Renting an apartment can be risky, even if you think you found a perfect place because it is located close to your work or it’s got the most amazing view and you love it, but here is the thing: you might want to think before. After coming to another country, you’ll probably search the internet and look for a place to stay, but you may happen to pay for an apartment that may not exist, so it is important to know how to rent safely in order not to get scammed and have a good eye for offer details. Depending on the purpose of your stay, its length and your budget you can determine what you should look for, but you should know where to find an apartment and have a general overview of price first of all.
On our Facebook groups we usually see expats asking how to rent, which is why we’ve decided to write this guide and we hope this information is valuable, as the property market is booming and the prices in are well above 7000 zł/m2.
Do not hesitate to ask questions and additional photos – if the landlord refuses to provide them, use Google Maps to check whether the apartment location exists – and get to know the average market prices: if you find a flat costing half the price it may be pure scam. Moreover, there are 3 types of building containing apartments: ‘kamienica’ (an apartment with a high ceiling, generally cheaper) ‘blok’ (more modern, but without facilities) and a very rare new building (with security, parking place, a gym and high rental prices). According to a recent study, over 15% of people in Poland rent, a growing trend, although we are still behind such countries as Germany, where 54% rent flats, and this obviously has to do with the high prices.
Some landlords providing accommodation ask for fees upfront, but in Poland it is not a rule and a usual rental period is twelve months, so make sure that you will stay in the apartment for such period of time as the deposit for the flat is usually equal to one month rent. For foreigners who don’t know the language, you can use portals which are in the English (such as rentflatpoland.com), contact a real estate agency (for a fee, but sometimes the owner pays it) or talk to polish friends or at work to find other people looking for an apartment. We assume that if you are reading this article there are few things you need to know, and the main one is where to look: online (the most popular portals are Gratka, Gumtree and AirBnb), through friends (if you have friends in a city they can ask around, it’s the safest option), through property agencies (this is probably the most costly option, but there are some advantages such as: normally they speak foreign languages, there are clear terms and conditions, and there are quite many of them), or on Facebook (where you can find people renting apartments in Warsaw or Krakow.