If you plan to move to Greece, you must consider living arrangements first and foremost. You have two options, either buying or renting an apartment. Buying is usually for those who can afford to do so initially or have spent time here before and are sure about investing in property here. Renting here in Greece can be unnecessary, and you can get tangled in a bureaucratic hassle. We have some tips that will help you out in the whole process.
This guide will give you all sorts of hazards and things to look out for when finding the ideal flat. Here, we also have pointers for what you should look for in the rental contract. Go through the whole article thoroughly before finding a place for yourself.
Is It Better To Rent Or Buy In Greece?
Throughout the years, we have seen that people in Greece are more inclined towards buying houses rather than renting them. About 73% of the people here own their houses whole a tiny 25% rent them. In the EU, Germany has the highest percentage of renters. The rest of the EU has 70% of its population having their properties. This is a tough choice to make, but in recent years with the Golden visa of Greece, buying properties has become a good option.
You can look at expats’ mortgage services that will help you decide better.
Peculiarities About Greek Apartments For Rent
Before diving into the whole apartment-hunting adventure in Greece, you must know a few things to look out for. These things usually differ if you are from outside the EU.
You will find a rare few apartments here that are furnished. Let us find out why.
The Bathroom Is Included In Greek Apartments
All Greek apartments have a separate bathroom available. There might be showers in the bathtub, likely if the apartment is tiny.
The Kitchen Might Not Be Included In The Apartments In Greece
It might come as a surprise for you, but yeah… you might not find a kitchen in your new apartment. If you want one, then you must keep an eye out for the places that offer one with their apartments. This practice is expected in the EU, and you will not get an exact reason for this. The people who own the apartments just want you to pay rent on time and follow some basic rules; the rest is all okay.
This results in people having their kitchens which they usually take with them wherever they move. If you are lucky, they might sell it to you for a reasonable price but know that it rarely happens. Usually, these are very expensive, and people don’t want to take them to their next place and can’t get out of buying one.
If a kitchen is a part of your rental agreement, you should recheck it and take a look at it yourself. You can also look at just those apartments that offer one.
With the digital industry expanding yearly, Greece sees many of them moving here. This means that there is a rise in fully furnished apartments available on famous websites for rentals. These are available for short, and long-term stays, which you must keep an eye out for.
If you are sure about buying a kitchen separately, you will have more options when looking for apartments. You can get a cheap apartment with an expensive kitchen. It might take a few months for the kitchen to be delivered, which costs thousands of euros. This is worth it for the long term, though.
Appliances Are Not Usually A Part Of The Apartment
As is the case with kitchens, the same is the case for other appliances in apartments. You will only find kettles, ovens, washing machines, fridges etc., in fully furnished apartments. Otherwise, you will have to measure all the space available where you can fit your required appliances. Also, remember that even appliances come in various sizes, so plan accordingly.
Utilities Are Not A Part Of The Rent
When renting an apartment, you need to know two terms—cold and warm rent. Cold rent is what you pay for the apartment space. Cold rent plus all the utilities make up the warm rent. These include water, heating, garbage pick-up and even TV cable. Electricity is usually not included in the utilities, and you will have to manage that on your own. So the warm rent is your monthly rent.
Communication Partners Vary When Looking For An Apartment
No one person is responsible for communicating with you when you approach them regarding an apartment. They can be the landlord, the property management, the previous tenant, the flatmate, a real estate agent or a tenant looking for a sublet. So just know the person when talking to them for clear communication.
Deposits Are Very Common
A deposit is asked for sure when getting an apartment. A deposit can be equivalent to one or two months of rent or even more if the tenant agrees to it and if it is reasonable. This also depends on the amenities offered by the apartment. The landlord gets to keep this deposit until you live in the apartment. Once you move out, in under three months, the landlord is supposed to give it back to you by law. You will have to trust your landlord, which is generally the case.
If you have damaged the property or have not kept it up to the mark in renovations, then your landlord will keep a part of your deposit to get all of these things fixed. You better treat it like your own personal home to avoid this situation.
