Renting an apartment in Poland: how much it costs, where to find it, how not to be trapped
Have you decided to move to a new country? Congratulations, it is already a huge step! However, in addition to submitting documents for a visa or residence card, you also need to find a place of residence. An apartment, a room, a hostel — the variety of options here is pretty decent. But there are also a lot of pitfalls in the real estate rental business. To make your life a little easier, we, the language school Together, will analyze the main difficulties and nuances in everything related to renting real estate in Poland in this article. And, just in case, we remind you that we are very happy to offer you not only to learn Polish at our school but also help with providing documents for crossing the border and finding housing.
How much does it cost?
Average apartment rental prices vary from city to city. The absolute champions in the value of housing are Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw, and Krakow. As of February 2021, the average price tag for real estate rent in Poland is as follows:
- Warsaw - an apartment up to 35 square meters will cost you 1900 zlotys per month, 35-50 square meters - 2400 zlotys, 50-70 square meters - 3300 zlotys, above 70 square meters - about 4100 zlotys.
- Gdansk - an apartment up to 35 square meters will cost you 1,500 zlotys per month, 35-50 square meters - 1,900 zlotys, 50-70 square meters - 2,400 zlotys, over 70 square meters - about 2,900 zlotys.
- Krakow - an apartment up to 35 square meters will cost you PLN 1,350 per month, 35-50 square meters - PLN 1,600, 50-70 square meters - PLN 2,400, above 70 square meters - about PLN 2,800.
- Wroclaw - an apartment up to 35 square meters will cost you 1,700 zlotys per month, 35-50 square meters - 2,200 zlotys, 50-70 square meters - 2,700 zlotys, over 70 square meters - about 3,600 zlotys.
For comparison: renting a small room in Warsaw will cost you from 700 to 1,300 zlotys, in Gdansk - from 600 to 900 zlotys, in Krakow - from 500 to 800 zlotys, in Wroclaw - from 650 to 1,000 zlotys.
Of course, these are approximate and average prices. The real price depends a lot on the condition of the apartment, the distance from the center, and the availability of different facilities in the area, as well as on the season and the adequacy of the apartment or room owners’ requests.
Where to look for?
As always in the difficult business of renting real estate, you have two options: pay an agent or roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Let's take a quick look at each option.
Real estate agents — are a logical choice when you do not have a lot of time and problems with money. You can easily find a Russian or Ukrainian-speaking specialist, use the options they offer especially to you. However, there is a huge downside — usually, the services of an agent will cost you the monthly cost of renting the apartment itself.
Well, for everyone determined to look for an option for living on their own, our selection of the most popular sites for finding real estate will come in handy.
- OLX.pl- the main site for selling and buying of almost everything. It’s an analog of the Russian-language "Avito", and it seems to be a place where you can find anything. For rental housing, you will need the "Nieruchomości" tab, where you can apply different filters and choose an apartment, room, house, and even garage. Do not forget to choose the city you are interested in and if desired sort the options by price.
- Glumtree.pl- one of the most popular portals for those who plan to rent an apartment or room. It is a free bulletin board with a huge number of options.
- Otodom.pl - the most convenient service for searching for real estate with the ability to filter furnished and unfurnished apartments and to get detailed information about the technical condition of the apartment.
- Domiporta.pl- a nicely laid out portal, among the advantages of which is a ready-made template for a message to the owner of the real estate. It looks something like this:
- “Jestem zainteresowany szczegółami oferty opublikowanej na domiporta.pl. Mieszkanie Praga-Południe, Saska Powierzchnia: 32.0 m2 Cena: 1,700 PLN Proszę o kontakt "
- Dom.gratka.pl - the main advantage of this site is the ability to search for an apartment or a room on the map. It is most convenient if you have already chosen an area for living and you know for sure that you want to rent a dwelling there.
We hope you won’t have any problem when choosing your ideal home, and you will understand everything. To help you, we have compiled an excellent dictionary.
Ogłoszenie - announcement
Wynajmować - to rent / to lease
Kaucja - deposit
Czynsz - monthly rent payment
Wynająć mieszkanie / pokój - to rent an apartment / room
Kawalerka - one-room studio apartment
Najemca - tenant
Współlokator / współlokatorka - roommate, neighbor
Dwupokojowe / trzypokojowe mieszkanie - two-room / three-room apartment
Pokój z aneksem kuchennym - a room combined with a kitchen
Umeblowane / nieumeblowane - furnished / unfurnished
Umowa najmu - lease agreement
Liczniki - meters (e.g. electricity)
Opłaty miesięczne - monthly payment
Przeprowadzka - moving
Zobaczyć mieszkanie / pokój - to see an apartment / a room
Wprowadzić się do mieszkania - to move into the apartment
Wyprowadzić się z mieszkania - to leave the apartment
Okres wypowiedzenia - term for termination of the contract
When to look for?
It is better to monitor options on the real estate market in advance, even if you do not get something you are looking for, you will be able to understand better the specifics of the Polish rental market and the price range. There are cases when people managed to find an apartment in Poland from their own country, as well as to agree in advance with the owner about all the nuances.
However, more often than not, really good offers are taken like hotcakes. You should consider renting a temporary home for a period of a week to a month so that you can find an option that suits you on the spot. Keep in mind that viewing the apartments will take a lot of time and effort. And when it comes to signing leasing agreements with property owners, sometimes occur some problems. Not to mention the peculiarities of the lease. Of course, we will tell you about all this in more detail.
What should you pay attention to?
The main topics for discussion with the property owner are:
Kaucja (deposit). On the Russian and Ukrainian-language forums, there are stories about the difficulties with the return of the deposit. Property owners are often reinsured and, when renting out apartments, not only ask for a deposit (it is approximately equal to the cost of one month of residence) but also draw up contracts in such a way that this deposit can be kept. Therefore, when negotiating, make sure that the paragraph containing information about the early release of the apartment with prior notice also contains the information about returning the deposit if this condition is met.
Czynsz (rent) in Poland, is not about electricity or gas bills. Czynsz includes the administrative expenses of the real estate manager (housing office) for the operation of the house. Garbage removal, staircase cleaning, security, lawn mowing around the house - all this is czynsz. And, depending on the location of a particular apartment, it can be 200 or 700 zlotys per month. And it is better to find out more about it in advance.
Liczniki (meters). Everything is simple here, electricity and gas bills are paid separately based on consumption. It is also better to clarify their approximate monthly consumption before signing the contract.
Media - additional fees, which usually include television and internet. May vary depending on tariff plans, speed, and quality.
Please be aware that fees for czynsz, liczniki and media may or may not be included in the advertised price. It is very important to find out these points in advance to understand the final cost of the apartment or room that you plan to rent.
Meldunek (registration) is an equally important question that is better to talk to the owner of the property in advance. You will need Meldunek to solve many problems, from submitting documents for a residence card to obtaining a PESEL - an individual tax number. Here we have two news, good and bad. Let's start, as usual, with the bad one. Unfortunately, not all apartment owners will want to register you in their apartment. Simply because by registering one more person, they will pay about 8% of the tax to the state. However, according to the law, having a lease agreement, you can obtain registration yourself, moreover, without the permission of the owner of the apartment. To do this, you just need to go to Urząd Skarbowy in your area along with the rental agreement. There you will be registered and immediately given a PESEL number.