Renting a flat in Riga costs between 150 and 900 EUR depending on the size, location, and condition of the rental property (i.e. age of the building or the date of the last renovation).
For example, a refurbished one-room flat (25-30 sq meters) costs around 300 EUR in walking distance to the city centre, and around 200 EUR in a half-hour driving distance to the centre. A two to three room flat (60-70 sq meters) costs around 500 EUR - 600 EUR in the centre, and around 400 EUR - 500 EUR in the suburbs. Keep in mind that these are just approximate prices; there are both considerably cheaper and much more expensive offers on the market.
The utilities - hot water, electricity, gas, internet, and landline - are usually not included in the price. You should inquire whether these bills have to be paid on a month-to-month basis that requires you to read the electricity, water, gas etc. meter every month, or if a balanced payment plan is available, i.e., paying a set price every month and doing a recalculation at the end of the year. Balanced payments are recommended particularly for heating bills as they cost little to nothing in the summer but may result in unexpectedly high monthly bills during the winter months.
Overall there are many offers on the market; however it may take time to find a flat that fits your criteria of price, facilities, location, etc. Although finding a rental property before moving to Latvia is possible, it is recommended to do the flat hunt in person to avoid any misunderstandings and make sure that you get exactly what you pay for.
Rental flats usually are fully furbished which, on the one hand, saves costs upon arrival but, on the other hand, means that it may be a little tricky to find a place that suits your taste.
Around 85% of all properties in Latvia are found online. The best websites for starting a search are:
Searching for rentals in newspaper ads is not very popular, generally, newspapers are a better source for searching rentals in smaller cities than in the capital Riga.
For rental ads consult the print versions of the four big dailies:
Hiring a real estate agent may save you a lot of time and worry. An agent will consult you on your search, accompany you to the viewings, and help with drawing up the necessary documents for signing the rental contract. The price of the rental agent's services can vary from agent to agent thus it is necessary to discuss it beforehand and sign a contract.
Keep in mind: if the real estate agent is hired by the landlord in whose property you are interested in, the costs of the agent should be covered by the property owner.
You can search for companies and individual agents on the homepage of the Latvian Real Estate Association.
Before you sign a rental contract, it is highly recommended to visit the apartment that you are interested in. In addition to gaining a general impression of the property you should:
A rental contract is only valid only in a written form and should have two copies: one for the tenant, and one for the landlord.
The contract should specify:
Upon moving in it is recommended to create a handover document (Pienemšanas - nodošanas akts) listing the furniture, documenting the condition of the apartment and the technical condition of the electronic equipment, and the readings of the meters for water, electricity, gas etc. This document should be prepared in two copies and signed by the tenant and the landlord.
Unless specified otherwise in the rental contract, a contract can be terminated with one month's notice. The landlord can terminate the contract only in a limited number of cases, most notably, if the tenant has damaged the rental property, or uses the property for purposes not specified in the contract.
Information about renter's rights and help in solving conflicts can be obtained at the Consumer Rights Protection Centre.