Finding your new home

Before Searching

Ostrava is offering a wide range of new and attractive housing projects. Although prices of real estates have been rising over the past several years in the Czech Republic (and rocketing especially in Prague and Brno), the situation in Ostrava is slightly different. There are a number of available rental flats, which makes the offer on the home rentals market far less financially demanding than in other big cities.

Basic Choices 
  • Rent or Buy?

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.

  • Size and Price?

For renting a basic one-bedroom apartment in the center of Ostrava the price starts at about only CZK 8,500/month (without energy and utilities). 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 CZK 30,000.

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). 

Preferred Type of Housing (Localities)

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. See more in our blog article.

Relocation Services

We prepared a Relocation Checklist just for you to help you with your relocation process. If you will need further help, let us know. Once there will be time to move your things to your new home, you can make use of the contacts mentioned below.

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Residence house Janáčková, source: byty.ostrava.cz

Short-Term and Mid-Term Rentals

You might find short and mid-term rentals options useful if you are coming to Ostrava for a short period of time or you want to take your time to look around and choose to rent or buy a property later.

Hostels & Hotels

An affordable way of short-term accommodation (up to few months) is most likely “ubytovna” (=lodging house, kind-of-hostel). The most popular one is “Jarena Centrum” in Ostrava-Jih, or “Ubytovna Stars” in Mariánske Hory.

You can also use the VSB-TUO University’s dorms in Poruba (providing cheaper touristic rooms and also hotel accommodation). Likewise, you can rent a room in hotels, hostels or pensions (check options via Booking.com). Moreover, websites like Flatio or Airbnb can offer fully furnished apartments to rent for a few months.

For Students

International students can use the university dorms of their hosting university. VSB – Technical University of Ostrava has its own dorms in Poruba, University of Ostrava has its dorms in Hladnov (Silesian Ostrava). It is advisable for the students to stay in the dorms, rather than renting a private flat, because of the student environment and availability of all services regarding studies (dorms are close to faculties, students’ cafeteria, laundry services, libraries, gyms, bars and so on).

There are also private dorms, Kampus Palace in the centre of Ostrava and Student Residence Vista in Ostrava-Jih (close to Faculty of Medicine).

You can also check a Czech website e-spolubydlení or spolubydlo.cz (=flatmates) for sharing a room in flats for students and young adults (both only in Czech). Alternatively, you can first form a group and then search for a bigger flat.

Sharing a Flat

Sharing a flat with other persons can save you a bunch of money every month. It is very common among students and young professionals to share a flat together with their colleagues, classmates, friends or local Expats. While sharing a flat, all flatmates may have their own lease agreement and split bills equally.

You can also find a Czech website e-spolubydlení or spolubydlo.cz (=flatmates) for sharing rooms in flats (both only in Czech). Furthermore, you can check Expats in Ostrava Facebook group. Alternatively, you can first form a group and then search for a bigger flat.

Just for Visa Purposes

With your application for the visa/residence permit, you will be required to submit a proof of accommodation. It is clear that you wouldn’t want to sign a contract for an apartment if you aren’t in the country to check it for yourself yet. The solution is to get a document called Proof of Accommodation (=Potvrzení o ubytování). Agencies mentioned below are able to ensure this document for a fee

Nova Karolina Residence, source: rezidence-novakarolina2.cz

Long-Term Rentals & Purchase of Property

Most expats coming to Ostrava opt first to rent a flat or a house. Here are some tips from us. If you are not using an agency or the HR of your receiving organisation to take care of all your relocation steps, we suggest you to research the home market in advance. Below, you can find all the important websites and contacts.

Before searching

Photos can always be nicer than reality, so it is a good idea to rent a temporary accommodation for the first 2 – 4 weeks in Ostrava (such as a hotel or an Airbnb, please see above), and sign the long-term contract only after you get a first-hand feel of the place to rent or buy.

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). 

Please note that the prices presented by Real-estate agencies are sometimes difficult to compare: it depends if they are stated “with energy and utilities” + internet fee, or the internet is included, or all those fees are charged separately. The extra “energy fees” can range from 1,500 CZK for small apartments to 10,000 CZK for large apartments, so it pays to make a full comparison. The landlords often want a deposit of up to 20,000 CZK to cover the costs if there is some problem/damage at the end of the rental period. Real-estate agencies will usually charge you a month’s fee for finding and contracting the rental flat for you.  Sometimes this fee is charged to the landlord, so please keep asking questions.

