If you decide to move to Moscow, either for short or long period of time, the first thing that you should think about is accommodation. Usually it is not a problematic to find a place to stay there, however you should be prepared for quite high prices for apartments in Moscow, since the Russian capital is fairly considered to be one of the most expensive cities in the world. If you are new in the city, this article might be useful for you: we will give you some useful tips on how not to be confused with so many accommodation options in Moscow and find the best one for you.
If you are not in Moscow yet and you would like to find an apartment to rent in advance, then using broker services might be a good idea. A broker is a professional, who is responsible for searching an apartment or house for you that will address your personal needs and fit criteria. By using his services, you can be sure that you will have the best place to stay. However, at the same time, you should be aware that usually a broker will take around 10% commission on the annual rent of accommodation. There are many brokers in Moscow and there is no problem to find one. However, we recommend you to read carefully the review of former customers and also to ask your friends or colleagues living in Moscow, whether they can recommend any broker. Also, in case if you are employed by a company in Moscow, it might have its own reliable broker, so it is recommended to contact the human department of your company and ask them about it.
There are enough online communities, forums and listings where locals list their places. Moreover, there you can also find information from larger companies that also offer their apartments to rent. Most of such online listings are absolutely free, and the most popular are the following:
You can find bulletin boards in many public places throughout the city, including university campuses, churches, grocery stores, shopping malls, schools, bus stops, community centers and etc. By checking such local ads on these boards you can easily find a much cheaper accommodation and also get an idea about neighbourhood and the area in general, where the accommodation is located. The only one problem here is that usually such ads are posted by locals, who might speak only Russia, so you may face some problems with communication.
Some tips in seeking accommodation in Moscow
- Read carefully rental agreements
Either you are using broker services or searching for accommodation independently, you should be very careful at reading and signing the rental agreement. First of all, it should written in two languages – both in English and Russian. Moreover, it should include the detailed information about water and heating facilities, as well as fees for any facilities management. Regarding electricity, it is usually paid separately, so it is not stated in the agreement.
- Get familiar with prices
As it has been mentioned above, Moscow today is one of the most expensive cities in the world, therefore the accommodation prices are quite high. The price usually depends on the location of the apartment, as well as its condition and the size. For this reason, it is better to get familiar with prices in advance in order to better orientate yourself in accommodation market. Thus, an average price for one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around 1,000 dollars per month. If you are searching for a bigger apartment with several bedrooms, be ready to pay between 1,500 and 3,000 dollars per month depending on the location. The cheapest apartment can be found on the outskirts of Moscow and usually are characterized “babushka style” apartments – a type of old accommodation that has not been renovated since the Soviet times. There is also one trick that you should know about renting an apartment in the Russia’s capital: the prices for permanent tenants are usually lower, which means that if you decide to rent an apartment for several years, it will cost you twice less than renting it for a couple of months only.