In this section you will learn basic information about housing in the Czech Republic. We will focus on renting a flat or a house, where to look for housing, what the lease agreement has to include, what is covered by your utilities bill, what are your obligations as a migrant to the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, and we will also provide you with useful links and contacts.
- Where to Live
- Where to Look for Housing (either for sale or for rent)
- Lease Agreement
- Fees and Services
- Reporting the Place of Residence to the Ministry of the Interior of the CR
- Useful Contacts and Links
Where to Live
In the Czech Republic you can live in your own flat or house if you buy one. You can also rent a flat/house or rent a single room in a flat/house. When you look for accommodation, keep in mind that it has to be a space intended for living, short-term accommodation or recreational stay (it is not possible to live in commercial premises, such as an office) and the living area has to correspond to the number of people living there (1 person – 8m², 2 persons – 12.6m², every other person – plus 5m²). This is important as you need to provide the Ministry of the Interior with proof of accommodation when extending your stay in the CR. More information is available at the official website of the MI.
Where to Look for Housing (either for sale or for rent)
You can use services of real estate agencies, which offer consultation on the sale or lease of their properties. However, you have to consider the fact that agencies will charge a fee for their service. When renting, the fee usually represents one month’s rent.
Lease and Sublease Agreement
What is the difference between the lease and the sublease agreement? The lease agreement is used by owners who let someone use their property. The sublease agreement is used by lessees who let someone use the property (or its part) they lease and do not use themselves. The sublease agreement gives the tenant less rights than the lease agreement. The lessor may ask you to move out of the flat only if there are legal reasons to do so, while the sublease is terminated together with the termination of the lease.
A lease agreement has to be made in writing. Above all, it has to include a designation of the two parties – the landlord and the tenant, a description of the flat and any extras that go with it, the rent including utility fees and when you should pay your rent (usually it is paid monthly). The agreement also usually states how long the lease is signed for. If this information is not included, it means that it is signed for an indefinite term.
Fees and Services
It has to be noted that the rent is usually not the final amount of money that you pay for your accommodation.The rent usually does not include any additional fees for utilities and services such as water, gas and electricity, municipal waste collection, television and radio licence fee, fixed telephone line or a lift.
The landlord will most probably ask you to pay a deposit, which is usually two months’ rent. The maximum allowed deposit is six months’ rent. This deposit serves as a principal sum to cover any unpaid rent or damage to any items in the flat. If such a situation occurred, the landlord would have to calculate the damage and then deduct the sum from the deposit. However, the landlord must not use the deposit for any other purpose and they must give it back to you after the termination of the lease.
Reporting the Place of Residence to the Ministry of the Interior of the CR
Once you have moved, you have 30 days to inform the relevant office about the change of your address. If you lease a flat, the owner must not forbid you to report the address to the MI. Failing to do so would be a breach of a legal obligation, which could have an impact on your residence permit.
The Land Register is a free and open database of information about real estate property rights and other details.
To understand the real estate market better and to get an idea about prices, you can use the price map created and run by the Association of Real Estate Agencies.
Free Assistance and Information
If you need help, contact integration centres and NGOs, which provide social counselling free of charge. They will help you to look for a flat, contact the landlord, will accompany you at the flat inspection and explain everything that you need to know.