houses in Milan
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Updated 8 months ago

As one of the world’s fashion capitals and the most important industrial and financial hub in Italy, Milan attracts people like nowhere else. This popularity may come as a challenge to the expats who are in search of accommodation in this global fashion trendsetter.

Types of accommodation in Milan

While properties in Milan are some of the most expensive in Italy, there is a far greater choice in the types of housing units available to rent. Like in most Italian cities, apartments and room rental are quite common, but for expats who lack the knowledge of the areas and the language, this task can be very demanding. In search of better living conditions, whether it is a spacious apartment in the suburbs or a good location, one will have to rely on the efficient transport system and sound knowledge of the Milanese suburbs.

Neighbourhoods in Milan

Milan is a huge city, divided into nine different boroughs. Below are some of the most popular areas for expats (and Italians):
Brera, Duomo and Sant'Ambrogio, a charming bohemian district in the central area, brimming with art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and bars. These areas are mostly comfortable for those who want to reside in the centre or study (or do a Research) in the famous Catholic University of Milan. These are, without any doubt, the most beautiful areas of the city, but also the costliest ones. Room rental in these areas cost around ⬠700 or more.

Navigli, Colonne and Porta Ticinese form a borough which is famous for its network of historic canals. Slightly less accessible than the central zones, it does have an abundance of low-rise apartments, lower rent prices, and a wealth of shops, markets and restaurants. This is an excellent area for those who do not mind weekend music and crowds brought by the numerous surrounding bars. It is already out of the limited traffic area, and rooms in these areas cost around ⬠500. The Navigli area is easily reachable with the green metro line.

Porta Romana and Porta Vittoria are a beautiful part of the city, easily accessible with the yellow metro line. While the prices in Porta Romana are higher (around ⬠600), with only a few metro stations further, they become more convenient, though the surroundings are more suburban and considered less safe than the centre.

Lambrate and Città Studi are areas with many convenient prices, well organised with public transport and are especially comfortable for students who attend the Polytechnic University. These areas are generally considered safe as they are full of students. The further one goes from the centre, the lower the prices get. Another comfortable area for Politechnico students is Loreto where one can find a room to rent for around â¬400.

Porta Venezia is another popular neighbourhood with expats, thanks to its great public transport links and activities for young people. It is full of shopping streets and is well connected to the city centre with the red metro line. This area is generally expensive. However, some streets are considered less safe while they offer more convenient rentals.

Some popular suburban solutions offer the possibility to rent a house or a more spacious apartment. They are out of the 'extra-urban' area, and the transport has a higher fare. Some of these are Rho, Arese, Gorgonzolla, Abiategrasso, San Donato. Since they are more isolated from the city centre, they almost look like surrounding autonomous cities but are still part of the Milan metropolitan area.

Finding accommodation in Milan

As with finding accommodation in the rest of the country, it is advisable to do online research beforehand. Websites such as Wanted in Milan, Trovacase, Immobiliare, Subito are good places for research. Another good option is through contacting friends and open groups on social networks.

If you are a student looking for an apartment in Milan, check with your institution for vacant residences or use a website database such as Erasmus to find available rooms. Room sharing among students is widely common in Italy. Use a search tool like Roomster for a list of available rooms.

You should consider using a real estate agency if you are having trouble finding somewhere suitable. They are often able to show you properties before or as soon as they become available on the market, although fees are incredibly high. Popular estate agencies in Milan include Lar Immobile, House Solution, Tirelli & Partners and Knight Frank. There is a wide choice of agencies, so you can just choose one from the area that you're interested in.

Lease conditions in Milan

Generally, rental leases in Italy are valid for a minimum of four years, and they usually require three months of rent in advance for the deposit. Given that Milan prides itself in being a modern international hub, it is possible to get shorter term contracts. Note that these contracts are usually more expensive and this has to be agreed with the owner beforehand. Otherwise, an interruption of contract enables the owner to keep the whole amount of the deposit.

The most common types of contract in Milan are the Contratto di Libero Mercato (an agreement between tenant and landlord which lasts for four years) and the Contratto di Convenzione (an agreement between tenant and landlord which lasts for three years, with the option to renew for a further two years). Before leaving the apartment, the tenant has to make sure it is in the same condition as it was before or to pay for refurbishing such as cleaning and wall painting.

Good to know:

Some landlords will include water, electricity and additional expenses in the rental price, so check with your landlord before you move in.

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