Updated 2 months ago

If you are planning to settle in the Czech Republic, finding accommodation will probably be one of your main priorities. It can be quite complicated at first, especially if you are not yet in the country. As you are not familiar with the local real estate market, a real estate specialist may help you in finding the ideal housing unit and tackle relating formalities. But you can still look for accommodation on your own if you commit to a little bit of research. 

Choosing accommodation

First of all, it is recommended that you never sign a lease contract unless you have visited the premises in person. You should rather opt for temporary accommodation (for a few weeks) before signing the lease contract. Consider touring the different neighbourhoods of the city where you would prefer to settle. Make sure to list your requirements in terms of surface area, amenities, as well as your budget.

Housing features

The Czech real estate jargon is quite particular compared to that of other European countries.

In fact, “1 1” refers to a studio comprising a bedroom and another room, the kitchen been considered separately. Moreover, “1 1” do not always include a bathroom. “1 kk” or “1 0” refers to a room with an integrated kitchen.

On the other hand, “2 1”, “3 1”, “4 1”, etc., refer to apartments with specific numbers of rooms and a kitchen (the first number meaning the number of rooms, the second indicating the kitchen). In general, apartments include a bathroom.

Sublet is also quite common in the Czech Republic. However, make sure to be signing a proper contract.

Rent prices

Rent prices in the Czech Republic vary according to the location, especially the neighbourhood. In general, these are higher when the accommodation is close to the city centre or in proximity to common amenities like transportation, schools, shopping centres, bars and restaurants, etc.

You will thus need an average of CZK 9,000 (over 347 euros) for a studio or apartment in the outskirts and around CZK 15,000 (about 580 euros) for the same types of accommodation in the city centre.

Real estate agencies

Finding accommodation in the Czech Republic can be quite tricky if you are not yet familiar with the real estate market. You can thus seek the help of an accredited real estate agency. Some real estate agencies may even help you to sign your lease contract in English or French. However, you will have to pay agency fees which should be equal one or two-month rent.

Find accommodation

You can also look for accommodation on your own if you do not wish to contact a real estate agency. Word of mouth can be of great help if you have friends and contacts on the spot. Housing ads are also available on the Internet and in local newspapers. You can thus have a better idea of types of accommodation available and rent prices.

Ads are also displayed in public places such as laundries, coffee shops, supermarkets and grocery shops, etc. So if you are already on the spot, pay a particular attention to these when touring the different neighbourhoods.

When looking for accommodation yourself, make sure you are dealing with the actual landlord. There are instances when one apartment may have several landlords or the property could be sublet, resulting in you paying more or signing the contract, not with the property owner.

It's also important to note that under Czech law, the landlords are not responsible for the upkeep of the housing unit. Thus, if you move into an agreement that is worn down or a building that is old, problems and additional costs may apply.

Lease contract

In the Czech Republic, lease contracts have to be written. These should include the following:

  • both parties' identity details (contact details, date of birth, identity card)
  • the property's address
  • description of the housing unit and annexes (basement, garage)
  • number of occupants and their identity details
  • authorizations and prohibitions (smoking, pets)
  • the intended use of the property (professional activities, individual accommodation)
  • the owner's and tenant's rights
  • charges (maintenance fees, bills, repairs, etc.)
  • the contract's validity period
  • rent price
  • any rise in the rent
  • the security deposit (a maximum of three months rent, to be refunded)
  • departure notice.
  • Annexes (inventory, minutes of handing over and taking back the keys of the housing unit, etc.) have to be produced in two copies.

In general, the owner may terminate the lease contract at any moment provided he sends a three months notice (in writing) to the tenant.

Paying utilities

It's a good idea to ask your potential landlord about the estimate of utility costs. You could request copies of previous bills or ask for a general bill estimate based on how much the previous renters were paying.

Once you have secured an apartment, you will need to create a SIPO account (Sdružené inkaso plateb obyvatelstva) — this will allow you to pay for utilities all at once. You can open a SIPO account at the nearest post office and utility charges will be automatically charged to your bank account on a monthly basis.

 Useful links:

Czech Republic Official Portal – Housing
Sreality
Sublet

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