Getting a roof over your head is one of the key concerns when moving abroad. Renting or purchasing a property can pose a serious challenge, though. The housing market in Brno (and in the whole of the CR) is in a state of high demand and low offers, which is constantly pushing the prices up.
The price range for a basic one-bedroom apartment is between 10.000-20.000 CZK (without energies and utilities).
Rules and customs can differ widely from country to country – the system here in the CR may involve a few features which you’re not familiar with. However in general, the real estate scene isn’t overly complicated, and many regulations and restrictions have been eased in recent years.
Searching for accommodation
Most foreigners – at least when they first arrive here – opt for renting a flat or a house. Rental practices here have a number of features that you should be aware of.
The big online database servers are www.sreality.cz, and www.ulovdomov.cz and www.bezrealitky.cz Some of the servers present ads from real estate agencies (at sreality.cz or ulovdomov.cz), some present offers directly from the property owners (at bezrealitky.cz). If you’re renting from the owner without a real estate agent as a mediator, you won’t pay commission to the agency, but you won’t have anyone checking the legal accuracy of the lease. Before signing, send it to us and we will have a look at it. Or at least you understand well what are you getting into, here are ten things to consider (courtesy to Foreigners.cz) before signing the contract.
Who to deal with
It’s best to deal with a reputable agency. Of course, individuals certainly can and do offer their own flats and houses to rent, but be very careful: you may run into problems, particularly when it comes to obtaining proof of ownership (needed for official purposes such as a visa). Good agencies will make sure that the person leasing the flat is legally entitled to do so, and that the lease contract contains all the necessary and standard provisions.
Using an agency
The usual fee (commission) charged by an agency is equivalent to one month’s rent (some agencies include monthly utilities into their commission, some don’t: check with your agency to avoid surprises).
Scroll down to have a look at some of the agencies operating in Brno.
A serviced housing in international Domeq housing is available with the agency Foreigners.
Searching on your own
You can, of course, search for your house, apartment, or room independently. Get familiar with the international communities and groups in Brno, or search online at www.bezrealitky.cz and contact the property owner via the website.
When to start
If your plan is to visit Brno before signing your lease, book temporary accommodation for at least two weeks and be prepared to prolong it. Start talking with agents/landlords prior to your arrival so you have a list of potential places and your viewings already scheduled when you arrive in Brno.
The majority of flats become available for a move-in at the start of a month (people usually finish their lease at the end of a month) so plan your arrival accordingly.
If you’re planning to arrive in September, be prepared for a shortage of available flats: the term is starting and many students are moving to Brno. Our recommendation is to find and reserve a flat well in advance. Or, you can book a short-term accommodation (maybe through airbnb) for a month or two, and look for a flat with a move-in date in October or November – this way, you’ll have many more options to pick from.
Be aware of your responsibilities as a tenant so you get your security deposit back after moving out! You have to keep the apartment clean, take care of the furnishing and appliances, report any damage asap to the property owner etc. This article about how to keep your apartment clean might save you stress and money!
For visa purposes
For some residence permits, you’re required to submit a proof of accommodation already with your application.
However, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to sign a contract for a flat if you aren’t in the country to check the place for yourself.
The solution is to get a document called Proof of Accommodation (in Czech: “Potvrzení o ubytování”). Some agencies are able to get you this document, for a fee:
- Foreigners.cz, for 6,050 CZK
Real estate agencies
The following companies have experience in catering to foreigners:
City Real Estate
This is a small firm, but the two women involved had many years of experience working with foreigners and expats in a large firm before going independent. In addition to English, they offer services in German, Italian and Spanish. Very personal and caring service reported.
- Zvěřinova 3
- +420 602 127 506
An agency taking care of foreigners living in the Czech Republic. New apartments offered almost every day. The agency manages an internationa housing concept Domeq. What is extra, Foreigners.cz stay with you after you move in and help you with setting up utilities, cable TV, internet, energies etc.
- Masarykova 32
- +420 725 973 344
Real estate agency that will accompany you from the first flat visit to the signing of the contract. Professional and worry-free.
- Křenová 69
- +420 800 101 128
A classic real estate agency, Bravis has many flats available for rent, covering a broad range of sizes and prices and situated throughout Brno.
- Dvořákova 13
- +420 725 755 575
Another classic real estate agency operating in Brno and its surroundings, part of international RE/MAX network. They assist clients in finding properties for sale or rent, as well as a wide range of further estate-related services.
- Blatného 3
- +420 733 679 960
Signing a contract
There are many things you should be aware of when signing your lease agreement. That’s why we made it into a separate guide. Read it here: Leasing a flat.
Experienced legal help in all real estate situations. Being it a contract when purchasing a property, signing an accommodation contract or legal dispute with the landlord.
- +420 734 521 117
The beginnings in a new flat can be tough. These services might help you:
As the name advertise, this family company will help you move your furniture around Brno, or even from your home country - as long as it is in Europe.
- +420 774 425 855
Speed Queen Laundry Eden
Self-service laundry, providing high-quality, speedy washing and drying facilities suited to high volumes of laundry. Member of a world-wide chain.
- Purkyňova 35g
- +420 774 403 434, Michal Rosendorf
Interior design and implementation – complete range of home improvement services.
- Palackého tř. 15
- +420 739 278 247
Short and mid-term rentals
Flatio offers fully furnished apartments to rent for a few months. Easily and without any deposits.
- Dominikánské nám. 5
- +420 228 886 511
Some real estate agencies may offer a short term accommodation as well. CzechPoint 101 also informed us that they too rent out flats for shorter periods of time, though this is not advertised on their website. And Foreigners offer short term accommodation as well.
An affordable but almost always full option is the Pyramida lodging house (Francouzská 70) with studios and 1- or 2-bedroom flats. Close to the Brno Technological Park, IBM and RedHat offices is a Hotel a hostel Palacký (Kolejní 2905/2) and Mendel University student dorm with rooms for the public. (Don’t expect any luxury, though; quite the opposite)
Sharing a flat
Sharing a flat with housemates (‘spolubydleni’) can be an economical solution which many students and young professionals choose. Your colleagues at work, friends, local or Erasmus students might be looking for a flatmate. Look around Facebook’s English Speaking group, Multilingual Flats in Brno or Flat to Rent in Brno, your workplace’s intranet, or try some of the sharing-flat websites:
- chcispolubydlici.cz (website only in Czech)
Another option is to form a group of flatmates and then search for a multi-bedroom flat together.
Purchasing a Property
Foreigners who have been in the CR for some time, or come here planning to stay for many years, may be interested in purchasing a flat, house, cottage, cabin in the country or piece of land.
Right now, no special requirements exist for foreigners buying a property in the CR.
Upon the time of the country’s accession to the EU in 2004, the Czechs asked for, and were granted, a temporary exemption from the EU directive forbidding any restrictions on the purchase of a property. Since then, change has come in two stages.
As of May 2009, most restrictions on the purchase of property by foreigners were removed; some remained for land zones designated as agricultural or as forests. These were lifted in May 2011. This means that now – subject to certain procedures that have to be followed in the purchase of agricultural land – all forms of property can be purchased by foreigners, whether from the EU member states or elsewhere.
Purchasing a property is no simple or straightforward process in any country. For that reason, you should certainly turn to a professional real estate agent to ensure that all the necessary steps have been taken and all legal requirements fulfilled.
One of the many important steps is to discuss your financial situation and possibilities with an expert. Contact us for recommendations.
Pictures by Jiří Lubojacký