Accommodation in Bucharest

With patience, research and professional assistance, finding accommodation in Bucharest can be straightforward. In the right spots, expats will find neighbourhoods with cobbled streets, vibrant markets selling locally grown vegetables, parks with flowering linden trees and outdoor terrace cafés.

Types of accommodation in Bucharest 

Expats have many options when it comes to housing in Bucharest. The city is divided into six districts, stretching from the city centre to the suburbs. Apartments are most common in the city centre, but larger villas are available in some of the other neighbourhoods in Bucharest.
Accommodation in Bucharest is varied
Foreigners can search for furnished and unfurnished houses or apartments, with parking places, building security and other facilities. Expats should note, however, that a ‘three-roomed apartment' in an advertisement means that there are three rooms in total and not three bedrooms.
Refurbished old townhouses and apartments offer the luxury of living in a beautiful central area with coffee shops, parks, museums and art galleries. Some complain that Bucharest still has a rusty, Soviet-era appearance due to the communist blocks mostly found in the city’s east and west sides. But unique architecture can be found in central and northern Bucharest, including Art-Deco, Art-Nouveau, Brancovenesc (local design) and classic French styles.
Expats will have no trouble finding housing that suits their budget. Housing outside the Bucharest city centre tends to be cheaper, but prices vary depending on size and proximity to public transport and shopping malls. 
Buying or renting accommodation in Bucharest is expensive compared to other Romanian cities, but it is also often cited as the cheapest large European city for expats.
Flat sharing may be an option for students and young professionals who want to live in the city centre, but who cannot afford to rent in Bucharest on their own.

Finding accommodation in Bucharest

Although supply is high and there are options for every budget, it is advisable to use real estate agents when finding accommodation in Bucharest. An estate agent’s good level of English, French and sometimes Italian, Spanish or German, combined with their market knowledge, can assist expats in finding the right property. Fees may vary as a percentage of the buying price when purchasing, or the equivalent of one month’s rent if signing a lease.

Renting property in Bucharest

Refurbished small apartments in Bucharest cost less than larger new apartments. Expats should consider renting in a newly developed residential complex due to the good value for money and modern utilities. These also offer more space, but are not usually close to the city, which could be an issue in rush hour or during cold winters.
Relocation agencies can help make the transition to Bucharest less stressful by helping with things like negotiating lease agreements, connecting utilities, applying for residence permits, applying to schools, taxes and insurance. Unless an expat’s company is dealing with their relocation or they have a solid knowledge of Romanian language and laws, getting a quote from one of these agencies is worthwhile.
Foreigners familiar with the areas in Bucharest, who have already decided on where and in which type of housing they would like to live, can search online for the options available. They can then establish when viewings are available and negotiate rental prices with the landlord or real estate agent. 
Other online resources include expat blogs and sites that post short-term and long-term apartments for rent at premium prices. One can also search the websites of the residential complexes situated outside the city.

Deposits and leases in Bucharest

All legislation regarding landlords and tenants in Romania is state law, although certain taxes may differ at the local level. Considering the legal complexity of a lease, it is highly advisable that expats hire a lawyer or trusted real estate agent to assist them with the paperwork and lease negotiations.
Lease agreements in Romania are quite standard and may include clauses that allow the landlord to increase the rent according to inflation. Failing this sort of clause, rent can only be increased if the contract is for longer than one year.
Tenants may only sublet with written permission from the landlord, and under conditions set by the landlord.
The usual lease period is 12 months, but shorter leases can be negotiated. Rent is paid monthly and may include basic utilities. Furnished accommodation is available at a higher price. 
The deposit must be held at the landlord’s bank. At the end of the contract, the landlord may deduct expenses from the deposit for repairs to the property and for unpaid bills.

Safety and home insurance in Bucharest

Bucharest is in an area of seismic risk and certain old areas in the city were affected by the 1977 earthquake. Therefore, foreigners should ask about the building's year of construction and about any repairs made to the structure.
Home insurance is the landlord’s responsibility when renting. If buying a house, foreigners may choose from various options available on the market.

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Our Bucharest Expert

Andreea's picture
Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest, Romania
I was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania. I am passionate about traveling and discovering new cultures. I think people... more

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