For a long time, the Moscow rental market has been being compared to a minefield. A dangerous game with unpredictable results. A risk that you only take when it's really necessary. We don't want to overdramatize, but we have heard a lot of sad stories over the years. Especially from those who walked through this minefield without an experienced and reliable guide.
This guide is an attempt to keep you away from making mistakes. We want the process of finding an apartment not to become a nightmare, but to turn into a quick and even pleasant moment. What should you pay attention to? How to organize the search correctly? Where are the sharp corners, how to pass them by?
This is not a manual or a set of rigid rules. We have collected recommendations from the best Apple Real Estate rental agents who not only know their work but also love it.
Where to start?
Start with the main thing. Answer the questions: What do I want? What do I want my new apartment to look like? The more clarity and guidance there is, the more effective the search is. Here is our checklist:
-amount of rooms -interior style -furniture -storage space -separate wardrobe -shower or bathtub -balcony or terrace -parking availability
Determine the amount of money you are ready to pay. Define the financial range within which you will negotiate. Finally, determine the limit - the budget that you will definitely not go beyond.
Remember: the more interesting the option is, the faster it will be grabbed. The landlord will never wait. Expensive apartments (400,000 + roubles) may remain dead for months. But an apartment for 500,000 roubles, which used to cost, for example, 1,000,000 roubles, will be grabbed as quick as you can imagine — in 2-3 days.
Choosing an apartment is a very important matter. Better to study the market in advance. We recommend starting the active phase of the search three weeks before you need to move.
An old-fashioned argument about which is more profitable — a mortgage or rent? — is broken, in fact, by one argument - an amount. In Moscow, the profitability of the landlords of residential real estate is 3-4%. Obviously, it is more profitable to rent an apartment than to buy it.
Where to search?
There are many advantages in renting a flat. One of the most interesting ones is the opportunity to live in different parts of the city. "I don't want to spend an hour and a half a day on the way to work, shaking in the subway at rush hour!" What is the problem? Move closer to your work. "I dream of running in the park in the morning". All in your hands.
The historical centre has no problem with food and entertainment. There are plenty of good restaurants, pastry or coffee shops. Cultural life is also in full swing. There are theatres, museums, galleries, concert halls. Of course, housing here is the most expensive one. Trendy Patriarch's Ponds, elegant Zamoskvorechye, wealthy Khamovniki, solid Presnya, promising Basmanny and Tagansky districts — these are, perhaps, the main, in the financial sense, leaders of the capital.
A little further from the Ring there are such districts as Airport and Sokol in the North, Shchukino in the Northwest, Sokolniki in the East, Kolomenskoye in the South, Donskoy, Akademichesky and Gagarinsky in the Southwest, Fili-Davydkovo and Ramenki in the West. It's quieter here than in the centre. More parks, greenery, developed infrastructure: supermarkets, shopping centres, educational institutions. High level of transport accessibility. More than that, for the same money here you can rent an apartment twice the size than in the centre.
More remote from the historical centre residential areas (Sviblovo, Yasenevo, Pokrovskoe-Streshnevo, Troparevo-Nikulino, Kuntsevo, Khovrino) are perfect for families with children. The air here is cleaner, there are more gardens, children's clubs and entertainment centres. The best international schools are located in each of these districts. For example, the oldest international school in Moscow, with its graduates studying at the University of Oxford and Princeton University — the Anglo-American School of Moscow — is located in Pokrovskoe-Streshnevo, and the newest school Brookes, that works under the International Baccalaureate (IB) system, is located in Sviblovo.
Home, sweet home!
The tale of the three little pigs teaches us to pay attention to the structure of the house and its reliability. Let's start with Stalin-era buildings (so-called "Stalinki"). This is an example of a good-quality building in the middle of the last century. Houses made of brick with thick walls. Such houses, usually, have big kitchens, rooms, and large windows. However, there are disadvantages. Some stalinkas has no elevators or trash chutes.
About 10-15 years ago, the Vorobyovy Gory, Alye Parusa, and Triumph Palace complexes were put in commission. At that time it was, perhaps, the most prestigious housing in Moscow. Pop stars, top managers, well-known lawyers, and officials settled here. Now, these habitable spaces are no longer the first in the ratings of what is the best. These apartments are not as pricy as before, however, they still indicate high social status.
The most expensive and popular luxury complexes today are Grubber House, Bunin, Nabokov, Sady Pekina (meaning: Beijing Gardens), Granatny (meaning: Garnet), Knightsbridge. Luxury housing of a new level. Decent design and architecture. Such houses are characterized by a new level of construction. Here you can find lobbies that you would find in boutique hotels, panoramic penthouses, roof gardens. Here you enjoy a special quality of water and air purification. A smart air conditioning system controls the temperature. There are real fireplaces and huge closets. Often, even during construction, 2 parking spaces are assigned to the apartment in the underground parking lot.
