work, make sure.

General Questions

  • pet policy
  • smoking policy
  • subletting (for summer if you go home, etc)
  • security deposit fee
  • mail (including deliveries from UPS/FedEx)
  • building security/how to let somebody in the building
  • Internet/cable provider for the area
  • where do you take the trash
  • sidewalks for jogging
  • closest tram/bus stations

Foreigners.cz

Foreigners.cz main service is finding you an apartment to rent. The agents are extremely helpful for foreigners moving into a new apartment, especially if you are in the Czech Republic for the first time.

You can let them know all your requirements by filling out the requirements form. They will contact you with offers that meet all the essential requirements you listed.

Foreigners.cz agents will assist you in apartment visits, communicate with the landlord because chances are – they wont speak English, arrange your utility bills, etc. :) If you are abroad, they will send you details, videos, and photos so you know what to expect, and they will answer all your questions so don’t forget to ask!

The best part about Foreigners.cz assistance is that they are with you through the entire period of your rental contract. They will help you with any problems that might come up with your bills, landlord, flat, etc. This service is highly valued by foreigners and clients.

What are the most important qualities you look for when searching for a new apartment? Did I leave any important things out that a foreigner should look out for when moving to the Czech Republic? :)

Foreigners.cz

One thought on “Searching for an Apartment to Rent

  1. I wanted to rent a flat in Beroun. Please share how much cost it would be and what amenities I would be getting

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