Contents of the article
We all know that renting an apartment is a hassle. It makes it even more complicated and confusing if you are looking for a place in a different country. In this case, you are probably going to move to Russia and interested in how to rent an apartment in Moscow.
In this article, I’ll answer the most common questions people have when they are looking for an apartment in Moscow for long or short-term rent.
If there is something not clear to you and you still have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below this post. I’ll be more than welcome to give you advice!
How much is rent in Moscow?
Overall, real estate in Moscow is the most expensive in Russia. You might find it expensive even if you come from one of the western countries. Thanks to the financial crisis and fall of the Russian Ruble in 2014, real estate got a lot more affordable for foreigners. Since then, rent prices were cut almost in half in the US Dollar.
Below, we will take a look at apartment prices in Moscow for a long and short-term rent.
The long-term rent market in Moscow is booming even during the crisis. There are a lot of different options on the market for all kinds of budgets.
The cheapest one-bedroom apartment in Moscow you can rent for 25,000-30,000 Rubles. These are apartments in the old Soviet buildings in the suburbs, with a sad interior. It’s not the place you would want to live unless you have no choice.
The better option you may want to consider is renting a small studio or one-bedroom apartment in the city center. An average price for those is about 55,000 Rubles a month. For that price, you can find an apartment with decent furniture and interior, located close or within the Garden Ring.
If you are looking for more comfort, there are plenty of options available for 70,000-110,000 Rubles a month. These are centrally located, modern and well-furnished apartments with air-conditioning.
Elite apartments in Moscow are very expensive, their rental price can go as high as $10,000 a month.
You might be also looking to rent a flat for a short amount of time – for example, instead of staying at hotels. In this case, you should expect to budget at least 1500 Rubles per day for the cheapest one-bedroom apartment. The better looking and more conveniently located apartments would cost you about 3000 Rubles per day. It may be a good option instead of staying at hotels, which are expensive in Moscow. I recommend you to take a look at these top 5 vacation rentals in Moscow that you can rent on Homeaway.com.
What are the best neighborhoods in Moscow?
When searching for a place to rent, you have to consider its location. Most importantly, it has to be located close to the subway station – no more than 15-20 minute walk from the apartment. The closer – the better. Keep in mind that you will be getting around by subway a lot while living in Moscow.
Example: if there was a choice to pick one of the two apartments, I would pick a place which is located a few subway stops father but with a shorter walk to the station, rather than the one closer to the city center but with a further walk to the closest subway station.
Here are some of the best and the most expensive neighborhoods in Moscow: Arbat, Tverskaya, Kitay-Gorod, Ostozhenka and Hamovniki. Some of the neighborhoods with the middle-priced apartments: Tagansky, Aeroport, Krylatskoe, Sokolniki, Strogino, Filevsky park, Ostankino.
The cheapest real estate in Moscow is in its industrial part: mostly in the east and southeast suburbs of the city. Some of the worst Moscow neighborhoods to live are Novo-Peredelkino, Biryulyovo, Solncevo, Vykhino, Butovo, Brateevo, Bibirevo, Kapotnya, Tekstilshiki and Kuzminki. The highest crime rate is in the following neighborhoods: Chertanovo, Golyanovo, Izmailovo, Kuzminki, Vykhino and Konkovo. These are not the best areas where you would want to rent a place.
How to find an apartment?
I don’t think searching for an apartment in Moscow on your own is a good idea unless you speak Russian. You will certainly need help from a Russian friend, realtor or real estate agency.
In Russia, people mostly use the Russian Craigslist (website Avito.ru) to look for an apartment. It is the most popular marketplace with thousands of listings. But it’s only in the Russian language so you would have to contact the owners and deal with everything on your own. Not a realistic option unless you do speak Russian or you have a local friend who is willing to help you rent a place in Moscow.
Otherwise, your best bet would be to hire a professional from a real estate agency. You will have to pay the commission, which is usually 100% of a 1-month rental price. Owners of the apartments ask for one month payment and security deposit of the same amount. This means that when you are first starting to rent you will have to pay 3 amounts of the monthly cost all at once (two to the owner and one to the real estate agent).
By hiring an agent, you won’t have to do much besides look at the options that the realtor has to offer. He or she will also help you to communicate to the owner and do the required paperwork. Some of the reliable real estate agencies that offer cheap apartments for rent in Moscow are “Flatlink” and “Fortline”.
Apartments in Moscow: what are they like?
Most of the one-bedroom apartments in Moscow have a size of 118-164 sq.feet. If you have lived in a house most of your life, transitioning to a small apartment in the city center may not be easy for you. But it’s not something to be very concerned about – you’ll get used to the lesser space. You will actually find it convenient to have everything within reach.
Something important to keep in mind is that air-conditioning is not really a thing in Russia. You will only find aircon in some of the newly built or newly renovated apartments. It might be a problem for you because it does get very hot in the summer – just to give you a heads up.
Another thing you may have to get used to if you lived in the United States is having a huge refrigerator. You are not likely to have an equal size fridge in the apartment you rent in Moscow. But it’s not a big deal because you can do groceries more often and not buy as much stuff all at once.
On a good side, most of the apartments do have washers. But not all of them have a dryer. And dishwashers are rare as well… Oops.
How about the utility bills?
A tenant is the one that pays the utility bills, such as electricity, water, gas, and the internet. On an average, you can expect to pay a total of about $100-$150 a month for utilities of a one-bedroom apartment in Moscow.
How to avoid rental frauds?
Rental frauds often happen in big cities like Moscow. The real estate market in Moscow is huge and there are a lot of scammers that try to take advantage of it and to fraud newly comers. That’s why I would highly recommend not renting on your own unless you do understand the process of renting in Russia and you know the local language. It is necessary to check the paperwork of the apartment’s owner to make sure that the rent is legit.
Is there an apartment that is significantly cheaper than the others similar on the market? It is the first sign that it is a possible fraud. One of the most popular rental frauds is when fraudsters re-renting the same apartment (which they rented as well for a few days) at the same time to multiple people (they make a bunch of keys for the apartment). After you and the others sign the rental contract and give them the money for the first month, they disappear. At the end, you’ll find out the next day that that person you rented from was not an owner and the same thing happened to a few other people. You lose the money you’ve paid and which is worse, you have to look for rent AGAIN.
Don’t fall for the suspiciously cheap price!