Updated 2 years ago

Looking forward to settle in Bulgaria? Find out in this article how to proceed to find accommodation in the country.

Moving to Bulgaria probably means that you will have to find accommodation. Indeed, Bulgaria is a very welcoming country towards foreigners, providing a wide range of accommodation options for all budgets. But before settling there, you are advised to inquire on its different cities and their neighborhoods, as well as on the rental market's conditions, so as to determine what would best suit your needs. You should also make sure to compare rent prices before choosing as these can be higher in some regions compared to others.

Types of accommodation

You can choose among apartments, studios, houses, among others, according to your family situation and financial means. You are likely to find furnished and unfurnished housing units. Some of these may be equipped with the minimum appliances while others may include a stove, a refrigerator, a bed, a wardrobe and other basic accessories. Make sure to visit the premises and make an inventory of these before giving your consent for the rental.

Accommodation search

There are three major ways to search for accommodation in Bulgaria. First of all, especially if you are looking from abroad, you can view housing offers on general and specialized websites. You can also check out classified ads in local newspapers if you are already in the country. You will thus have a better idea of types of accommodation that are available and on rent prices. Finally, registering with a real estate agency will help you find accommodation according to your criteria more rapidly.

Indeed, real estate agencies have a better understanding of the rental market's trends and will be able to advise you in this regard. These will also help you negotiate with the owner, especially if you do not understand the Bulgarian language. International real estate agencies, on the other hand, will provide you with a translation of the lease agreement so as to avoid any misunderstanding.

 Good to know:

In case you seek the assistance of a real estate agency, you will have to pay agency fees which, in general, amount to a half or a month's rent.

Lease

Once you have found appropriate accommodation, you will have to sign a lease contract which should include the following:

  • both parties' identity information, address, telephone number and references
  • the contract's validity period
  • the rent price and conditions regarding any increase (frequency, percentage or equivalence, etc.)
  • payment mode and delay conditions
  • the deposit paid to the owner
  • rental conditions
  • a detailed inventory of the housing unit (furniture and accessories, electrical installations, water supply, etc.).

 Important:

The lease contract cannot be broken without prior notice. The notice duration should also be specified in the lease contract.

In case of delay in paying rent, a written agreement should be concluded between both parties with a one week's notice. Moreover, housing and property taxes are paid by the owner, but the lease contract can also specify otherwise. Make sure to verify these before signing.

Rent and security deposit

In general, you are required to pay the first month's rent in advance, as well as a deposit which is equal to one month's rent on signing the lease contract. In case the contract is not renewed following its expiry date, the deposit shall be refunded to the tenant. As regards the rent, it must be settled at the beginning of the month. Details regarding the payment conditions should be specified in the contract.

Obligations

Both the owner and the tenant are subject to certain obligations towards each other and towards the housing unit as well during the lease duration. For instance, on signing the lease contract, you agree to pay the rent on time as well as electrical, water and heating bills, take care of maintenance costs (cleaning, independent repairs, etc.). You also agree not to sublet the housing unit to a third party and to keep it in the same state as when it was let to you.

The owner, for his part, must make sure that the housing unit is appropriate to be occupied and should inform you in case there is any risk to your health or welfare. The owner is also required to have settled all previous charges prior to your moving in, including repairs and maintenance costs.

Finally, the owner has to refund the security deposit once the lease document has expired and in case it is not renewed. An inventory must also be carried out.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Housing in Bulgaria 
Expat.com – Real Estate Professionals in Bulgaria 
Imoti BG www.imotibg.com
Imoti.net bulgaria-property.imoti.net
Bulgaria accommodations www.bgaccommodations.com
Apartments Bulgaria www.apartmentsbulgaria.bg

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.