There are many different options to suit the budget and requirements of expats looking for accommodation in Poland. Despite the variety of options, housing demand often outweighs supply, so competition over accommodation can be fierce in desirable areas.
Regulations for foreigners who want to buy property in Poland are complex, and most expats living in Poland rather choose to rent property.
Types of accommodation in Poland
The types of accommodation in Poland vary widely and include older as well as more contemporary styles. The quality of housing has improved in recent years, and there are many options for expats, from Soviet-style apartment buildings and freestanding homes with gardens to duplexes, semi-detached houses and spacious modern penthouse apartments.
Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available in Poland, although unfurnished options are more common. Standard appliances such as a stove, refrigerator and dishwasher are often supplied, but air conditioning is rare in Polish apartments.
Finding accommodation in Poland
Expats looking for an apartment or a house in Poland can find property listings online or in daily Polish newspapers. However, for expats unable to speak Polish, this may prove tricky and they may want to acquire the services of a real-estate agent. Once a lease is secured, agents usually require a fee equivalent to at least a month’s rent for their services.
When choosing an area to live in Poland, expats should consider its proximity to their place of work and their children’s school, as well as access to public transport. The further away from the city centre, the cheaper the accommodation, but the less access these areas have to services such as public transport, schools and hospitals. Rentals closest to public transport, such as Warsaw’s metro line, often cost more.
Renting property in Poland
Expats need to act fast after they find a suitable property as the rental market is quite competitive.
Making an application
Prospective tenants usually need to provide proof of employment, ID and bank statements to secure a lease in Poland. The landlord and rental agencies will then review applications before choosing a tenant they think is the best fit.
After the application is accepted, a handover day is arranged where the tenant usually signs a 12-month lease. This also gives them an opportunity to inspect the property and do an inventory.
Leases and deposits
A deposit of one to three months’ rent is often required by landlords, while some may even require six months' rental upfront. Rental agreements are usually flexible and decided upon between the tenant and landlord.
Once a tenancy application is approved and signed by both parties, the next step is to carry out an inspection of the property and do an inventory.
Tenants are required to give a few months' notice if they wish to terminate a lease early.
Utilities such as gas, water and electricity are not usually included in the rental cost and are paid for by tenants. Additional expenses could also include general maintenance costs for the building such as cleaning and gardening. Expats should keep this in mind when budgeting for accommodation.