Pre-revolutionary mansions (old dwelling stock) are the glory and history of old Moscow. A special type of chic and luxury. Decorative details on the facade, balconies, porticos, bay windows, and uncommon layouts. The old communications may be a downside, but such houses are intensively reconstructed now. Due to the efforts of architects and developers, they are being transformed into deluxe apartments.
How to search?
Paper ads at the entrances of the buildings like "Looking for a responsible tenant" either have gone in the wind or are about to go. The search front has moved to the Internet.
You can search for an apartment on the websites of real estate agencies. For example, on ours — reapple.ru Here you can see all the current options at once. Filters allow you to cut off excess, which means that you can save time significantly. A detailed description of the apartment or house, high-quality photos, video presentations are at your service. Here you can choose an agent as well, contact him or her, or just leave a request. Most of the offers on the site are commission-free for the tenant.
Locals — thelocals.ru is a large database of offers without commission. In order to get the contacts of the owners, you need to subscribe for 3, 10 or 30 days.
Cian — cian.ru The main working tool of all real estate agents. Perhaps the most complete database of offers. There are many filters for automatic search. You can subscribe to new options notifications. Most of the ads are from agents, liable to a commission. A lot of repeated offers, descriptions are not always true. In addition, sometimes agents undervalue the price without the landlord's consent.
Yandex Realty — realty.yandex.ru is similar in functionality to Cian and often come up with progressive tricks but still can not become leaders.
Avito — www.avito.ru There are many offers directly from the landlords, especially in the segment of low-cost housing. But please be attentive and careful — there are more scammers on this site than on others.
There are reliable groups in social networks where you can rent an apartment directly from the owner, or leave your application. No agents. All offers are commission-free. Limited selection and a lack of filters are the downsides. Recommended Groups are: "Flats for Friends" www.facebook.com/groups/509679185734909/ and "Аренда в Москве" (Rent in Moscow) vk.com/arendakvartir_ru
What about a commission?
Let's say you have a lot of free time and no particular requirements for future housing. In addition, over the past few years, you've been studying the rental laws scrupulously. Well, in this case, you may search on your own.
But what if you're not a lawyer, and you have a dog and a cat? That you want your bedroom windows to face east, for example, because you like to get up early? Then without an agent, it will not be easy for you.
Secure the deal, choose the perfect option, make a favourable lease agreement — for all this, contact us. We handle requests quickly and — what is important — efficiently. A commission is a fee for a service. It includes the selection of apartments according to your request, the organization of viewing sessions, negotiations with the landlord. At the same time, no one limits the number of options. The agent will offer everything that is on the market at your request.
Our website has a section "choose an agent". When choosing, you can start with agents who already have objects in the area you need. They are well aware of all the pros and cons of houses and will tell you about all the nuances. The agent will take on the approval of the agreement, negotiations with the landlord. In one case you will be able to get a discount, in another the walls will be repainted or furniture will be taken out especially for you. After the transaction, you can always contact the agency if there are any problems. Is it all worth the commission? You are the one who should think and decide.
How do i make a choice?
It is better to schedule a viewing in the daytime. It will be possible to see the apartment as well as the house and the surrounding area. If it is an apartment with a good view, and the windows face west, then come at sunset.
Take your time. After all, you will probably live here. Without any fuss appreciate the comfort of the place.
Check the details that are important to you on the spot. Is it noisy with the windows open? Does the washing machine have a drying function? Will there be any difficulties with cleaning? Tile floor and small items in the interior require wet cleaning at least once a week. What about potential allergens? Pay attention to the plants and carpets.
Think about whether you can compromise something in your request. For example, it can be difficult to find an apartment with a wardrobe. You may try to find an apartment with an additional room and adapt it for storing clothes.
We know that quite often furniture is a problem when choosing an apartment. If you have your own, you can agree on the removal of excess, or offer the owner to sell or transport it to the warehouse during your leasing agreement.
Find out if there are pharmacies and supermarkets within walking distance. How long does it take to get to the metro?
We hawe children and dog. Is there any chance?
Yes, the owners sometimes directly indicate in the requirements: no children/no pets. But in practice, they often change their point of view. There are many reasons. One of them is. Tenants without children and animals do not guarantee the perfect safety of the apartment. Nothing prevents them from organizing noisy parties, inviting a lot of guests, for them, it is not a problem to change this apartment for another one at any time.
But for families with children, it is much harder to find a new apartment and to organize a move. In most cases, they are set up for long-term rentals. For them, moving is worse than a fire. They become attached to the place for a long time, because of nurseries and schools.
You can offer the landlord a double deposit if you really liked the apartment. Most of the time it is a very important argument.
How to sign a lease agreement?
We are guided by Article 35 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. A lease agreement is signed between individuals in a simple written form. Notarial attestation is not required.
Before the agreement make sure to order an extract form from the Russian Register of Rights to Immovable Property and Transactions Therewith with up-to-date information about who is the owner of the property.
