If you are moving to the Czech Republic, finding a place to live is one of the most important parts of the process. Not only from the perspective of having somewhere to live but also from the perspective of immigration or any other official dealings with Czech authorities.
Proof of accommodation (a lease agreement) is required for basically all types of long-term visa or long-term residence permit applications. You often need it even as an EU citizen (to get registered with the Foreign Police, get a registration certificate, a trade license etc.).
Finding a flat or a house to rent in the Czech Republic (and especially in Prague) has become very difficult within the last couple years for many reasons though. This article aims to provide a guide on different ways of renting a flat in Prague that will hopefully make the process a bit easier and less stressful.
Let’s dive in!
5 ways to rent a flat in the Czech Republic
1. Recommendation from friends and coworkers.
This is still one of the most efficient ways of finding a place to live in Prague, especially if you are moving here to work in a big company. Chances are that one (or more) of your colleagues are moving out and looking for replacement or someone they know is in such situation. Since they work in the same company, they might have a similar budget and/or requirements. Ask around and see what comes out of it!
2. Use real estate websites
There are many real estate websites in the Czech Republic but basically just two of them make a difference – the rest is generally just copying these two.
Sreality.cz – is the biggest real estate portal in the Czech Republic so it has the biggest amount of offers and can get you a pretty good idea about the prices and looks of the apartments in here. On the other hand, most offers there are through real estate agents which means that you will have to pay about 1 month rent commission. Also, not all offers are translated into English since not all agents speak English.
Bezrealitky.cz – this is the biggest “no agents” real estate portal in the Czech Republic. The obvious advantage of finding a flat here is that you do not have to pay commission if you find a flat here. On the other hand, hundreds of people reply to the same offers as you for the very same reason so landlords often do not even reply to you. Also, private landlords generally prefer Czech speakers as tenants since not too many of them speak English well.
3. Use real estate agents
Until recently, there have been no entry requirements to become a real estate agent in the Czech Republic and for many people it was the job they went to if they could not get any other job. This was reflected in the quality of the service (none in some cases).
This has been slowly changing so you can certainly find high quality real estate agents who provide great services to both Czechs and expats. There are still some bad ones too.
How the real estate agents work in Czech Republic might be a bit different than what you are used to from other countries. You are not the client for them – the landlords are. That means that they will only show you the flats they have in their database, they ill not look for other apartments for you.
On average, real estate agents in the Czech Republic charge 1 month rent as their commission if you choose a flat from them (say say you rent a flat for 20 000 CZK a month, you pay 20 000 CZK as the commission). Some agents charge less, some add 21% VAT on top of the rent, some charge the commission based on rent + utilities, some just based on the rent. Generally just count with one month rent and you should be ok 🙂
4 . Use services of Move To Prague relocation experts
We never truly understood the way the real estate market works here – why to charge 20 000 CZK if the rent is 20 000 CZK and 70 000 CZK if the rent is 70 000 CZK when the work you do is basically the same.
We also did not like the idea of people choosing just from what we have available in our database.
So, we have created a custom made search for you which means we sit together, discuss your requirements, wishes and must-haves and then we do a custom made search just for you. We work with private landlords, good real estate agents and management companies so we can offer the widest range of flats to you.
Since we also help our clients with all types of visas and residence permits, we know what the flat (lease) must include to fulfill the immigration requirements and we make sure you can use the lease for any official purposes.
Want to work with us? Fill in any of the contact forms on this website and we’ll be in touch with you with 24 hours to discuss your needs 🙂
5. Check our Facebook groups and Market place
Facebook might be a great source of flats, it just have some specifics you should be aware of.
First of all, there are many groups on Facebook focused on renting apartments in Prague, some of them even with tens of thousands of members and plenty of offers. The Market place is also pretty big. So, generally speaking, it might be a good place to check out 🙂
If you want to rent a place through Facebook though, you must be fast. You can imagine that if a flat is advertised in a group with 80 000 members, you will probably not be the only one contacting the advertiser and literally any minute you lose, might make the difference between the person contacting you back or not.
Another thing is that there are plenty of scams on Facebook. The real estate portals mentioned above are under regular “anti-spam” checks so you still can find fake advertisements there but they are generally deleted by the system pretty swiftly. Not that much on Facebook. It is also very easy to hide your real identity on Facebook or simply block someone you do not want to speak with so if you get scammed there, there is a very small chance Facebook will be able to help to get your money back.
We have actually written an article about the most common scams and other mistakes people make when looking to rent a flat in Prague. Check it out!