Step by step guide
Apartment for rent in Poland. One of the first things, which you might want to look for, if you came from abroad. Also if you want to get some privacy and stop sharing your current place with your parents. Or, your not really matching roommate. Many things to check and much more to handle. The whole process is pretty complicated, so allow me to introduce a step by step guide which will help you to control it. As usual, bulleted list of subjects covered below:
- Where can I find an apartment to rent?
- What should be checked in the apartment?
- What should be checked in the contract?
- Additional costs.
- How much do I need to pay monthly?
- Check Up file to download
Where can I find the apartment for rent in Poland?
Quick introduction for spread of an apartments price and a little bit of statistics here. Data provided on the base of situation in October 2020. Starting with the price. The cheapest one I found cost 250 zł + media (around 100 zł ) per person. 70m2 with bathroom, living room, kitchen and bedroom shared with 5x other roommates in Żory (name of the city). On the other hand, the most expensive one is a luxury and full of prestige penthouse in center of Warsaw next to the Palace of Culture and Science. One of the highest floors (46th) of the Złota 44 skyscraper. Full of splendor, newest tech and handmade ornaments. 48 000 zł per month.
Examples mentioned above are just to show you a contrast between the most expensive and the cheapest place to rent. But what about price of regular flat? Apartment in Kraków, in the area with a good public transport connections, close to the downtown, with 45 – 50 m2, two rooms and good standard oscillates between 1600 to 2200 zł per month + media. We will come back to the regular price of medias in the further part of this post. Of course – the most important factors influencing the price are related with the mentioned already standard of an apartment, quality of household goods and furniture – if these are delivered. Also the age of a building, distance from a city center, public transport connections and the size of the city.
As we talk about most common portals to find a flat, you may find the links below:
Private owner or broker – what is the difference?
Some of the advertisements are published and managed by brokers. This means additional fee which has to be paid by you, if you will decide about choosing this apartment. Normally the fee which you need to pay is equal with value of monthly rent price. Broker will not show you a flat or tell you it’s address, until signing contract with them. Signing such contract issues you legally to pay the fee in case of positive decision about renting an apartment presented by broker. If you don’t take the flat, you pay nothing.
Broker in such case supposed to prepare the rent contract. He is also a middle man between you and the owner. On the other hand, we have an option with owner who is advertising flat on his own. This option is definitely cheaper and more advisable. In most of the cases, owners know much more about place and area around it. Anyway, in case that there is no other option then broker, you need to keep in your mind, that you may (and you should) negotiate his fee.
What should be checked in the apartment?
Otodom (one of the most popular search engines for apartments and houses for sell and/or rent) showed me over 34 000 apartments and 2 700 houses for rent in whole Poland. There is a pretty much offers to go through. How to choose the right one? Where shall I pay more attention.
- Windows – good quality windows will allow to save a lot of energy spent for warming up your place. The newest standard says about triple glass isolation, but double glass is an absolute minimum which will isolate you from noise and loss of the temperature during colder days. We also need to talk about daily light. It is the main element of our life – it stimulates us to act, motivates us and affects our well-being. Make sure, that the windows are in a good condition – everything supposed to open and close smoothly. The best time to test the window seals between the frame and window itself should be Autumn or Winter. A time, while we can literally feel from under the window, if cold air does get in to the flat.
- Walls – except visual aspect, walls should not have any fungus, humidity marks or discoloration (especially yellow) which most probably mean that apartment has an issue with temperature, isolation or leakage inside of the wall or ceiling. This always impacts our health really badly. Fungi produces various toxic substances called mycotoxins, as well as beta glycans, which can have a very negative effect on the immune system, reducing the body’s resistance. Staying in a fungus room for a long time can lead to serious diseases. Especially diseases of respiratory system, such as asthma, recurrent rhinitis or inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, including sinuses and larynx, breathing problems.
- Water – make sure that each single tap gives you the right pressure of cold and warm water. You might as well flush away the water in the toilet. Also, check the tap in a bathroom in order to confirm if water pressure is sufficient enough. If the water does not go out from the tap, as it refills the toilet, the hydro installation might be outdated or simply clogged by limescale. Limescale, except blocking water pipes and damaging domestic hot water heater, is especially danger for all “water using” equipment as washing machine, dishwasher or electric kettle. Water has to be clear and cannot “smell”. Any color or smell of a water might mean for example rusty pipes and in the worst one contamination.
- Localization – this is something what has to be define on your own first. Having in mind the distance, which you can accept to travel daily to your work, academy or school of your kids, check the accessibility of public transport in the area of chosen place. Also – if you drive a car – check how does the road to work looks during peak hours (between 7am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm). In such case, you supposed to ask about availability of parking place as well. Another important factors in here are the distance to the shop, park or your favorite gym.
- Additional storage – some of the buildings are equipped with additional storage, for example basement, attic or storage space for bicycles. Any additional space for storage would be always very welcome.