NB: Please also double-check the meaning of the word “floor”. Sometimes the “first floor” can refer to the floor just above the ground, and sometimes it is the floor above the ground floor, i.e. the second floor above the ground. In lifts the ground floor is marked by P, E (from French and German respectively), or G or 1 or 0. Usually, it is highlighted in green or with an alternative graphic.

Searching on Your Own

We recommend you start with the largest search engine www.sreality.cz. The search engine shows ads from various real estate agencies. It may happen very often, that a lot of flat owners, and also some real estate agents would not reply to you at all, because they simply don’t speak English. If you need a helping hand, please contact our verified partner, Real Estate Agent Tereza Klozíková.

Furthermore, below we are providing a few ways how to find accommodation – through the residential company, real estate agents or web portals. Moreover, you may join the Facebook group Czech Expats property owners group for purchase and tips.

Real Estate Agencies

Real-estate agencies will usually charge you a one-month rent fee for finding and contracting the rental flat for you.

Signing and Checking Contract

It is important for you to ensure getting a valid proof of ownership from the selling or renting person – you will need it for official purposes such as your visa/residence permit. 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 standard and necessary provisions. The main version of your contract is always the Czech one and it is governed by Czech law (it is more protective of the tenants than the landlords).

Individuals can offer real-estate using the online search engines, but then it is advisable to hire a real estate agent, or lawyer to make or at least check your contract. The renting/selling person might not speak English, either. To make sure your lease contract is all right, you can contact our verified partners below.

NB: See terminology about lease, sublease and ownership of property.

Nove Lauby Residential Project, source: novelauby.cz

Housing

Once the dust settles, you might find it useful to get a few practical tips and tricks for house and housing. Below, we provide contacts to various services regarding your home.

Energy and Utilities

Before signing the lease agreement, please be careful about the payment for utilities like gas, electricity or water. Sometimes you have to pay your utility bills separately (“Rent + Utilities and Other Fees”), otherwise you pay everything all together in one payment to the landlord. When buying a property you need to register as a customer to utility companies. In some cases, individual registration is not possible because contracts with these companies are concluded by a homeowners/ housing association, so please ask your concierge about it.

So what are utility payments?

  • Electricity (providers: InnogyČEZ and others),
  • Gas (providers: InnogyČEZ and others),
  • Water and sewage (providers: OVAK for Ostrava, SMVAK for areas outside of Ostrava),

It is safe to drink tap water from the public water supply

  • Heating, repair fund, elevator, electricity and cleaning of common areas,
  • Fees for public radio and television (compulsory for a household) – 180 CZK/month (more here),
  • Waste collection fee (compulsory for each tenant, more here),
  • Optional: internet/cable TV (providers: VodafonePODA and others) and insurance of the property (more here).

Prices of electricity and gas for households are capped by the government of the Czech Republic from the beginning of 2023. You can choose from several price bands, which vary depending on the volume of electricity/gas 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.

Repairs & Renovations
House Equipment and Furniture & Electronics
Pawnshops & Bazaars
  • Pawnshops

A pawn shop (=zastavárna) is a shop that takes possessions as a pledge of movable and immovable property. The pawnshop tries to sell things that their owners do not pick up within the agreed term to satisfy their claim. In the pawnshop (eg. Zastavárna u Přemka), you can find various things (from collectors’ items to new phones) at reasonable prices, but be careful when selling things (managing a pledge), the pawnshop may try to deceive you about the value of items since you don’t speak Czech.

  • Bazaars

There are a number of online bazaars on the market, from peer-to-peer solutions to the big ones like www.bazos.cz, www.sbazar.cz, or Facebook marketplace to moderated platforms that charge a sales fee such as www.aukro.cz with a higher degree of purchase security. You can also be part of various bazaars Facebook groups.

Popular bazaars and other related places in Ostrava:

  • Flea market Vlato in the city centre,
  • Junk shop in Vítkovice,
  • Reuse Centre – is a place full of used furniture and other functional household items that people have donated because they no longer need them. They will be offered either as people donated them, or after minor repairs.
  • Moment – second hand shop with clothes.

 

Public Laundry & Dry Cleaners

There are 3 self-service laundromats in Ostrava under the company Quickwash. In addition to washing and drying, they also offer ironing or complete “drop-off” packages, where you will just leave clothes with the laundry operator, who will wash the laundry for you by the program specified by you, dry it and fold it. You can also order online a complete service which includes picking up dirty clothes, washing, drying, ironing and delivery of clean clothes back to your home.

There are also Dry cleaners available in big shopping malls. 

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