How to start living in Ostrava
The Ultimate Guide by Tereza Klozíková - Real Estate Agent
In this article, my intention is to be real with you. I will not idealise the moving process to Ostrava, instead I am bringing you the facts and real experiences I have with my clients on daily basis as moving here is not easy.
However, unlike other countries I have been to, I feel like there is so much more support available for expats, not only from our lovely Expat Centres but also from real estate agents just like me and many others.
Moving to Czechia
Depending on where you’re moving from, you might need a residence permit. If you are from EU and intending to stay here longer than 3 months, it is recommended you get the Registration Certificate. All information can be found on Ostrava Expat Centre’s website, so I will not talk about it in this article. It is just something you may need to consider having/doing along with CZ phone number and bank account if you are looking to rent in Ostrava.
Think about the location and where you would be best of living. The tram and buses are very reliable here and very frequent, so no matter where you choose to live, you will always get where you need. For example, you might actually save money by living in Výškovice area and travelling to Poruba, in comparison to paying for a flat in Poruba.
Process of finding an acommodation
Ideally the landlord will want to see some kind of income, whether it is from a permanent or temporary job, support from parents or a side job during your studies. If you have a job, make sure you have a contract and let the agent/landlord know, if it is a temporary or permanent position.
Now, the realness here is that many landlords and estate agents don’t actually speak english. Moreover, the agent will always be on the landlords side and so you might struggle from the beginning until you find someone who speaks english and could explain your situation and intentions.
I personally help expats with finding their dream home, make all the calls for you, go to the viewings with you or instead of you (if you are not here yet, or if you are too busy at work or school). In addition I try to negotiate the terms such as rent, deposit, furniture, appliances, length of rent etc and then check the contracts for you not only from the T&Cs perspective, but also from the legal perspective as to be honest, even czech people hire me to do this.
This is because many landlords or agents have unrealistic expectations of their tenants outside of the legal brackets and kind of try to trick you. This of course does not apply to everyone, but I have seen many cases by now and want to stay real with you as I promised at the beginning of this article. I helped and saved thousands of korunas for my clients simply by changing and negotiating so I know what we do is worth it.
Once you find something
Let’s say we worked hard and managed to find you an apartment. YAAY! The process after finding an apartment is usually as follows. The agent will send us a contract which we need to check and ensure all is perfectly legal and all conditions as negotiated are included. Then the financials come in. In Czech, it is still legal for an agent to charge a commission for providing you with the apartment. Quick fact, this is now banned in the UK.
So the initial charges include commission (usually one rent), deposit (could be up to 3 times rent, but usually around 2 times the rent amount) which will be returned to you at the end of your stay and then your first rent. So for example you find a place for CZK 9 000 per month all services included – you will have to have around CZK 36 000 only just to start renting. All payments should be made before signing the contract if you paying by bank transfer, or if cash it needs to be included in the contract and money handed over on the day of signing.
After moving in
Right, now you moved in and only a few bits are left to do. In many cases the gas and electricity should be in the tenants name so we need to get this changed as well as internet. If you’re a foreigner and not intending to get a permanent residency card, you do not have to pay the radio and TV license.
The water and heating meters details are taken on your day of moving and then once either half a year or once a year. This is for you and the owner to have a summary bill and see if you overpaid or underpaid.
If you need any assitance with this, me or the Ostrava Expats Centre are more than happy to help!
Author: Tereza Klozíková – Real Eastate Agent
(+ 420 731 533 001, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.terezaklozikova.cz)