Contract – what must be checked – apartment in Poland
- Personal data of both parties – except first and the second name of owner and yourself, contract needs to contain the number of documents, which were used for identifying. It is especially important to show if you are about to get PESEL number.
- Price of the rent with all other charges – for example Cooperative rent, water, electricity or internet. Subject will be discussed in a following chapter of this post.
- Amount of the deposit and the conditions for its return. Deposit has to be paid at the beginning of your adventure with renting a flat. Normally it is equal with monthly cost of the renting an apartment (in some cases double monthly cost – it does depend on landlord) and will be given back, as You finish your contract and move out from the flat. Landlord of the flat may keep whole of the part of the deposit in order to cover damages made by you during using of his place (cost of the renovation, broken TV, hole in the sofa etc). Usually it is about honest rule – respect someone’s property, as it would be your own – this saves a lot of money and trouble. You might need to ask what the point of view from flat owner is, about any minor changes made by you in relation with colors or hanging the additional painting. Some of the landlords will allow you for any changes, but with condition that at the end everything will come back to original state. Otherwise they will call professional crew to fix it, which will be paid from the deposit. These things are worth discussing and clarifying with owner.
- Responsibility of breakdowns of household appliances – always ask about this. What in case, of breakdowns of household appliances which happened not from your fault (key sentence). Who pays for repair or replacing the goods? What in case of pipe leakage in the wall for which you have no influence. Fair landlord should always take this on his own.
- Payment terms – bank account number, due date for monthly payment.
- Duration of the agreement – regular contract should have take 1 or 2 years. It also needs to have the date and terms of terminating the contract. Contract may be terminated earlier under specific conditions, which supposed to be listed down as well. Read them carefully and acknowledge.
- Additional rental rules – e.g. rules about sorting out the garbage, number of your cellar stash or curfew. There is a law in Poland, which obligates you to stop with any renovations, loud listening to the music or making any other kind of noise which may disturb other tenants of the building after 10 pm. In the worst-case scenario, if anyone will call the police and you would be caught on making noise after 10 pm, you might get a fine for it.
- Protocol of delivery an acceptance (Protokół Zdawczo Odbiorczy) – documentation which proofs the current usage of water meter, electricity and any equipped household goods or furniture’s.
- Date and place of conclusion of the contract with the signatures of both parties.
Also, additional things.
Contract supposed to be delivered in English as well. You may request for delivering both versions – Polish and English. Do not sign up the documents which you can’t understand.
It’s also good to know your rights. Not everyone is aware that the owner of the apartment is not allowed to enter it unannounced by opening the door with his own key. He is also not allowed to come to the apartment to check or make any arrangements, unless he has agreed an appointment with us in advance.
The tenant also has the right to set a deadline for the owner to remove the defects in the premises. If, for example, the washing machine breaks down, and the owner has not solved the problem despite the expiry of this period, the tenant has the right to make repairs himself and charge the landlord with the costs. However, it is worth remembering that a conflict with the owner is usually very difficult to win – if such problems repeat, it is best to start looking for another apartment.
Additional rent – costs in case of apartment for rent in Poland
Except rent price to the owner, you will need to pay separate for water usage, district heating, electricity and internet. Some of these costs might be included in so called: Cooperative rent (czynsz spółdzielczy) paid to the Housing Association (spółdzelnia mieszkaniowa), which is a fee for taking care about the building maintenance. In case, when cooperative rent contains advance payment for water and district heating, then the housing association will give you annual, semi-annual or quarter settlements on the base of your real usage.
Regular cost of cooperative rent oscillates around 500 zł per 2x people, if it contains mentioned above water and district heating advance payments. In such case, last things which you need to cover are electricity and internet. I will use in here average price for energy which I pay for my self and regular price of 200mb/sec internet fiber connection with one of the common internet providers.
|Rent price for landlord||2,000.00 zł|
|Cooperative rent (water, heating, building maintenance)||500.00 zł|
|Monthly Total||2,670.00 zł|
As you may see, despite the fact, that the price for Landlord is 2000 zł, we need to take into the consideration and define additional costs, which in the case of regular apartment will be around 30% higher. Of course, this may variate on the base or different Housing Association and usage of electricity and the temperature which you have at your place. I wrote two articles dedicated to bills for energy in Poland. You may find usefull as well:
Summary of apartment for rent in Poland
Renting own flat gives a lots of advantages, joy and independence. But also, you need to be aware about all obligations related with it. I prepared quick check up list which you may use for yourself. Just to make the whole process more controlled and do not forget the key elements to check or ask.
Most probably you will go on with checking much more then only one flat. If you will use my checkup file and describe them on the separate sheets which I prepared, you supposed to be able to come back with your thoughts to your first impression about this specific apartment and remind yourself the most important things. I really hope, that this will help you with choosing your own square.
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