Apartments Are Numbered Differently In Greece
When looking at floor names here in Greece, you might come across new terms. These are:
- Ground floor
- First half
And so on.
Definition Of The Number Of Rooms In An Apartment In Greece
The kitchen and bathroom are never counted as rooms in apartments here. If you want a living room and a separate bedroom, you will search for a 2-bedroom apartment.
How Much Is The Rent In Greece?
If you choose to live in a major city, the average rent here in Greece is 394€, and outside the city, it is 331€. This is for a one-bedroom apartment. This is a rough average estimate; it might not be the case in every city.
The actual rent depends on what city you live in, its location and the number of bedrooms.
How To Find An Apartment In Greece
Now that you know what to look for, you can start your search. If you go online, you will find many websites with rentals available on them. Let us tell you the best options available out there.
Greek Rental Properties Websites
- Blue ground
You should go through more than one site as each has a different listing available. You might like one apartment that you aren’t 100% sure of, and you might find one for yourself somewhere else. Ideally, you’d want to create an account where you get notified if any apartment matches your liking. This might take a while in some smaller cities.
Furnished Short-Term Rental Property Websites For Greece
It is usually the case that landlords want to meet their tenants in person before they agree to rent the apartment to them. This can be a problem for those coming in from another country. It is difficult but not impossible. We got a way or two for you.
To settle in quickly in a new country, what people usually do these days is get a short-term rental apartment or room. They can come here directly from their flight and figure things out. You can go around the city, find the neighbourhoods you like, and then look at listings for those areas. This also helps you avoid buying furniture as soon as you land. That is a big hassle on top of apartment hunting.
Some websites to look for these are:
- Blue ground
Rental prices will be higher than the long-term flats you can get. This does bring you the comfort of the internet and furnished spaces, which won’t be available in long-term apartments. They also don’t require a credit check from you, so that is a plus point.
When signing the contract for a short-term place, make sure it has the option for registering with this apartment. This will mean that the landlord has confirmed your residence here, and then you can get access to all the Greek services available. These include a sim, bank account and others. You will also need this on your tax account number to start getting paid.
Airbnb generally does not allow this option, so you might want to avoid it initially. This might seem a bit daunting, but most landlords here are aware of this and will certainly accommodate you.
You can also share a flat with someone if you are on your own. This is a common practice among those who have moved to Greece recently. You can take a look at Facebook or Flatio for this.
Real Estate Agents In Greece
Out of the thousands of real estate agencies registered in Greece, you can opt for any of those to help you looks for a place to call home. You will be required to pay a fee to the agent, but they will go through the hassle of finding your place for you. If you find a listing handled by an agency, you don’t have to pay the fee, but if you hire them, you will have to.
Documents Needed For Rent In Greece
There is a list of documents that you must present when renting an apartment. They are written on your rental agreement. A few common ones are:
- Copy or scan of passport or identity card
- Proof of income
This can be anything varying from your payslip, bank statements or a work contract. As a freelancer, you must show your books’ profits.
- A character certificate
If you have stayed at a rented place before settling in here, you will have to ask your previous landlord to give you a character certificate that says you have been a good tenant and paid your rent on time.
- A document that shows your credit score
This will be very crucial when renting a place. The landlord will be assured that you do not have any outstanding rent from the last place and that you have sufficient funds to pay him on time each month. The better your credit score, the more likely you will get the apartment you want.
Tips For Applying For Rent In Greece
From the list of documents required from tenants, it is clear that landlords rely heavily on how trustworthy and reliable you are. As tenant laws are very strong in the EU, all landlords will ensure that the person they rent out to is trustworthy. This will reduce all sorts of hassle for them and the tenant. Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind to get your dream apartment:
When you find a listing online or anywhere else, you should call the person in charge directly instead of getting into the formalities of writing an email to the concerned party. Ask them if the listing is still up and then book a visit to the place.
