Finding a suitable home no matter if you are single or have a family will be among the top items on a ”relocation to-do list”. Although the prices of real estates have been rising over the past several years in the Czech Republic (and rocketing especially in Prague), Ostrava has done and keeps doing a lot by offering a wide range of new and attractive housing projects. This makes the offer on the home rentals market far less financially demanding than in other big cities.
One of the basic choices is: rent or buy (see terminology)? You can either rent or purchase a property, or combine both: first, it is advisable to rent and then, if you wish to, you can take your time and choose to buy one later when you see the real estate with your own eyes after coming to Ostrava.
For renting a basic one-bedroom apartment in Ostrava the price starts at about only 7,000 CZK. On the other hand, the rent of a three-bedroom apartment of about 150m2 in a quiet residential quarter, private underground parking and terrace, which is close to the International school and with a large park right under the windows and lots luxuries is about 30,000 CZK.
To avoid confusion the Czechs in the advertisements do not count the number of bedrooms, but the number of all rooms including the living room, e.g. “3-room apartment” will have two bedrooms, a living room and most probably a separate kitchen (this is expressed as +1) or a kitchen corner (usually expressed as +KK).
You can go for living in low-cost panel housing estates in quarters such as Hrabůvka or Zábřeh, or in the very popular neighbourhood of Poruba (which is known for its large green areas and picturesque architecture) in lower block of flats, or in the city centre: either in luxurious renovated spacy apartments from 1890s – to 1930s with a special spirit of cultural heritage (make sure car parking is available if you need one), or in modern brand new housing projects with underground car parks. Or there may be individual rooms in detached houses or whole detached houses with gardens in the suburbs available for rent or purchase. So the choice is wide and up to you.
You can contact us to check your choice of neighbourhood to help you match your needs with the actual home offers. Wherever you live in Ostrava public transport is available. Most areas provide free parking. In the centre, however, a resident card is an advantage. There is a dense network of public transport and it enables easy travel all around the city, as well as to adjacent villages and towns.
Before signing the lease agreement, please be careful about the payment of utilities/ energy for the apartment. Sometimes these payments are expressed as “Rent + Energy and Other Fees” means you have to pay them separately, other times you pay everything together in one payment to the landlord.
When buying a property you need to register as a customer of utility companies. In some cases, individual registration is not possible because contracts with distribution companies are concluded by an association of homeowners/ housing cooperative (společenství vlastníků/ bytové družstvo), please ask your concierge about it.
So what are utilities/ energies payments?
- Electricity (providers: Innogy, ČEZ),
- Gas (providers: Innogy, ČEZ),
- Water and sewer rates (providers: OVAK for Ostrava, SMVAK for areas outside of Ostrava),
- Heating, repair fund, elevator, electricity and cleaning of common areas,
- Fees for public radio and television (compulsory) – 180 Kč/month,
- Waste collection fee (more here),
- Optional: internet/cable TV (providers: Vodafone, PODA) and insurance of the property.
Prices of electricity and gas for households are set by the government of the Czech Republic. You can choose from several price bands, which vary depending on the volume of electricity consumed; some are intended only for households where all the equipment and appliances run on electricity. The staff at the electricity company will advise you.
You will make monthly payments (advance payments) for electricity, gas, heating and water, based on your expected consumption. Your meter will be read at least once a year to determine your actual consumption, and the company will then send you a bill detailing your consumption, along with (if necessary) a payment slip for you to pay the outstanding balance and the new amount for the monthly payments.