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Poland is a great place to get a higher education, do business, or enjoy the country’s culture and lifestyle. Coming to Poland, one may wonder how the process of searching for accommodation goes. To a great extent expats in Poland can be defrauded and made to pay for an apartment that doesn't even exist. Thus, we would like to provide some useful advice and tips on renting a flat in Poland in a secure and easy way.

How to assess a housing offer

The main rule here is to pay attention to all the details of the offer description. Do not hesitate to ask the owner or agency any questions about the property, the neighbourhood, the transport, and possible housemates. Other queries may be about the additional cost of electricity, water, gas and the internet, previous damages to the property, and appliances, such as a washing machine and a microwave.

Before committing to the place, we advise you to spend some time in the area and check for the closest supermarket around, a pharmacy, a bus stop, etc. Make sure you feel comfortable walking around by yourself, and you are not far away from the things you like having in your everyday life (e.g. a park, a cinema, etc.).

If you have arrived in Poland with your pet, bring this up before you start viewing places to save yourself time, as many owners don't allow pets in their properties.

Arrange a viewing of the place

You have seen the advertisement for the place, and you want to arrange a viewing. The main thing to keep in mind at this stage is that you shouldn't pay any money for the viewing. Therefore, if they ask you for a fee that covers the tour, then consider this illegal, and avoid future contact with this person or the agency. Another thing to keep in mind is that you must not pay the rent and deposit before you have seen the apartment and signed the contract.

When viewing the apartment for the first time, it may be difficult to figure out what you should look for precisely. First of all, pay attention to the manners of the owner — is the person pushy or even aggressive, do they get irritated by your questions, do they cross the boundaries by asking too many personal questions? The owner is someone you will have to be able to trust — think of emergency situations where you need immediate action to be taken by the owner regarding a damage for example.

Examine every room, furniture, and corner, and immediately point out any damage to avoid being held accountable for it at the end of your lease. Ask the owner to repair it, or negotiate a possible discount on the rent.

If you are sharing the house with other people, trust your instinct and first impression — ask yourself the question: Can I live in harmony with them? Housemates are often a good source of information about the property and the surroundings.

What to consider before you sign the lease agreement

Usually, in Poland, the lease agreement is signed for 12 months, and most of the time it is impossible to terminate the agreement sooner that the stated date. Therefore, you should think it through before you commit to long term rental. The deposit for the apartment is usually equal to one month rent, and it should be clearly stated in the lease agreement.

The contract should also include:

  • The payment method: We recommend you to pay via bank transfer to the owner’s bank account so that you have a receipt.
  • The owner's and tenant's contact details
  • Cost of utilities and other extra charges
  • The duration of the lease
  • Payment deadlines: Is it at the beginning or at the end of each month?
  • Details about how and when you will receive your deposit back.
  • The maintenance of the apartment

It should be the owner who is responsible for the maintenance of the apartment. Read your lease contract very carefully because you may find hidden or not unclear clauses, which may transfer the responsibility to you.

 Useful Links: http://pepehousing.com/

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