Renting a flat in Prague is quite straightforward, with basically two options. The first one is to look for ads in newspapers or on the internet and rent a flat from a private owner, or use a real estate agency which can take some of the hassle out of the flat-hunting process.
Prices for rentals are on a par with the rest of the EU, rather than cheap as it used to be, thanks to the Czech Republic’s accession to the EU, the strong growth of its middle class, and the lack of quality housing in relation to demand. Bargains are still possible, but you’ll just have to search a little harder to find them – good advice is to ask a local to help because some real bargains are advertised only in the Czech language. Many apartments in Prague are still rent-controlled by the government, but those are very difficult to get by and are mostly only available to the locals. Obviously you can expect higher rents closer to the city centre. Flat rental prices also depend on the length of contract, which is usually a minimum of three months up to two years, and whether the flat is furnished or not. You can expect to pay between 8000 and 30,000 CZK/month when renting a flat in Prague plus bills for electricity, water and other utilities ranging from 800 CZK to 3000 CZK based on the location and, obviously, usage. Bargaining isn’t out of the question; just don’t be shy to ask for discounts but do not expect more than 5 to 10%.
Real estate agencies usually charge a fee of about one month’s rent, a security deposit of first and last month’s rent and any additional costs, and you’re looking at about a four months’ rent down-payment.
When signing a lease with your landlord, insist on the contract in your own language, a proof of ownership document and a hand-over protocol (a list of contents and their condition in order to safeguard your deposit at the end of the contract).