Renting property in Slovakia is not such a simple question as it seems at first glance. As in any country, in Slovakia there are a number of local nuances that need to be prepared in order not to get into an unpleasant situation. In this article we will look at the detailed procedure for renting property in Bratislava and other cities in Slovakia, as well as all the pitfalls associated with the real estate market in Slovakia.
The real estate market in Bratislava and other cities is quite well developed. Especially in the capital there is a great demand for rental and purchase of real estate, but there are also many offers that can satisfy this demand. The capital is the capital. That’s why the most expensive real estate is in Bratislava. The cost of the same apartment in Bratislava can be 3-4 times higher compared to other cities that are 20-30 km from the capital. On the one hand, this is logical – everything is concentrated in the heart of Slovakia: offices of large companies, universities, tourist crowds, and transport interchanges. On the other hand, even the Slovaks themselves say that real estate prices in Bratislava are high enough for them, and not every metropolitan can afford to buy housing in Bratislava. There is a practice when people live in the cities of Bratislava’s satellites, such as Trnava, Nitra, Dunajská Streda, and go to work in the capital every day by car or public transport. Fortunately, the transport is well developed, runs on a clear schedule, very convenient and comfortable.
In Slovakia, there are many real estate agencies. This market is strictly regulated. In order for the agency to have the right to carry out real estate activities, it is necessary to fulfill a number of requirements and obtain a license, the presence of which is likely to guarantee the integrity of this agency. In Slovakia, you will not meet private realtors who are not even entrepreneurs conducting their activities illegally, hiding from tax. In the event of any problems, such realtors have no responsibility whatsoever, which happens sometimes in the CIS countries.
The process of searching for real estate begins either with an appeal to a real estate agency or with independent searches on real estate websites. Lists of agencies and the properties themselves to buy or rent in Slovakia can be found on these sites:
New buildings in Bratislava and in other cities can be viewed on the sites:
If there is a need to rent a room in Slovakia, for example, for a student or a worker, then you need to look at the sites:
On the other sites to look for real estate makes no sense. All offers are on above mentioned resources, other sites repeat the same offers.
It is possible to rent an apartment or a house in Slovakia independently, but there are a number of things to consider:
The level of the Slovak language must be sufficient to communicate with property owners or their representatives. It is necessary to speak and read well already, since it is important to understand all the requirements of the owner, to explain your needs (for example, the need to have a residence permit in the apartment for submission to the police for foreigners), and also need to carefully read the terms of the contract.
The contract may specify the conditions under which the owner has the right to raise the rent, whether you can have pets, what penalties for property damage, who is responsible for the breakdown of household appliances, whether it is possible to smoke indoors or on the balcony, whether there are penalties for early termination of the contract, whether the landlord has the right to make scans for new potential clients when you are still in this apartment, but the contract is coming to an end, etc.
Property owners almost never publish their ads on their own. They turn to real estate agencies, and they already make high-quality photos and publish ads on sites. So in 99.9% of cases, behind each ad is an agency that you still have to deal with. Of course they do not do it for free. Agency cost is often 100% of one monthly fee. There are different ways to pay for agency services. If the property is not expensive, then usually the real estate agency pays the one who rents. Sometimes this is done 50 to 50 with the property owner. If the cost of renting the property is above the market average, it is possible that the owner can pay for the services of the agency. In the latter case, he is interested in long-term lease at a favorable price, so he can search for a client for months and pay for the services of a realtor himself. Information about who pays for the services of the agency can sometimes be seen in the ad itself. But often it is written only when the owner himself pays. If there is no information, it is more likely that the renter must pay. This information needs to be clarified in each case separately, so that later there will be no unpleasant situations. The only exception is the rental of rooms: usually the announcement about renting a separate room is published either by the apartment owner himself, or by the person who rents the room himself, and in agreement with the owner, we are looking for a roommate. In this case, you need to pay only the rent of the room, and sometimes make a deposit. To real estate agencies room renting is not interesting, because of the low cost of such a lease, and as a result – low commission.
