I’m looking for an
apartment in Prague, but I don’t speak Czech
Renting a new apartment in your native country is a time consuming experience at best. But when it’s abroad, when you don’t know the local language and don’t know where to look, it can seem an almost impossible task.
However, don’t despair, this handy list of requirements and tips will make the experience that bit more pleasant.
Firstly you need to ask yourself the following:
- What are you looking for – An apartment, a flat share (room), a house?
- Is it a long-term or short-term rental?
- Do you want to rent directly with the landlord or through an agency?
- Do you have Czech speaking friends or colleagues to help you along the way?
Cohabitation is usually a longer-term type of rental, where flatmates divide between them, the cost of renting an apartment . As a rule, everyone pays for their room (the price is determined by its size / condition), and the costs of services and energy (electricity, gas, water, cleaning, etc.) are split between tenants.
In Czech Republic flat shares are usually popular with students, foreigners and young professionals who can’t afford to rent an entire apartment by themselves.
Some good places to search flatshares in English include:
Unfortunately, many of the flatshare sites and groups are often in Czech, but with Google Translate you’ll get a decent understanding of what’s on offer. Whats more, you might even learn some Czech along the way. On the plus side, the most likely people to speak and write in fluent English are the younger generations who typically opt for this type of rental.
Tip: Get an e-mail address with a .cz domain that will not automatically drop into a Spam folder.
Flatshare pages in Czech:
Renting an apartment – short-term
If you are looking for a short-term rental in Prague, rentals via services like Airbnb are usually advertised in English, with the host often having a good command of the language.
Short-term rentals can be found here:
Renting an apartment – long-term
Long-term rentals essentially fall under two categories: those advertised by real estate agencies; who usually act a mediatory, and those advertised by the Landlords themselves.
Tip: Never pay anything in advance, before seeing the contract.
Again, many listings are solely in Czech, but likewise can be translated into English with an online translation tool. However, more and more websites now offer an English version of their webpages.
Before you decide on a new home, consider the following:
- Transport and accessibility – is the location suitable for your needs (commute time, transport links, parking)?
- The total monthly cost price (including the deposit, energy / utility bills, agency fees) – does it fit with your budget?
- The neighbourhood – is it in a safe area? Are there parks / cafes nearby? How are the noise levels?
Tip: Consider using expat Facebook groups or asking colleagues about suitable neighbourhoods.
If possible, it’s advisable to arm yourself with a native speaker – a friend or colleague, who will arrange the necessary communication with the lessor (who may not speak English fluently). Before signing the contract, you should have answered all the important questions and found the necessary information related to renting and using the flat.
Rentals (primarily) direct from Landlords (Czech)
Rentals from agencies (English)
Rentals – mix (Czech)
Tip: You can find more useful information and groups on Facebook.
Author: Míša Benešovská
I’m a freelance journalist and copywriter, mainly covering IT industry. I’ve been fascinated by it for nearly a quarter of a century (or since I dismantled my first computer). I worked for Seznam.cz, Unicorn Systems or Mafra publisher. In my spare time, I love game consoles and keep perfecting a recipe for the best pumpkin risotto in the world.
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