Tips on finding an apartment in Prague

A relocation consultant offers insight into the real estate rental market

Pavel Knor is one of the relocation consultants at the Foreigners Relocation Agency. His job is to arrange the best deals for expats coming to live in Prague and find the perfect apartment according to their needs. He offers some useful advice on how to find the perfect flat in the Czech capital.

Q: Pavel, please, tell us, how long does it take to find a place to rent in Prague?

A: Everything depends on what you’re looking for and your requirements.
If you’re looking for a fair priced apartments in the center, there’s high demand: an offer can be gone in less than 48 hours. Small flats with an option for short-term leases are also hard to get. I suggest starting to search at least one and a half months in advance and be ready to act quickly, or you’ll be left with only the worst options.

Q: What should expats know before they start looking?

A: First of all, to avoid offers on Facebook (if they are not a real estate agency itself), as I have come across many scams. Sometimes we meet people who sent money before even signing a contract, so always be careful!
Set your priorities and act accordingly. Decide whether you want to arrange everything with the owner (always establish a direct contact with them) or whether you feel safer with an agency. Compare the offers, keeping in mind the commute time to your workplace or school and other parameters that are important for you.

Q: What are the usual rental prices for an apartment?

A: Prices in Prague are peaking now, with a range going from 13,000 CZK up to 35,000 CZK. They depend on location, size, and type of furnishing.

Q: What locations would you recommend?

A; I really like Prague 4, 6 and 7. They all have great public transport options to the center and across the city. You will find plenty of parks and many activities, and still with reasonable prices.

Q: What should you be careful about? Like the cost of utilities if not already present in rent, heating for the apartment, etc.?

A: Well, carefully read the lease agreement: check what’s included in the rent.
Sometimes the tenant is responsible for utility payments, therefore those will be extra costs. When you decide to use our services, for example, we present all costs clearly and upfront without any hidden fees, we organize all necessary paperwork and check if all the utilities are up to standard.

Q: Are there any other extra payments such as a security deposit? How does it work?

A: In the Czech Republic is common for tenants to pay a security refundable deposit to the landlord, in order to cover any damages that could be done in the property.
It’s usually one month rent or more, depending on how the apartment is furnished.

Q: What does “kk” mean in a rental ad?

A: Kk stands for kitchen corner. It is common for new buildings that the kitchen is a part of a living area instead of a room by itself. So if in the apartment is described as 2+kk, it means that there are two rooms and a kitchen corner, and so on for 3+kk, 4+kk, etc. On the other hand, if you read 2+1 in the ad it means that you’ll have two rooms and one kitchen room in the apartment.

Q: When I find accommodation, where can I buy stuff like bed sheets, towels, blankets if there isn’t any of it?

A: I suggest a company called JYSK, or classic IKEA. JYSK can be found near the center at Prague 9 and also in Prague 10. In both shops, you will find necessities for your home. Or you can contact us and we will help you furnishing your place.

Q: What if I don't speak Czech and my landlord doesn't speak English?

A: This scenario appears quite often; it’s one of the main reason why expats come to us and decide to use our services. We interpret everything and make sure all the legal aspects are in order. We make sure that the lease agreement is in both languages (Czech, English) and we follow the clients through all the lease period (typically 1 year). That’s one of our core strengths and how we differentiate ourselves on the market.

Q: Are pets allowed in the apartments usually?

A: As the civil code states, a landlord can’t forbid you to have a pet in a property, but pet-friendly apartments are quite rare. You need to negotiate with the landlord and maybe pay a higher security deposit.

Q: What about neighbors? Are they friendly here in the Czech Republic? Is there any standard relationship - shall I knock on their door and introduce myself when I move in the building?

A: Generally speaking, Czech neighbors can be a bit shy. English is not common for the older generation and new tenants must be the one to make contact. It is recommended to introduce yourself to establish a friendly relationship. Good neighbors are always great to have!

Q: Can I invite my friends or family to stay over in my apartment?

A: Yes, of course. Visits are not forbidden by any Czech law and close relatives and family-related persons are not restricted. By the law, visitors are allowed if they don’t stay for more than 30 days in the apartment.

Q: If I want to move out of the apartment how long in advance I have to announce?

A: The termination period should be arranged upon signing a lease agreement, the standard period is a three months notice, one month instead is quite rare. Generally, if a tenant wants to move out earlier than the arranged period he or she will lose the deposit unless both parties find an agreement.

Q: That’s all, thank you Pavel for you time!

A: If you still have any question or doubts about renting a flat in Prague, remember that you can always rely on the Foreigners offers and their services, suited for helping with any of the many obstacles an expat may find when moving to the Czech Republic!

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