Due to the housing developments during the 80s and the recent housing boom, the vast majority of people in Bucharest live in flats. Rental prices in Bucharest vary depending on the neighbourhood, with the flats in the upscale areas being almost as expensive as those in other major European capitals.
Average rentals per month for furnished apartments are:
Romanian language skills are useful in finding accommodation in Bucharest at a reasonable price. Although most owners speak at least a basic level of English, advertisements will usually be in Romanian, excepting the properties that are rented out specifically to foreigners.
The prices for apartments will vary greatly depending on the location, with the areas in the centre and the Northern part of the city being relatively more expensive. Another factor impacting the rentals is the age of the building. Most blocks of flats in Bucharest were built during the late 1970s and 1980s, and the prices for these will be lower than for the apartments in the newer, more modern buildings.
Property prices are usually expressed in euro. Rent does not include utilities, and these can be quite high in some cases, especially for the winter months.
Area is quoted in square meters. However, the advertisements for rentals generally include the number of rooms. Be careful not to mistake these for the number of bedrooms. A two-bedroom flat with a living room should be searched for within the "three-room flats" category.
Classifieds websites are nowadays the most useful tool when searching for a flat in Bucharest, as they contain thousands of offers of which some may be of interest to you.
Newspapers are not commonly used as a a source for real estate listings in Romania nowadays. Nevertheless, some announcements can be found in the classifieds sections of the following newspapers:
The pin boards of supermarkets, launderettes, cafes or universities can contain advertisements of rental offers, among many other types of goods and services. Do not forget to also look for postings in expat areas or at your local embassy.
A real estate agent can be of a significant help in finding accommodation rapidly. Real estate agents will usually select the properties that are most suitable to your needs, arrange your visit and escort you to the apartment, and preparing the contract to sign. It is uncommon for real estate agents in Romania to assume any role after the signing of the contract.
Real estate agents charge a fee for their services, which varies from agent to agent, but is usually computed on the basis of the monthly rent.
It is recommended to work with several real estate agencies, in order to have a wider range of options. There are a lot of real estate agencies in Bucharest, and it is important to choose trustworthy agents to collaborate with. Inquire your friends, colleagues or any expat communities such as the Easyexpat Romania forum for recommended agents. A list of the real estate agencies in Romania can be found here.
It is highly recommended to visit the apartment before signing a lease, in order to identify any undisclosed flaws of the property, to get to know the neighbourhood and to meet your landlord personally.
Arrange your appointments as early as possible, especially in the rental peak season, which is at the beginning of autumn (September - October).
While visiting the property, make sure the utilities fixtures are properly functioning, and be particularly careful for the heating arrangements, as the heating bill during the winter months can vary immensely depending on the type of fuel used or if the apartment relies on communal heating for the entire building.
Contracts are in writing. Even though some landlords in Romania prefer informal verbal agreements in order to avoid paying income taxes, you should insist that a formal contract be signed, in order to protect yourself as a tenant. A contract is not valid unless is signed by both landlord and tenant, and ratified by a public notary.
A contract usually includes the following elements:
It is uncommon for landlords in Romania to request thorough background checks of your credit worthiness or character, but as a foreigner be prepared to provide them in case they are needed.
It is most common for contracts to contain a three-month notice period clause, meaning that either the lessor or the lessee can terminate the agreement before the end of the term, provided they give a written notice to the other party in advance. Note, however, that some contract may have different termination clauses. In both cases, make sure that the notice period and the termination formalities are clearly laid out in the contract.
Walk-throughs with the landlord at the beginning and end of the lease are sometimes performed, especially for furbished properties.
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