In 2008, Moscow was named one of the top three most expensive cities. This can be a challenge for expats as in 2006 the Mercer Management Consulting named Moscow the world's most expensive city for expatriate employees. This is ahead of Tokyo, due to the stable Russian ruble as well as increasing housing prices within the city.
One of the biggest factors in Moscow's high cost of living is the cost of rent. For an average 1 bedroom apartment you'll spend about $2,500-3,500 in the centre of town. However, these straightforward numbers can be confusing. After the fall of communism, many inhabitants received ownership of their apartments. These means that many Muscovites live rent free and just pay the utilities.
These are merely examples as prices vary widely depending on where people live and their individual choices.
The Soviet policy of providing mandatory housing for every citizen and the rapid growth of the city during these times led to the construction of enormous, plain housing blocks. Many of these buildings have been poorly maintained and are fairly unattractive in both style and function.
It costs about US$2500 per month to rent a 1-bedroom apartment and about US$1500 per month for a studio in the centre of Moscow. In the past, landlords have raised prices mercilessly year after year. This is being monitored now and is less likely to happen.
A typical one-bedroom apartment is about thirty square meters (323 sq ft), a typical two-bedroom apartment is forty-five square meters (485 sq ft), and a typical three-bedroom apartment is seventy square meters (753 sq ft).
High city prices have driven some residents to cope by staying in dachas (country houses) outside the city and renting out their apartments for much of their time.
An important trait in any roommate situation is having boundaries and a clear understanding of what each roommate requires. To protect yourself against potential problems should the worst happen, try to arrange it so that your roommates co-sign the lease. This makes all the roommates responsible for whatever happens to the property. If the worst was to happen, such as your roommate losing their job and not being able to pay rent, they should be held financially responsible- not you.
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Looking for cheap accommodation in Moscow isn’t easy and can be time consuming. Fortunately the times of browsing innumerable adverts, making hundreds of phone calls and visiting dozen of houses belong to the past: with Uniplaces now you can look for your room comfortably sitting at home. You can pick a room in a shared home with other expats, a studio flat if you want more privacy, or you can team up with other friends and rent an entire apartment just for yourselves.
The booking system is very simple and doesn’t require any visit: all can be done in advance thanks to the detailed descriptions and photos of the rooms and you can secure your room before even getting there. Moreover the Uniplaces team will be available for any questions and help.
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