Accommodation in Romania: scams you should look out for

Hi,

Committing to renting or buying accommodation when you’re new to or have not moved to Romania just yet is always a stressful endeavour. Would you like to help us in putting together a handbook of what to look out for when house hunting in Romania?

What are the most common scams in Romania?

What are the red flags to look out for when scanning through adverts?

Is there a list of registered or accredited landlords or real estate agencies in Romania?

What authorities should be sought should one come across an accommodation scam?

Please share your experience,

Bhavna

The real estate agencies aren't regulated in Romania, despite they have to follow some general laws.

Look after big real estate names in the Romanian market, like Remax, Imoteca etc.

Try to pay no more than 50% fee from the monthly rent and only one month in advanced.

Like in any other country you might find scams and scammers. Seek for some local recommendations.

Hi,
I have been living in Bucharest for over 6 years and have looked for apartments for other Japanese for numbers of times. I'm not sure what is exactly called scams here but generally apartment hunting is the hardest process to move in.
The problem happens mostly when you look for your apartment. Especially if the rent is under 350 eur including tax, we must prepare ourselves.
If we try to apply for a resident permit in Romania, the lease agreement must be registered at the local tax agency called ANAF. It means tax and social insurance will be put on the top of the rent, which ends up being about 25% of the rent. Most of the owners under 350 eur would want the tenant to cover it. Besides, most of those owners don't want to be involved with ANAF. Then what happens ? owners cancel the meeting in the morning of concluding a lease agreement, or tell the tenant a lie that it's tenant's obligation to register it at ANAF, or knock on the door at the first night after moving in, and show the tenant only the last page of a secret new contract to force the tenant to sign.
I should not be naming the area but those owners are often seen in mid~west area of Bucharest. Kind of conservative zone. However they are everywhere of course.
And as mentioned above, some agents are the trouble too. I think most apartment seekers check OLX or other similar sites. You should check if the "owner" posts many other properties too. If he or she does, most likely it's an agent pretending to be the owner. and the property that you like doesn't exist. It's just a bait. Once you call the number, you'll get to have many calls from several different phone numbers, but you never get to see the property that you liked. and you pay 50% of the monthly rent most of the cases.
I have once worked with an agent. They seemed ok to me. The day before when we were supposed to conclude the contract, they emailed me a draft of the contract. It looked good too. The next day, I signed and paid the rent and guarantee as promised. It was when I tried to cancel the contract a few years later. I noticed the clause about guarantee was deleted on the actual contract that I signed. it was the clause to stipulate my guarantee shall be reimbursed when the contract is expires.
My conclusion is it's all up to the owner's personality. Don't expect from low budget apartment. Find the owner who has a job, common sense, is educated, and hopefully got the property by inheritance from parents.
From my experience, in order to see 5 apartments, you must call at least 20 ~ 30 apartments. and if you can conclude a contract with one of the 5, you are lucky.  Good luck.

350 euro per flat is a really bargain in Bucharest and for sure you won't  find it in a good area. Regarding the ANAF contract, almost no one will want to deal with it at this money. Bucharest became an not so cheap city as it was known before. If you are looking for a good Studio prepare 450 euro or 600 for a one bedroom flat in your budget.

ANAF registration is not necessary in two cases. One is when the owner is a company. Second is when it’s comodat contract. However comodat contract needs to be notarised and the owner has to represent their property deed.

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