New expats in Prague will be able to find accommodation in the city to suit their budget, needs and lifestyle. Although Prague is rather affordable, due to a recent increase in demand, expats should expect accommodation costs to be similar to the rest of Europe. There are a couple of things expats can do to decrease the costs involved, though, such as choosing to live outside of the city centre and in an apartment or shared apartment as opposed to a house or villa. Regardless, expats will most likely find that accommodation will be their biggest cost.
Types of property in Prague
Depending on how much they’re willing to spend, expats will be able to find apartments with one to three bedrooms that range in style from modern luxury buildings to soviet-era blocks. The latter, which are situated in the districts outside of the gorgeous city centre, are often in various states of disrepair and, unless expats are able to view them before signing the lease, are best avoided.
It is also rather popular among young expats in Prague to rent a room in a shared apartment in order to save some money. Those wanting a larger home for their family will be able to find houses and villas in Prague.
Accommodation can come furnished, semi-furnished and unfurnished. Those who do not plan on staying in Prague long term may want to find a home that is already furnished to save them the costs of either having to ship in furniture or buy it once in the city.
Finding property in Prague
Accommodation can be found in newspapers, online, or through a local real-estate agent, and should ideally be secured in person and in advance. If it is not possible to travel to the country before moving there to secure accommodation, the next best option is to initially stay in short-term accommodation while looking for something suitable for the long term.
Websites aimed at the expat market will generally have listings posted at an extreme mark-up compared to what a local would pay. Those with a good grasp of Czech who are able to understand and navigate local websites will be able to find accommodation at cheaper prices.
Renting accommodation in Prague
When renting accommodation, a deposit equivalent to one or two months’ rent is usually required. By law, this deposit should be returned to the tenant in full within one month of vacating the property. This is provided that it is left in a good condition; if anything is damaged or broken, costs for repair or replacement may be deducted. To avoid being accused of causing damage that was already there when moving in, expats should take date-stamped pictures of any areas of concern before the start of the lease.
Lessees who find an apartment through an agent will also have to pay a commission fee, which is usually one month's rent, once they have found an apartment.
Leases can be for either an indefinite term or a fixed term, such as six months or one year.
There are usually two versions of the lease: one in Czech with the other being an English translation, but in any legal matter the lease in Czech will be prioritised. Expats should have a Czech-speaking friend or preferably a professional translator look over the two contracts to ensure that the terms in both are the same.
Utilities are usually not included in the rental price and are to be paid by the tenant, but expats may be able to find accommodation for which the utilities are included. If not, expats should keep this extra expense in mind when drawing up their budget. The lease should specify the various utilities to be paid to the landlord in addition to the cost of rent.