How to find cheap rent in Bucharest – step by step guide

Finding an apartment for a cheap rent in Bucharest is a real challenge, because it involves a rather complex process. You need to start your search early and take into account certain criteria that are most important to you: renting budget, neighborhoods or areas of the city, floor, property features, such as surface, number of rooms, view, furnishing, etc.
find cheap rent in Bucharest

In Bucharest, like in other big cities under development, the real estate market is constantly evolving and changing. The vast majority of very good housing is rented through real estate agencies. That’s why it may prove very useful to seek for help from an experienced real estate agent. Which also means you’ll get access to a more comprehensive list of offers.

But if you decide to get help from a real estate agency, you should know that the agency also charges a commission, which is usually 50% or 100% of the first month’s rent value. Working closely with a single real estate agent and showing interest is important, because if the agent sees that you are really interested to rent a house, he will also invest more time to help you.

So, below we offer you some ideas on how to find cheap rent in Bucharest. First of all, it is useful if you can travel already to Bucharest, and be physically present here while you do the search. It may prove quite difficult for you to search from a distance, and it may be also difficult to engage a real estate agent. Here are the steps we advise to follow if you want to find good rent in Bucharest.

Step 1- Establish the budget

First of all, you need to determine what is cheap rent for you, what is the minimum and the maximum budget you can afford to pay the monthly rent and all the maintenance expenses which can come on top, such as: heating, water, internet and cable TV, etc.

Step 2 – Establish selection criteria

Next, think about what is important to you and a must-have in your future home. For example, you may need to live next to a subway station in Bucharest, so you have easy access to the city, you may want to have world-class utilities, you may want to live in a new building. Decide about the furniture – do you need to have new furniture or can you be pleased with an old one? Other aspects that you may want to decide upon before starting your search are: floor, area of the city, proximity to schools/kindergartens, or parks.

Once you decide on all these aspects and have clear in mind the property you wish to live in, it’s time to start the search.

Step 3 – Search and analyze prices

Depending on what you have decided, next you can start contacting real estate agencies, or go directly to renting websites, such as: Airbnb, wizmo.ro, or Facebook groups. Start verifying and filtering the available offers by your own criteria, and find out the prices. Don’t rush and compare prices until you find a reliable and financially suitable option for you.

Usually, lowest prices are for properties located on the outskirts of Bucharest or within long walking distance from the subway, but you may also find convenient options at lower budget – offered directly by landlords who want to rent urgently.

To help you find rent with a good price in Bucharest, we have selected below the factors that most often increase the renting price:

  • area/neighborhood – if you want to find a good price rental in Bucharest, it is good to know that, like in most of the big cities, you have to beware of the center. These are the areas such as: Unirii or Piața Romană, but also neighborhoods like Aviatorilor or Floreasca, where prices can usually be double compared to other neighborhoods;
  • surface of the property – you can make a compromise in this regard if you live alone, or if you do not spend much time at home. So, if the big surface is not a must-have for you, you can look for properties with one or two rooms, for which the surface is around 30 to 45 sqm;
  • number of rooms – if the apartment has 2-3 rooms, then the subdivision could allow you to rent together with a friend and share the renting and utilities costs; so, if you have a friend or life partner that you can share the space with, this can help in reducing the total costs for both the accommodation and utility bills. In addition, sharing grocery shopping expenses and cooked meals can also contribute to the total cost saving for both of you. Nevertheless, it is advisable to set out some ground rules about sharing the space, the chores and the accommodation costs right from the start, to prevent potential conflict with your friend later on.
  • furniture – can increase the value of rent if the property has new furniture; if you want to find cheap rent in Bucharest, you can make a compromise on this aspect;
  • endowments – an unfurnished or semi-furnished home costs less; Of course, the washing machine is necessary, but you can get a discount if you don’t need a dishwasher, for example, or microwaves, smart TV, etc.);
  • access to public transport and commercial areas – homes located near subway stations are more expensive, so you could search for those located at longer walking distance from subway; also, you may want to look for a rent near your job, faculty, or close to children’s school;
  • recent finishing of the apartment can also increase the price – if there’s recently installed double glazing, ceramic wall and flooring, the landlord may want to rent for a price higher then the market; So, check on all these details before you start negotiating the price.
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Step 4 – Call and ask for details on the property

The first and most important question is “if the x ad for the y property is still valid”, because a real estate agency can manage ads for dozens of properties. Then start asking for the details that interest you. If this is what appears in the ad, and you can ensure the property has all features that you need, it’s time to move to the next step.

Step 5 – Visiting and checking on the property

When visiting and checking the property, make sure you verify that the apartment has a functional heating system, it is efficiently insulated, and hot water is available. Heating system is important, as winters in Bucharest can be very hard, with temperatures that could reach down to -10 or -15 Celsius degrees. Also, make sure you check on safety aspects, such as: front door lockers, water pipes in good shape, neighbors, etc. You would also want to ask on how much the maintenance expenses are in average, so you have a clear picture of all future expenses related to the house, apart from the rent. And most importantly, make sure you feel comfortable in the house.

Step 6 – The final decision

Be prepared to decide on the spot, as good apartments are rarely available for more than a few days, because in Bucharest the demand for rentals is very high, given the presence of universities and many job offers.

Other useful things to know:
  • ensure you have all required documents (and money), in case you want to rent on the spot;
  • a deposit equal to the value of the monthly rent can be required; it will be refundable at the end of the lease period, after deducting a part representing the payment of invoices or possible damages/repairs;
  • read the entire rental agreement carefully and ensure there are no punitive clauses that may create problems later on. Read all annexes to the contract carefully. For this purpose, you can use our article: This is what you should look out for in your rental agreement, if you’re renting an apartment in Romania;
  • clauses that must be present in the contract: clause regarding the return of the guarantee (the value of the guarantee must be mentioned and the conditions for its return), clause regarding the change in rent value should not allow the landlord to change the rent value without properly communicating in advance, within a reasonable period, the contract termination clause (the duration of the notice of termination of the contract must be mentioned, as well as the conditions for its termination);
  • the landlord must sign the lease and you must receive a copy – if there are any doubts about certain parts of the contract, we advise you consult a lawyer before getting the contract signed.

Finding cheap rent in Bucharest is a rather difficult journey, especially if you want to move to a big city, such as Bucharest. However, the size of the city can be used in your favor, because Bucharest, compared to other Romanian cities, is a city that offers many opportunities in terms of jobs, business, social life, and education.

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Georgiana Dima

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