How to rent an apartment in Poland?
Where to find an apartment?
Some popular sites:
- Facebook groups:
- for Gdańsk/Gdynia/Sopot: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stancje.trojmiasto/
- for Kraków: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wynajemkrakow/
- for Warszawa: https://www.facebook.com/groups/warszawa.pokoje.mieszkania.wynajem/
Signing the contract
Once you find a nice apartment you want to rent, you need to sign the contract. Don’t pay any money before signing the contract. The contract should include:
- information about the owner and their address
- the monthly rent
- additional administration cost
- the start and end date of the contract
- it should include a protocol “protokół zdawczo-odbiorczy” containing the current electricity meter, and elements included in the aparment like TV, furniture. If anything is damaged, make sure this information is included in this protocol
- information how the rent should be paid. Usually it’s a bank account
- the deposit, and information when the deposit will be paid back. The deposit is usually one month’s rent.
Types of contracts
There are 3 types of contracts:
- for a specified period of time “umowa na czas określony” – usually for one year, but other time periods are possible. Neither you or the landlord can cancel the contract, unless specified in the contract otherwise.
- a new contract type, also for a specified period of time “umowa najmu okazjonalnego”. Similar to the first one, but in case you don’t pay the rent, it’s easier for the landlord to cancel the contract.
- for an unspecified period of time “umowa na czas nieokreślony”. This is a very advantegous contract for you. You can cancel the contract with a 3 months notice period. The landlord however, cannot cancel the contract, unless for important reasons specified by the law, and with long notice periods.
Monthly cost of renting
The total you pay every month consists of several parts:
- the main rent, which is the income for the owner. This is the main price usually highlighted on websites
- additional cost for administration/heating/water/garbage, often referred to as “czynsz”
- electricity, depends on your usage, and is paid monthly or sometimes every two months
- gas, in some apartments gas is used for cooking and sometimes heating/hot water, depends on your usage, paid monthly or every two months
The deposit is usually one month’s rent. It is paid back after the contract ends and you move out. In case you damage something during your stay, the landlord may use the deposit to fix it. But only if it’s a real damage, and not signs of normal usage. For example, when you move in, and there is a new sofa, and the walls are newly painted. After two years, you move out. After two years of normal usage, it is normal that the sofa may not look new anymore, just like the paint on the walls. But as long as this is just normal usage and you did no damage, and left the apartment clean, the landlord is obliged to pay you the full deposit back.
Your rights as a tenant
- The landlord – even though they are the owner – cannot enter the apartment without your permission. If they do so, they commit a crime
- The landlord cannot evict you from the apartment without a court order
- In case of a contract for a limited time period, any changes to the contract must be agreed to by both you and the landlord. So for example, the landlord cannot increase the rent without your consent
Real estate agents
This is a good alternative if you don’t want to search for an apartment by yourself. The agent also can help you with formalities and the contract. The usual price for this service is one month’s rent, sometimes 1/2 month’s rent, plus 23% tax.