While there are many options when it comes to accommodation in Warsaw, the task of finding a home can be complicated by the high demand and stiff competition for housing in the city.
Types of accommodation in Warsaw
Expats looking for accommodation in Warsaw will find various options suited to any budget and lifestyle. These range from Soviet-style apartment buildings to modern penthouse apartments, mostly in the city centre. Freestanding homes with gardens or duplexes and semi-detached houses can be found in the more suburban outlying areas.
Both furnished and unfurnished accommodation is available in Warsaw, although unfurnished options are more common. Appliances such as a stove, fridge and dishwasher are often supplied.
Finding accommodation in Warsaw
Expats looking for housing in Warsaw can find property listings online; however, those unable to speak Polish should consider working through a reputable real-estate agent. Once a lease is secured, agents usually require a fee equivalent to at least a month’s rent for their services.
When choosing an area or suburb in Warsaw, expats should consider their proximity to their place of work and their children’s school, as well as access to public transport. The further away from the city centre, the cheaper the accommodation, but the less access these areas have to services such as public transport, schools and hospitals. Rentals closest to public transport, such as Warsaw’s metro line, often cost more.
Renting accommodation in Warsaw
Expats need to act fast after they find a suitable property as the rental market is quite competitive.
Making an application
Prospective tenants usually need to provide proof of employment, ID and bank statements to secure a lease in Poland. The landlord and rental agencies will then review applications before choosing a tenant they think is the best fit.
After the application is accepted, a handover day is arranged where the tenant usually signs a 12-month lease. This also gives them an opportunity to inspect the property and do an inventory.
Leases and deposits
A deposit of one to three months’ rent is often required by landlords, while some may even require six months' rental upfront. Rental agreements are usually flexible and decided upon between the tenant and landlord.
Once a tenancy application is approved and signed by both parties, the next step is to carry out an inspection of the property and do an inventory.
Tenants are required to give a few months' notice if they wish to terminate a lease early.
Utilities such as gas, water and electricity are not usually included in the rental cost and are paid for by tenants. Additional expenses could also include general maintenance costs for the building such as cleaning and gardening. Expats should keep this in mind when budgeting for accommodation.
►Learn more about public transport in the Polish capital in Getting Around in Warsaw
"Flats in Poland are small, but well heated and comfortable. For Australians or Americans who might be used to living in houses on a block of land, the amount of space might be surprisingly small."
Learn more about expat life in Warsaw by reading our interview with Australian expat Rose Moore.
Are you an expat living in Warsaw?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Warsaw. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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