Updated 4 months ago

When planning a long stay in Poland, finding accommodation will be one of your main priorities. Here’s a brief overview of the local rental market.

Poland has been attracting expatriates from neighbouring countries, as well as from the rest of the world, for many years now. Aside from an abundance of job opportunities, the country also provides a variety of accommodation options. And although the local rental market is comparable to that of other European countries, housing is generally more affordable.

There are several things to keep in mind when renting in a foreign country: neighbourhood, type of accommodation, rent conditions and, of course, the price.

Types of accommodation in Poland

When looking for a place to live in Poland, you will probably come across all sorts of accommodation types: from studios, shared accommodation and dormitories to larger apartments and townhouses.

Naturally, renting a room in a shared apartment will be one of the most budget-friendly options. However, in this case, some time will need to be spent getting to know your landlord or potential roommates to make sure you can live together comfortably. It’s also important to enquire about house rules (if your landlord has any), how you will share utility bills, whether pets are allowed, and so on.

The next economical option would be a studio (or “kawalerka”) — a single room apartment containing a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

When renting an apartment, keep in mind some of the peculiarities of the local real estate market. For instance, an apartment block called a “kamienica” is basically an older building with traditional European architecture and high ceilings. Because apartments in these buildings are mostly aged, they are also less expensive.

Then, there are apartments in a “blok” building — these are typically newer and more modern and, thus, a bit more pricier as well. The most expensive apartments are the ones located in closed communities. Here, you will also find loads of other amenities including parking, security, recreational facilities (gym, swimming pool, etc.).

Lease contract and conditions

When renting an apartment in Poland, it is essential that you sign a lease agreement with your landlord to protect yourself from potential disputes. Most rental agreements are written in Polish, so it’s a good idea to ask a Polish-speaking friend or a translator to look through the contract before you sign it. Typically, a rental contract should include the following:

  • How long the apartment is rented for
  • Conditions under which the contract can be terminated
  • Rent and deposit amount, rent payment date
  • Inventory of the furniture, appliances and other items in the apartment
  • Gas, water and electricity readings on the day you move in

There are instances when you might be asked to rent an apartment without a written agreement, only a verbal one. While this is common practice in the country, it is strongly advised that you insist on a written contract, which will guarantee your rights as a tenant in case of a court dispute.

Rent prices

Rent prices are quite affordable in Poland, especially when compared to the salaries earned by expatriates. However, due to the large student population in big cities (Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Poznan, etc.), housing tends to be considerably more expensive there than the rest of the country. For instance, renting a two-bedroom place in one of the country’s bigger cities will start off from around $500 while the same apartment in a smaller city can be found for almost half that price. Of course, prices vary depending on the district and the standard of housing you are looking for.

Find accommodation

In general, you are advised to start looking for short-term accommodation from your home country. This will give you the time to get better acquainted with the Polish real estate market and different neighbourhoods on the spot once you have arrived and made your choice carefully as well as negotiate the conditions and rent prices with the owner.

You can start looking for long-term accommodation by browsing through the classifieds in local newspapers or online — note, however, that the majority of these will be in Polish and you might need to ask a Polish-speaking friend for help. The fastest way to look for housing is through a real estate agency. In this case, though, be prepared to face additional costs in the form of agent fees.

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