What must be mentioned in the agreement?
-The parties to the agreement and their passport information -The exact information about the housing specified in the certificate of the state registration of the right -The term of the agreement and the procedure for its extension -Full names of the people living in the apartment -The cost and payment procedure, the specifics of its possible changes -The procedure for early termination of the agreement. It is important to specify for how long the landlord will have to warn you if he wants to terminate the contract, and similarly on your part. Usually, it is 1-3 months -The procedure for returning the deposit. For example, will it be included in the payment for the last month? -Payment procedure for housing and communal services. Who pays for electricity, water, internet, etc.? Enter the meter readings in the agreement at the time of check-in and get a confirmation from the owner that there are no debts -The procedure for carrying out repairs. Who will be responsible for carrying out repairs of failed household appliances? -Arrangements for having pets in the apartment
It is in your best interest to thoroughly review all the furniture and equipment. Indicate the current damage. Upon termination of the agreement, you will have proof. If the owner accidentally or deliberately "forgets" about the defects of the apartment, then you will save your security deposit.
How to terminate a lease agreement?
There are 2 possible ways: by agreement of the parties and in court.
Termination by agreement of the parties is a termination under the terms of the contract. The peaceful way. For example, if it states that you must notify the landlord about the termination with 30 days in advance, then you must send such notification by registered mail. If you have agreed that the landlord warns you about the termination 3 months in advance, but he needed the apartment earlier, then you may sign an additional agreement, where the owner undertakes to pay you a penalty for the inconvenience caused.
If the parties do not agree, the agreement is terminated upon request. The procedure for termination of a residential lease agreement is prescribed in Article 687 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.
The landlord has the right to terminate the agreement with the tenant if the tenant:
- systematically violates the terms of the agreement - delays a payment - causes damage to property - uses the living space for other purposes.
The tenant has the right to demand the termination of the agreement if:
- the room is not suitable for living or is in a state of disrepair - the landlord prevents the use of the living space (for example, changes the lock, comes without warning) - the apartment revealed significant shortcomings that were not and could not be known to the tenant at the time of the agreement conclusion.
To terminate the agreement in court, you need to send a letter to the second party with an appropriate offer. Then get a written refusal or wait for the deadline within which you must receive a response (30 days, unless otherwise specified in the agreement). File a claim for termination of the lease agreement in the district court. At the first appeal, the court appoints a period for eliminating violations, at the second, a decision to terminate the agreement in court is made.
What else do i need to know?
Write down all the confirmed important decisions with the landlord — as an additional document to the lease agreement. Whether you decide to get a cat, moving in a brother or student, throw out an old mattress and buy a new one instead - first agree with the owner.
Get prepared for possible difficulties. Save the useful phone numbers of the management company, the housing department, or the concierge in case of accidents with electrics or plumbing. Find out how to shut off the water if the pipe will break and where the electricity is cut off.
Don't go to extremes. You can replace the light bulb by yourself, but cold batteries in winter, a broken socket, a constant bad smell in the bathroom are the reasons for the landlord to get promptly involved. This is his duty, spelt out in the agreement: "To maintain all elements and technical systems, as well as equipment in the apartment in a good and safe condition and immediately organize repairs at his own expense in case of a malfunction or breakdown".
I need registration
You need to discuss with the owner his willingness to register you in his apartment while you will live there. To do this, he will need to provide, among other documents, the lease agreement to the Public Services Centre. Many landlords still avoid paying taxes, so they do not want to reveal the agreement to state authorities.
Temporary and permanent registration complement and, in some cases, replace each other. Everyone knows that it's difficult to get a job without registration, as well as join nursery or school. Difficulties will arise while applying for social payments at a new place of residence, or when trying to get a loan, or a new passport. In most cases, if not possible to get a permanent registration, it is successfully replaced by a temporary one.
The tenant can use residential parking if the landlord issues a special permit for it at the State Service Centre.
It is important to find out whether the landlord will be able to issue such a permit before signing the contract. For example, individual entrepreneur may not be able to get a permit. This is explained by the fact that the Department of Transport, requesting the Russian Register to check the landlord, will receive a mismatch of data: the apartment is registered to an individual, but in the lease agreement he/she is a "individual entrepreneur".
The resident permit entitles you to free parking in paid city parking areas within the area of residence from 8 pm to 8 am daily for 1, 2 or 3 years (at the applicant's choice). In order to park the rest of the time (from 8 am to 8 pm you need to pay a fee of 3, 6 or 9 thousand roubles for - 1, 2 or 3 years, respectively).
Landlords can effect a permit for tenant's cars in case of a lease agreement that has state registration in the Russian Register and temporary registration with the tenants (for more than 1 year). At the same time, the validity period of both documents must be longer than the validity period of the permit.
The permit can be issued for a car whose owner has no outstanding fines, or there is a court decision to cancel them. The principle of issuing a permit is "1 apartment — 2 permits".