WROmigrant – Apartment
It is worth starting your search for a flat in Wrocław by choosing the district you would like to live in and determining the maximum amount you are able to spend on the flat. You can search for new accommodation yourself by browsing the ads on the Internet or through a real estate agency (in the latter case, remember that the agency charges a commission for its services). Most new offers appear in September, due to the academic year starting in October. There are many apartments on the market with different sizes and standards – you will surely find something for yourself!
In this chapter of our guide you will find out:
- how to find a suitable accommodation;
- what to keep in mind when concluding an apartment lease.
How to find an apartment
One of the first decisions that everyone has to make after arriving in Wrocław is whether to rent or buy an apartment. Start looking for a flat before coming to Poland – because, oftentimes, many people want to rent an apartment at the same time of the year. You can look for apartments in Wrocław on your own on the Internet or with the help of a real estate agency.
Real Estate Agencies
If you would like to use the services of a real estate agency, please remember that agents charge a minimum of half month’s rent up to one month’s rent as a commission for finding an apartment for rent (when you buy an apartment, their commissions range from 1% to 3% of the sale price). However, working with a real estate agent is a good way to protect you in the event of a dispute – the agent will help you clarify the matter. An agent will also draw up a flat lease agreement and advise you on legal matters.
Looking for a flat on your own can be done in many ways: by asking friends, browsing through advertisements, but mainly on the Internet. There are various internet websites that will help you find and rent or buy a flat directly from the landlord. You can search for current advertisements, e.g. on Gumtree, OLX or ADA. You can also find a lot of housing ads on Facebook, where there are many groups for migrants living in Wroclaw (check “expat Wroclaw” or “live in Wroclaw”) or local groups for people looking for or offering apartments and rooms for rent (check the following phrases: “mieszkanie do wynajęcia Wrocław” or “Wrocław mieszkania pokoje”).
Conclusion of an agreement
When you rent a flat, ask the landlord to sign a contract with you – this will keep you safe and you will be able to claim your rights in the event of a dispute with the landlord.
These are the important issues that should be regulated in the agreement:
- Detailed determination of the condition of the apartment as of the date of the lease – it is best to take photographs and keep them for future reference.
- Details of the tenancy terms – a list of people who can live in the apartment, the amount of the deposit and whether it is possible for tenants to make some changes to the apartment.
- Details relating to the agreement term and notice period. Remember that if you concluded an agreement for a definite period and if the conditions specified in the agreement have not been met, such agreement CANNOT BE TERMINATED before the end of the agreement term. But you can always try to negotiate with the landlord.
If you finally choose a flat, please remember:
- There is no standard template for lease agreement – it can also be handwritten (you can find lease agreement templates on the Internet).
- However, the agreement must contain all data about the parties to the agreement and its subject matter, such as: data concerning the landlord and the tenant (first and last names, dates of birth, residence as well as correspondence address, PESEL numbers and numbers of documents certifying the above data, e.g. identity card issued in Poland or your passport and residence card) and data concerning the subject of the lease agreement together with the exact address of the premises (city, street, building and apartment number). The agreement shall clearly state the amount of the rent and the rent payment deadlines and, if the landlord would like to receive a deposit, the deadline and conditions for returning the deposit.
- The apartment lease contract should be concluded between the landlord and the tenant of a given apartment in writing in Polish.
- Specify clearly in the contract who is responsible for paying the utility charges. In the annex to the contract, it is worth to indicate the status of the meters, e.g. electricity, water, gas. This data will help you find out what your actual media consumption was during the period you were living in the premises.
- Include a description and technical condition of the apartment at the time of handover in the contract. It is worth to make photographic documentation of the actual technical condition of the apartment at the beginning of the lease, it will be useful while handing over the apartment.
If in doubt, consult a lawyer within the Citizens Advice Bureau (see Chapter 14).