Checklist for accommodation seekers

– Real estate agencies are the most reliable but don’t trust the so-called information bureaus, and don’t pay a deposit until you have made an agreement to take the place. – Rental prices in advertisements are often indicative only. Owners who approve of you may drop the price considerably. – Check the place in the morning or visit the neighborhood at different times of the day. Bars can keep you awake at night and traffic noise may wake you early in the morning. – Before you rent a place, be sure to check the plumbing and electrical installations. An apartment for rent should be freshly painted and connected to electricity and water supplies. – Ask the owner discreetly about the neighbors and whether they tend to party late into the night. – Always sign a contract. Contracts last for three years and their terms should include the day rent is due as well as any annual increments. Usually two months’ rent is given as a deposit and the landlord is obliged to return it when the tenant decides to quit the house when the contact has expired, leaving the house in good condition. The legal annual increase in rent is 3-5 percent. – Before signing a contract, check what names the electricity and water bills are in and whether the previous tenant has paid them off. – Remember that once you have rented an apartment, the owner has no right to enter it in your absence, using his own key, without your permission; this is against the law.