So, as we are talking about renting from the perspective of a foreigner, it is necessary to take into account that not all Slovaks are ready to register foreigners in a rented apartment. Registration is a prerequisite for obtaining and extending a residence permit. The owner must sign and notarize čestné vyhlásenie (the official document of consent to provide residence permit), which must be submitted for a residence permit to the police for foreigners (cudzinská polícia). This document of the landlord does not oblige to anything, and, as a rule, the fear of doing so is connected with the lack of knowledge of the laws of Slovakia. But relying on internal fear, many owners refuse to provide registration to foreigners.
Another reason for failure is the presence of small children. Everything is clear here – the owners of real estate are afraid of property damage due to the fault of children in their apartment. Although, as a rule, property owners are immediately paid the first month of rent and a deposit of 100% of the monthly rent in case of any possible damage.
We must also take into account the fact that Slovaks are rather slow in such processes as signing long-term contracts. The very process of finding the apartment you like may be delayed, since the owners can live in another city, and come to view only once a week. Then they can ask to wait to see several candidates and choose who they like best. And even when you become the winner in this casting, the process of signing the contract may be delayed for another week. In some respects, this is all true: the choice of tenants must be approached responsibly, because you need to deal with these people for more than one month, you need to be responsible and tidy. You can understand the Slovaks in this regard. We just got used to the fact that we have resolved these issues very quickly, signed a lease agreement on the knee, money is immediately handed over, and in return – the keys to housing. In Slovakia, everything must be correct, officially under the contract and paid through the bank. This must be remembered and taken into account.
The readings of energy meters (electricity, water, heating, gas) are taken by the relevant authorities once a year. Therefore, it is impossible to calculate exactly how much utility bills to pay each month. For this, a fixed amount for energy is added to the rental price. In each ad, you need to carefully look at whether utility bills are included in the rental price, or whether they need to be paid on top, and what exactly is included in these payments. Perhaps energy is included, but there is no TV and Internet. Once a year, usually in March, the services remove the counters, and consider the annual consumption of “energy”. If the difference is positive, then you need to pay this difference. If negative, then the difference can usually be taken into account in calculations next year, or returned to the property owner, and corresponding to the tenant. In any case, it makes sense to save all the energy so that you don’t have to pay extra for the year. Utility payments in Europe are quite expensive.
When choosing a property, it is important to consider the area of the city, its infrastructure, the presence of important institutions such as a school, kindergarten, public transport, grocery stores, parks, etc. Therefore, before searching for properties on sites, it is advisable to get acquainted with the city and its districts so that apartment rental does not turn into a roulette.
Usually an apartment in Slovakia is rented fully furnished and even with dishes, new towels, and other pleasant things. But in each individual cases it is necessary to clarify what exactly of furniture and household appliances is present. And the presence of pleasant things (new dishes, towels, household chemicals) depends on the owner himself. If he wishes to do well to new tenants, he will take care of the presence of such small but pleasant things.
If you have the time, you have a good level of the Slovak language, you are knowledgeable in all matters of real estate in Slovakia, then an independent search for rental housing in Slovakia will not be difficult.
If you need help in finding property and maintenance in negotiations with the owner and signing the contract, then you can contact us. Slovakia Garant s.r.o. We are not a licensed real estate agency, but we can provide mediation services, namely:
● take on a property search according to your criteria (price, area, availability of furniture, owner’s willingness to provide residence permit, etc.);
● search of the rental object, where the agency charges the owner of the apartment (you will not need to pay an additional 100% of the rent to the agency);
● negotiations with the owner or his representatives on your behalf;
● inspection of real estate and providing you with photo reports;
● escort for a personal meeting with the host and help in communication in the Slovak language;
● analysis of the lease agreement, providing recommendations on the terms of the contract in your favor;
● tips on domestic issues.
The price of this service is 100% of one monthly rent. More information about our services in the field of renting / buying property in Slovakia can be found on this page.
We hope that this article has helped you in many ways to understand the issue of rental housing in Slovakia. Your comments welcomed!