Over the past twenty years Russia has undergone some significant changes. As the nation’s economy has strengthened it has become a more popular destination for relocation. Consequently, the property prices have risen in some areas and look set to continue gradually increasing.
As with most countries the price of property in Russia can be significantly higher in the most popular cities, like Moscow and St Petersburg.
In Russian cities people commonly live in apartments. There are several types of Russian apartments available to buy or rent which are classed based on their quality. They include Standard, Above-average, Western-style, Elite Renovation and Luxury.
If you don’t plan on staying in Russia for a significant amount of time, or if you want to trial living there before you buy a property, homestay accommodation is a reasonably priced option.
There are plenty of ways to go about finding property in Russia including word-of-mouth recommendation, newspaper classifieds, property websites, signing up with an agency and using local estate agents.
If you do register with an agency all of the searching will be taken out of your hands as they find properties to suit your requirements and help you arrange viewings whilst many Russian estate agents provide an ‘accommodation service’ through which they can offer support and advice. Both of these options will charge a commission for their services based on the length and type of contract you sign. This is commonly a one-time fee payable on the signing of the contract.
Only seek advice from reputable sources whichever approach you take, and if you don’t speak Russian you may want to engage the services of a trustworthy translator.
In high end properties rent can be charged in US Dollars and payments are often made in cash. Rent is typically paid on a monthly basis or quarterly basis.
There are several good things about renting property in Russia, such as the law is pro-tenant, alterations can be made to the property by the tenant and rent is fixed with utilities usually included. An important fact to bear in mind however is that if the value of the property increases the cost of rent usually increases too. One month’s security deposit is typically asked for and there must be contracts drawn up in both Russian and your native language.
Contracts can be both fixed and unfixed, but unless a tenant is in breach of their contract a landlord cannot legally end it early. However, if a contract is for a period longer than a year it must be registered in the State Registration Office and this can be a lengthy procedure!
Tenants can also sub-let their apartment if they gain the permission of the landlord.
Finally, as most mid to low end rental properties in Russia are uninsured you might want to consider taking out insurance. This will usually cost between 0.5 and 1 percent of the cost of the property.
When it comes to buying property in any country research is key. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the area, typical property values, the property itself and local amenities before you make any decisions.
In Russia properties situated next to areas or cultural or historical interest and properties which command good views are typically more expensive than those which aren’t. The condition of the building can also often dictate its value, as can the property’s entrance and communal areas.
Before making any commitments make sure to be completely certain that the property meets your requirements and look into any legalities attached to it.
A particularly important issue to consider is whether or not there are any children registered to the property as it the process can be complicated if there are.