How to choose an apartment

Posted by on Jan 9, 2013 in Featured, Practical tips | 4 comments

Do you look for a new apartment for rent? What are the facts you should consider? What should you be careful about? Here are few things and tips!

Consider a location

Think about the distance from your school or job. But not only distance measured in kilometers but how much time it take to get there? What is the bus connection, traffic jam etc..

If you like social life and especialy night lif it is also better to choose a location which is close to the city center. During the night a bus connection is not so good and you will appreciate walking distance. And in the morning you can wake up and easiely take a bus to your job even it is far away.

TIP for you: if you use public transport check www.idos.cz

Luxury or saving some money?

Usually you should get appropriate value for your money. If you want to save money you have to agree with older apartment. On the other side if you want newly reconstructed apartment, new bathroom, kitchen etc. you should be willing to pay a bit more. Everything costs money, even a reconstruction and you should count with a fact that your landlord does not run a charity so he/she wants some return of his/her investment.

Furnished or unfurnished apartment?

Unfurnished apartments are usually cheaper! The difference is usually about 1 500 CZK up to 6 000 CZK a month. In general you will find unfurnished apartments with basic equipment such as kitchen corner (but without equipment like microwave oven, kettle etc.), oven and cooker. Quite often you can also find a fridge and freezer, but it is not all the time. Other furniture is up to you.

Where to find a cheap furniture? You can try well known and cheap stores like Ikea or in each bigger city you can also find some shop with used furniture.

TIP for you: website with used things – www.bazos.cz or www.aukro.cz (similar to ebay.com).

Since the market of apartments for students and international workers is growing, you can also find more and more apartments fully equiped with washing machine, and dinning table. In bedrooms you will have a bed, wardrobe, study table with chair, curtains. Living rooms will be furnished with sofa, coffee table.

In big cities as Prague and Brno there are also many apartments with more than standard furniture so you can enjoy big LCD TV, fully equiped kitchen with washing machine, microwave oven, cattle, cups and dishes in general. Of course, count with higher rent and security deposit.

TIP for you: when moving into a new apartment make some pictures of the current condition of the apartment. Plus make a list of all furniture and equipment. It will avoid problems when you are moving out.

Security deposit

It is good to ask your future landlord about security deposit he requires. Usually it is one or two month rents. This security deposit is only for the purpose to secure that you will not demage anything or you will not leave without noticing it to your landlord (by the czech law you have to announce it 3 months in advance if it is before your rental period).

It sometimes happens a landlord will require a higher deposit. It is usually due to more expensive equipment in the apartment.

Time period of a rental contract

Make sure that you know how your rental contract finishes. Do you have a contract for unlimited time period? Or for certain time period? Make sure that you also understand how your contract ends. Some contracts are for one year only. But if you do not announce to your landlord that you do not want to extend it it will be extended automatically – this is one of the most missunderstandings between landlords and tenants.

As mentioned before if you have regular rental contract for unlimited time period or you want to finish your contract earlier you have to announce this to your landlord 3 months in advance.

This 3 months periods starts from the first day of the next month after a landlord recieved your letter with your will to finish it earlier. Officialy this will should be written and signed by your landlord. Or you can send it by post by a special way (“doporučeně”) so you have a prove from a post office that you sent it.

TIP for you: In genaral, make sure that you know details about a time period and condition when you want to leave earlier.

Rent and utilities

Usually the amount for a rent is clear. But a problem can start when you do not make sure about utilities and energies. What you usually pay beside the rent?

  • electricity
  • gas
  • water
  • common places (electricity, cleaning etc. fof common places such as stairs, hall) – payment which is divided among all apartments in a house
  • garbage
  • internet connection
  • TV and radio
  • chimney
  • insurance of an apartment/house

Make sure that you know how those payments are paid. Sometimes you even do not know about all those payments because a landlord usually includes it in the rent. Some landlords want you to know about all payments so they will give you a list of all those payments.

So if some landlords requires you to pay for garbage and common places and some do not it does not mean that one landlord is nice and the other one is not. All those payments have to be paid everytime. Only that sometimes you know about it and sometimes you do not.

Insurance is usually voluntary but there are some landlords who ask you to pay for the insurance (about 100 CZK/month)

All utilities are usually paid by a landlord so you will usually pay everything together in one paymenth together with a rent. EXCEPT ELECTRICITY AND GAS. Sometimes you will pay it to the landlord as well. But some landlords will ask you to transfer it on your name and you will pay your bills directly to a company. You can read about this topic more during the next days in another article.

TIP for you: you can save some money (up to few thousands CZK each year) by choosing right gas or electricity company (e.g. Global Energy) – ask at vojta@foreigners.cz

Price

Check more apartments in the neighborhood, with the same size, number of rooms, similar standard and condition so you can get a reasonable price and you do not over pay it. Do not forgot about details such as a reconstruction etc. which can “allow” a landlord to higher a price a bit.

Most of clever landlords knows that they have to keep an average price. Otherwise tenants will move out soon. And nobody wants to spend time on looking for a new tenants. Plus it will usually mean that an apartment will be out of tenant for one month which means a big loose for a landlord.

TIP for you: try to persuade a landlord that you will stay long (more than one year) and without any problems (of course, do not lie!!!). Did you rent some apartment before already? Give your future landlor a possibility to contact your old landlord who can prove that you were a good tenant.

Conclusion

I hope that all tips and recommendation were useful for you. We wish you a good choice while choosing a right apartment to rent for you! Stay tuned for other articles about energies in the Czech Republic, How to choose an apartment from abroad and other useful topics.

CEO and co-owner at Foreigners.cz agency. “Entering a foreign country usually brings about a wide variety of feelings. Our aim is to encourage and deepen the positive ones.”

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4 Comments

  1. “Most of clever landlords knows” does not sound right.
    “landlords” is plural and “knows” is third person singular. That does not match!

    ..big loose.. should be “big loss”

    out soon. And nobody wants..
    Why start a sentence with And? You would not do that in your language either.

    • Hello Camie! Thank you for your comment and correction. The main goal of our blog is to provide useful and valuable information for foreigners living in the Czech Republic. Information which everybody can use in real life. Of course, we should not make mistakes but unfortunately sometimes it happens. Again thank you for your comment. Next time we will correct it better.

  2. interesting when you are not from this coutry…for exemple, i didn’t that they are more then one gas company with différent prices…can you tell me names of gaz and eletricity companies ?

    • Hello Mattern, you there are a lot of gac providers. For example: Global Energy, Bohemia Energy, EON, RWE etc. There are a lot of them. If you want to see how much you would save just send me an email to vojta@foreigners.cz and let me know where you live, how big your apartment is, what is your curent gas provider. The best would be if you have some old invoice as it is the best way how to check how much you would save. In general, avarage apartment can save about 3 000 – 6 000 CZK/year.

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