If you plan to move to Poland, the first problem you will encounter is renting a flat or room. With our guide, you will avoid mistakes and the whole process will be much easier.
Go through many offers and compare them.
Don’t rush and don’t take first flat without comparing the prices. Ask the landlord questions about surroundings and make sure to check everything in person. Don’t try to rent flat by Internet, you should go to that place and check if everything is correct.
Don’t pay rent or sign the contract without seeing the apartment.
It’s important not to rely only on the photos. If someone don’t want to show you the apartment and wants you to pay or sign the contract before, it can be suspicious. It’s easy for them to stop contacting you, remove Facebook account. Make an appointment with them, they should show you the place. Check if everything is working properly and the contract is made correctly. Only then sign the contract.
Be careful if place is too cheap.
If something sounds too good to be true, it can be a trap. You should be aware what are average prices for renting a flat or room in particular country.
Below you can check average prices for renting a flat in the biggest cities in Poland:
Warsaw is the most expensive city. The average cost of a medium size flat with 2 rooms will be around 2800 PLN per month, for a room around 1000 PLN (it depends where the flat is located and how many people you live with).
A bit cheaper flats are in Wroclaw (2100 PLN), Cracow (2200 PLN), Gdansk (2200 PLN). In the less popular city like Poznan, Katowice, Lublin prices will be around 1800 PLN.
You have to also pay for the use of water, electricity, gas. Most of the time advance payments for water and electricity are included in the rent. But you have to remember if you will use more, all the underpayments have to be also pay by you. A monthly electricity and gas bill for a 30-50 square meter apartment will be around 150-200 PLN.
If something is much cheaper you should check everything, to know from where such a reduction came from.
Don’t pay money in advance
Never pay the money in advance without seeing the apartment and before checking the agreement. You have to be sure, everything is correct, to not lose the money.
Make sure for how period of time is the contract
In Poland, most of the time, contract is signing for at least 12 months. Make sure you will be here for such period of time, because if it’s on the paper, it will be hard to change that agreement later. You can also try to add some points, saying that you can finish the contract earlier, for example reporting it one month in advance.
Don’t agree for too big deposit. In Poland usually deposit for renting a flat or room is the same as the price for one or two month rent.
Paying the bills
Remember that your responsibility is also paying the bills. If you are living with roommates, bill fees should be divided equally.
How to find good locations.
If you are new in the city, you probably don’t know in which districts is good to live. Check opinions in the Internet. Also, it’s important how far this flat is from the city centre, your job, shops, buses. Remember that the closer to city centre, the prices will be higher. If the public transport is good, sometimes is better to live further and save some money. Think what can you really afford, you should calculate your monthly expenses and choose the best option for yourself.
What to check during viewing the apartment
- Make sure that the flat doesn’t have any hidden damages, if something is not working properly, you should mention that in the contract. Otherwise you can be blamed for it later and have to pay for repair.
- Ask about neighbours. Landlord may be not objective but if in the apartment already live some people, you can have chat with them about that. Living in quiet and peace is very important.
- Check the surroundings: do you have some good shops around, is it close to public transportation, is it quiet place or next to busy street. Make sure that you want to live there.
- If contract is in polish language, you have to ask about translation or have with you polish friend. Never sign anything you are not sure to understand completely.
Making good impression
During appointment with the landlord you should make good impression. This person wants to rent you a flat, so he/ she must check if you are responsible person. Dress smartly and be polite. They can ask you for your income and if you have stable job, to make sure you will be paying in time and there will be no troubles. Don’t say that you want to make a lot of parties in your apartment, because they usually want to have good relations with neighbours.
Check the contract
You may ask the landlord to send you copy of the contract on your email earlier to check carefully if everything is correct.
The agreement is concluded between the landlord and the tenant in written form. It confirms that landlord gives the tenant right to use the apartment for definite period of time, and the tenant must pay the rent.
You should pay attention on some points that have to be included in the contract:
- information about the amount of the deposit and when it will be returned to you. Usually landlord is returning the deposit when your contract ends.
- To which day you have to pay your monthly rent. You shouldn’t cross that deadline, because it may lead to consequences as contract termination. Most of the time payment is made monthly, by the 10th day of each month.
- it should be marked what the rental costs include. Sometimes gas, water, electricity is not included in the rental cost and you have to pay it separately.
- The rental time should be clearly indicated and how far in advance you have to report, that you want to terminate the contract if your plans change.
- In the contract, you should have information about landlord and tenant, to be able to identify them. Names and surname, dates of birth, address of residence, PESEL number of the landlord, passport number of the tenant. You should match the original I.D. with the number in the contract. Also, it should include full address of the apartment.
- Method of your monthly payments.
- Remember that it is illegal for the landlord to take any additional money for enabling the registration of residence by the tenant.
- Before signing the contract make sure that all the costs for electricity, water, gas were properly confirmed by checking the meters, seeing invoices and writing down the counter status. This information will help determine the actual use of the utility during the period of stay in the given flat.
- It is possible to prepare the photographic documentation of the state of the flat.
How to not lose the deposit
- Remember to leave flat clean and in the same state it was at the beginning,
- If you caused any damage you will have to repair, otherwise landlord can take money from your deposit for that,
- If some bigger problems in the apartment occurred don’t wait to last day to inform landlord about it,
In Poland, we have obligatory registering residence requirement. If foreigner wants to register in a rented apartment he needs to have lease agreement with the landlord. Only a foreigner staying in Poland on the basis of documents giving him the right to stay (e.g. a valid visa or residence card) may register.
With a flat rental agreement and a valid foreign passport and visa or residence card, go to the municipal/communal office competent for the location of the flat. At the municipal/communal office, complete the form in Polish for reporting a temporary stay of over 3 months.
You don’t have to pay for confirmation of registration and it is issue upon acceptance of the registration. The person receives a document confirming registration of residence (valid until the expiry of renting period).
If a foreigner does not have a PESEL number in Poland and he registers in Poland for a period longer than 3 months, the municipal / communal office will grant him that number.
Remember that in some offices, you need signed contract and also, the written statement of the landlord where he confirms that he agreed on registration of residence in his apartment.
If you were wondering how Poland compares with other European countries in terms of rented apartments, we have a small list for you.
Below you have average prices for monthly rent in some European countries:
- France: Paris – 11046 PLN
- UK: London – 9861 PLN
- Belgium – Luxembourg – 9597 PLN
- Switzerland: Geneva – 9059 PLN
- Finland: Helsinki – 7936 PLN
- Italy: Milan – 7286 PLN
- Netherlands: Amsterdam – 6628 PLN
- Russia: Moscow – 6012 PLN
- Spain: Barcelona – 5811 PLN
- Austria: Vienna – 4816 PLN
- Portugal: Lisbon – 4773 PLN
- Germany: Berlin – 4487 PLN
- Poland: Warsaw – 3271 PLN
- Slovakia: Bratislava – 3101 PLN
“To estimate the worldwide costs of housing, we considered the prices for three different types of apartments. For two of these types, we standardized requirements to Western preferences, with a furnished two-room apartment and an unfurnished three-room flat. We only looked at newly built apartments with a bathroom and kitchen. Prices included utilities (energy and water taxes), but not the use of a garage. To capture local standards, our survey asked for the price of an apartment of typical size, location and amenities for the respective city. All three housing options were weighted equally”.