There are many different ways to search for an apartment. Here are several options for finding a place:
BROKER: In general, using a broker is a great idea if you are arranging a rental from out-of-town, or have more money than time. A broker is responsible for finding apartments that fit your criteria and making appointments to fit your schedule. They save you the trouble of filing through expired listings, and "ghost" apartments that have been placed simply to entice to working with an expensive broker. For this convenience, the agency will usually take about 10% commission on the annual rent of the apartment. Rental Agencies work similarly and forum.expat.ru/phonedir offers a list of companies within Moscow.
You can save you thousands to have a good broker so pay attention to reviews by former customers and who recommends a company's service. Ask your friends and family if they have used a broker they could recommend. If you are employed with a company they may have a broker they work with and you may be able to use them by contacting your human resources department to use the broker your company uses.
ON-LINE LISTING: There are a variety of on-line forums and community listings in which people will list their places or larger companies offer their apartments. Most searches are free and the selection is massive.
Some examples are:
CLASSIFIEDS: The Moscow Times offers both a printed classifieds with rental listings and an on-line site.
BULLETIN BOARDS: On college campuses, churches, grocery stores, schools, bus stops and outside community centres there are often boards available for posting local ads. This gives you an idea of the neighbourhood as well as some useful leads on apartments.
If you are looking for short-term accommodations, Best Moscow Apartment Rentals can be very convenient. They offer short-term serviced apartments in the centre of Moscow in the Arbat precinct. Free high speed Wi-Fi Internet, laser printer/scanner/copier and office stationery for the business traveller. Kitchens are fully equipped for the visiting gourmet chef. Hotel grade linen and towels are provided, along with toiletries, washing machine, ironing board and iron, clothes rack and more.
Telephone: +7 926 842 2020
To protect yourself when leasing, it is best to sign a written lease. Always try to read and understand every aspect of the lease because later misunderstandings can be costly. If it is in Russian and your understanding is not clear, get someone to translate the document for you. If your landlord does not provide a lease, here is a sample letter for your landlord to sign in the presence of a Russian notary as part of the expatriate visa registration process in Moscow.
Feel free to ask questions like:
1) How long is the lease?
2) How much is the security deposit?
3) Are utilities included in the rent? If not, how much are they?
4) Are pets allowed?
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.
Uniplaces is an online marketplace for booking mid-long term accommodation with thousands of verified properties.