//Updated August 2018//
Are you thinking of moving to Prague? If so, great choice!
Prague is an intriguing place to live – It has a thriving social scene, ever expanding international community (and the fantastic cuisine that comes with it!), not to mention there is always something going on, so it’s very unlikely you’ll ever get bored.
That being said, finding a place to live can sometimes be a bit tricky here (the rental market sure is HOT! I lost two flats before landing in my current accommodation).
If you know where to look and what to look out for you will be set up in no time though, so keep reading for a head start in your flat search.
WHERE TO LOOK
There are many different places to look for real estate in Prague, but if you’re not a pro at Czech, the apartment hunt and finding the best places can be a little daunting at first.
The links below are to sources that I have personally used a) when first moving to Prague with no Czech language knowledge at all and b) when deciding to purchase a property in Prague and gaining a little more Czech knowledge to help with that endeavour.
The links below are colour coded to show you which sites have Czech and English language supported. You’ll also find a “Czech 101 – Real Estate Dictionary” at the bottom to help you navigate the Czech only resources.
CZECH REAL ESTATE – SEARCH ENGINES
CZECH REAL ESTATE – ADVERTISING BOARDS
CZECH REAL ESTATE – INDEPENDENT REALTORS
CZECH REAL ESTATE – FACEBOOK GROUPS
These are currently the biggest groups on Facebook and generally well updated.Prague Apartments
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
When looking for a place it is always an great idea to know what to look out for in the local market, so I’ve listed some of the main areas to understand below.
If you would like to familiarise yourself with the Czech Landlord/Tenant laws too, the Czech 101 site has some great articles in English covering the most up to date versions.
Deposits: Generally deposits for rental housing will be one month’s rent. There are places (especially when foreigners are involved) that will request two month’s rent and legally a landlord is allowed to charge up to six month’s rent, but know that this is not the norm and that you can and will find another place if you are not comfortable with such an amount – I know I wasn’t!
Estate Agent Fees: Usually estate agents will also charge a fee in case they locate a flat for you, which is also one month’s rent. That being said be ready to fork out the following before you enter a flat in case you go with an estate agent:
1 month’s rent (deposit) + 1 month’s rent (estate agent’s fee) + 1 month’s rent (up front)
Additional/Utility Fees: Always check if the rent that you are offered is including or excluding utility fees. Utility fees will usually range between 1,000-3,000 CZK/month depending on the age of the building and the services it provides (i.e. apartments including porter or cleaning services will usually have higher fees)
Rental Contract Negotiation and Termination: Usually a rental contract will include a termination clause allowing you to give the landlord 2-3 month’s notice to end the contract. It is also sometimes possible to negotiate non-standard rental terms with the landlord (i.e. I asked my landlord to buy a new sofa bed as i wanted to host guests and so they put a clause in my contract stating that if I were to leave the apartment in less than 1 year, I would be liable for the cost of the sofa bed)
Payment of rent: Legally a tenant can pay the rent up to the 5th day of the month of the same month rent is due for. However, you will usually find that landlords will request you to pay up front for the month following. For example, my landlord requested and put in the rental contract that rent would be due on the 25th of the month prior to pay for the month upcoming. However, if for some reason I couldn’t pay I am legally entitles to pay the rent by the 5th day of the same month it is due.
Rental Increases: For fixed length contracts a landlord cannot request more rent unless there has been major reconstruction in that time. For contracts without a defined timeframe the landlord is allowed to propose an increase in rent up to the normal market rent in the area, but it can not exceed more than 20% within a 3 year time frame.
Housing Cost: As of 2018 the rental prices in Prague are rising considerably, however, it is a known fact that foreigners often end up in apartments far more expensive than than norm. On average you can expect to pay around 10-15,000/month incl. utilities for a one/two bedroom apartment slightly outside the city centre (i.e. Prague 4, 10, 5), but you will be looking around 15-20,000+ if you want to be in the city centre areas (i.e. Prague 1, 2). Native residents will often pay around the lower end of the spectrum (up to 15,000 CZK/month) for places nearer the city centre as it’s easier to gain connections and barter. Single rooms are usually to be rented in shared apartments for around 4,000-7,000CZK in varying parts of the city.
Xenophobia: Czech culture is not always the most foreigner friendly and as such it can happen that you ring up a landlord to enquire about a place and they will refuse to rent to you as a foreigner. This happened to me several times and though I am not sure if they are legally allowed to do that, I decided not to try and change their mind on this front and instead just look for a landlord who would be more welcoming and amenable to my situation.
Pets: According to Czech law landlords cannot legally restrict tenants from having pets in the property, however, from time to time you may see that they will try to and if you don’t know any better then you’ll likely not even question this.
Alterations to the Property: A tenant can paint and drill holes in the wall without a landlord’s consent as per the landlord tenant laws introduced in 2014, however, the landlord is allowed to request these be returned to their original state upon the tenant’s departure
Breaking Landlord/Tenant Laws: In the event that your landlord at any point breaks the landlord/tenant laws it would be up to you to sue them in court. This can be a long and tedious process, which is why it is usually recommended to settle any issues outside of court.
CZECH 101 – REAL ESTATE DICTIONARY
When navigating the Czech real estate websites, you will normally be able to write e-mails to the estate agents in English and get a reply back from them for viewings and such. That being the case, the list below addresses the more basic words you’ll need to find what you want on the various Czech real estate websites.
Lokalita – Location
Typ nemovitosti – Type of accommodation
Cena od/do – Price from/to
Vyhledat – Search
Vybrat vše – Select All
Types of real estate:
Nabídka (prodej) – Offers (for sale)
Nabídka (pronájem) – Offers (for rent)
Nabídka (spolubydlení) – Offers (for roommates)
Poptávka (prodej) – Requests (for sale)
Poptávka (pronájem) – Requests (for rent)
Poptávka (spolubydlení) – Requests (for roommates)
Nebytový prostor – Commercial Space
Dispozice – Disposition (layout of the flat)
Plocha m2 – Area (in m2)
1+kk – Studio with kitchenette
1+1 – Studio with separate kitchen
2+kk – 1 bedroom, 1 living room with kitchenette
2+1 – 1 bedroom, 1 living room, separate kitchen
3+kk – 2 bedrooms, 1 living room with kitchenette
3+1 – 2 bedrooms, 1 living room, separate kitchen
Type of property ownership:
Typ vlastnictví – Type of ownership
OV – Osobní – Personal ownership
DV – Družstevní – Cooperative ownership
Obecní – Municipal/Communal ownership
Ostatní – Other
Types of buildings (Typ Budovy):
Cihla – Brick
Panel – Panels
Nízkoenergetický – Low energy
Dřevostavba – Wooden
Type of furnishings (Typ Vybavenost):
Nevybaveny – Unfurnished
částečně – Partly furnished
Vybavený – Furnished
Zahrada – Garden
Terasou – Terrace
Balkon – Balcony
Sklep – Cellar
Ložnice – bedroom
Obývací pokoj – Living room
Kuchyňská linka – Kitchen unit
Kuchyně – Kitchen
Dětský pokoj – Children’s bedroom
Záchod – Toilet
Koupelna – Bathroom