Make an excellent first impression
Think of it as an interview. Dress well, and be confident and friendly in making conversation—first impressions matter.
Brush Up Your Greek
Even if you are not fluent in Greek, try to speak a few phrases in it to show your willingness to learn the language.
Have All Your Documents Ready
Once more, bring with you:
- Id or passport copy
- Proof of income
- Character certificate
- Credit score
It Is Better If You Don’t Bring Your Pet Along
Many landlords do not accommodate pets, so try not to bring yours with you. Talk out the rent details and then ease it into the conversation so the landlord can compromise a bit.
Apartment hunting can be a tedious process which can take months. You might not want to get fixated on the first place you have seen. Explore a bit and keep doing so to get an idea of the type of places available for rent.
What Does A Greek Rental Contract Contain?
Every landlord has a contract, and so they come in different formats. Some everyday things found in them include:
Duration Of The Contract
Usually, rental contracts do not have an end date; this is illegal unless you have a valid reason. It might be the case that the landlord needs the place for themselves after a few months, or they are planning on selling it. In this case, they can have an end date.
Amount Of Monthly Rent
This is divided into cold rent and utilities. The utilities included must be mentioned in the contract so that you know you have to manage them independently. Utilities increase with consumption, so keep that in mind.
Usually, the contract mentions the deposit amount that the tenant has to pay firsthand. This is usually 1 to 2 months of cold rent. You must mention this in the contract, as you will get this amount back once you move out.
If you have a pet or are planning to get one, you must know if they are allowed here or not. Some landlords are more strict about these as compared to others.
List Of All Furniture And Appliances
If the apartment is furnished, there must be a list of the things that come with it. You will be held accountable if some damage occurs to anything.
The Notice Period
The notice period is usually one month in Greece
Some basic rules that you will have to follow must be mentioned in the contract. These can be related to handling trash or repairs a tenant must carry out.
Future Rental Price Increments
This might be optional and dependent on the landlord. There are laws regarding the increase in rent in Greece, so the landlord must follow them. You, as a tenant, must also be aware of these. The maximum increase is calculated compared to other similar apartments in the area. The rent increase is usually mentioned for the next three years.
Payment Method For The Rent
The most common method of payment is a bank transfer to the landlord. Their bank account details must be mentioned in the contract. To stay vigilant about your rent payment, you can set up a standing order with your bank a few days before the rent is due.
To know more details on a Greek contract, you can click here.
If you are a bit wary of the details of clauses in the rental agreement, then you can ask a legal expert to look over this for you. This can be done in person or virtually through various platforms available now. They also offer their services in English if you are unfamiliar with Greek.
Things To Take Care Of After You Move In
Suppose you have got your dream apartment, then congratulations! Don’t be in a hurry to get things into your apartment. There are still a few things that you must take care of before doing that.
Take Pictures Of The place
Before putting your things in the apartment, it is advised to take pictures of the whole apartment. This is useful if the landlord is a bit problematic or if the apartment has some trouble that was not there before. It is also helpful if the landlord changes during your agreement.
Registering Your New Address
You will have to register your new address with the local authorities within two weeks of moving in.
Get Your Name On The Doorbell And Letterbox
After receiving a confirmation email regarding your rental contract, you can ask the landlord if they will manage to put your name on the doorbell and letterbox or if you will have to do that on your own. It is not too big of a task, even if it falls on you, so you don’t need to worry about it.
Get An Internet Connection
As soon as you sign the contract, apply for an internet connection. This can take several weeks as the process is slow and tedious.
Sign Up With An Electricity Provider
You will have access to electricity when you move in, but you might want to change your provider as this will help you have several hundred euros every year.
Get Home Contents Insurance
After moving all your belongings to the new place, you might want to get them insured from theft or fire.
We have tried to compile all the essential aspects of renting a space in Greece. Everything has been explained to you, from small things to look out for to things to keep in mind. We wish you the best of luck in finding your new home here in Greece and hope that the country lives up to your expectations. Happy house hunting to you!