How to Rent an Apartment in Russia

How to Rent an Apartment in Russia
How to Rent an Apartment in Russia

In this article, you will learn about the prerequisites for renting an apartment in Russia, how to locate Russian flats for rent, and your tenant rights when renting an apartment in Russia.

Moving to Russia necessitates finding housing in Russia and determining where to live in Moscow, including whether you want to be in the center of the city or on a calmer side street, as well as if it is preferable to purchase or rent property in the capital.



Choosing to rent in Russia might be a viable alternative for expatriates migrating to Russia in the short term, since Russian legislation is quite beneficial to renters. When you rent Russian flats, you have greater freedom to browse around and investigate certain locations of the country. In addition, since many expats are on temporary job contracts in Russia, it might assist you with determining how long you want to remain and if purchasing a home there is a wise investment.

Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian rental real estate market has become very intensely competitive. At the time, all property belonged to the state and was given to people for usage according to their occupations. Following the collapse of communism, Russian housing, particularly Moscow property, has grown, with a thriving market for both renting and purchasing Russian real estate.




In order to finance the apartment of your dreams, you must first apply for a Russian mortgage.
However, as the Russian economy grew after the collapse of communism, rental rates in Moscow skyrocketed; capitalism and greater foreign investment resulted in an inflow of foreign nationals and an increase in the demand for housing in the city.




Bloomberg reports that several multinational companies have withdrew or reduced their investments in Ukraine since the drop in oil prices and the difficult political situation in the country began in 2015, according to the publication. The decreasing demand for real estate in Moscow has resulted in a decrease in the price of Moscow rents, which has fallen by as much as 40% in certain regions. Despite the fact that the market is still quite competitive, renters in Moscow may obtain a better deal for their money.



Apartments in Russia are classified into many categories.

As a rule, apartments make up the vast majority of available rentals in Russia, and they may be rented furnished, semi-furnished, or unfurnished. The majority of landlords are willing to accept requests to add or remove furnishings. In certain situations, you may be able to negotiate that they will acquire furnishings that you have bought before you depart.



The market for gated communities and opulent homes in Moscow’s affluent outskirts is likewise crowded with opportunities. Naturally, you should anticipate to pay a higher price and to have a longer journey. In Moscow, on the other hand, you will have a better chance of locating a rental home.



To assist students decrease the expense of renting an apartment in Moscow, there are dorms, room rentals, and homestays available. More information may be found in our guide to student housing in Russia.

There are also some unique kinds of Russian housing, such as the kommunalki, which are communal apartments found in Moscow, and the dacha, which are modest cottages found in the country. More information may be found in our guides on the history of Russian dwellings and the history of Moscow flats.



Russian apartment rental rates are on the rise.

In Moscow, rental fees are often given with square meter measures and a monthly cost in rubles or US dollars, depending on the area. It is estimated that a one-bedroom apartment in Moscow’s city center would cost on average RUB 55,000, while a one-bedroom apartment in the outskirts will cost on average RUB 33,000, according to Numbeo.



 It is possible to get a three-bedroom apartment for between RUB 90,000 and RUB 180,000 depending on the location and size. In certain circumstances, however, there is potential for bargaining in terms of rental pricing, such as via Russian utilities or haggling on furniture and redecorating. Rent is often still paid with cash. The majority of landlords accept wire transfers in either roubles or dollars as payment.




A one-month rent deposit is also required by the vast majority of landlords in the city of Moscow. Use of a real estate agent will almost certainly result in a fee for securing the property, as well as fees for administrative and arranging services such as drafting rental agreements. This might vary from agent to agent, so be sure to inquire about fees up front.


The best way to locate Russian rental flats

The most popular method of locating property in Moscow is via the use of an estate agent. If you have a good command of the Russian language and want to get a better deal on local Moscow accommodation, you can look for it in newspapers or on websites such as Gdeetotdom, Cian, The Locals, and Kvartirant, which list properties from estate agents and private landlords and allow you to search by price range.



Whether you choose to work with an estate agency or go it alone, you may want the services of a translator to ensure that you can speak effectively with the agent or landlord and that you completely comprehend what is included in the rental agreement.

The services of an international real estate agent, who will draft the appropriate lease paperwork in both Russian and English, are available to foreigners. They will, of course, charge a premium for this service.



Real estate agencies and serviced flats in Moscow that cater to expatriates may also be found online; a simple internet search will provide countless results, including the following:


Agreements for the rental of Russian apartments

Rental agreements in Moscow are typically produced by the real estate agent and are not notarized very often unless the agreement specifies otherwise. There are two versions of a conventional lease: one in Russian and one in English. Contracts are often brief, but the terms and conditions may differ from one another, so be sure to read them thoroughly before signing.

Rental agreements in Moscow are typically for one to three years in duration. A notice of one to three months is required to be given to the landlord in the event of an early termination. Early termination by landlords, on the other hand, is not typical in Russia and is prohibited by law unless a tenant is in violation of the lease agreement.



Standard rental terms are generally advantageous to the tenant in most cases. In most cases, landlords insist on having the right to examine the property on a regular basis. Rent is usually paid in dollars, rubles, or, less often, euros. Payments are often made on a monthly or quarterly basis. Rent may be reduced by making larger advance payments over a longer period of time.



Rental contracts that are one year or longer in duration must be registered with the Federal Registration Service via the state registration process. It is a time-consuming process that necessitates both the landlord and the renter being present in person. The duration of the rent is usually fixed at 364 days in most circumstances to prevent this, and a tenancy agreement is utilized in lieu of a lease wherever feasible to avoid this situation.



Obtaining the necessary documentation to rent a home in Moscow

A significant amount of documentation is also required when renting an apartment in Moscow, from both the renter and the landlord.

Your landlord should be able to demonstrate ownership of the property as well as the legal authority to rent it out. This may be accomplished via the use of a standard ownership document or through the use of shared ownership. 



Depending on when and how the property was purchased, standard ownership documentation may comprise a range of different types of documents. The location of the apartment, as well as the name of the owner, are included on the Certificate of State Registration of Ownership Rights. If there are many owners of a property, the portion of ownership will be shown, but the other owners will not be listed. If the property was bought after 1998, such certifications must accompany any ownership documentation; however, prior transactions are exempt from this requirement.



Ownership paperwork are provided in two sections, depending on whether the property was privatized: the Agreement of Transfer and the Certificate of Ownership. The paperwork pertaining to the privatization process detail all of the owners and their respective shares. The sale-purchase agreement is another kind of ownership arrangement that is often used.



In addition to confirming ownership, it is necessary to show the landlord’s identity, which is often a passport. Ensure that all property owners sign the lease agreement or issue a power of attorney so that someone else may act on their behalf if the property has more than one owner.

Extensive credit checks are not required of the renter in this situation. In most circumstances, landlords will want a copy of a tenant’s passport and visa in addition to evidence of work. 



It is also common to provide the name of a contact person as well as the phone number of your business.

In Moscow, renters are required to register at their place of residence. Tenants may register with the Moscow Visa Registration Office (UVIR) by submitting a notarized authorization from their landlord or a copy of their rental agreement.




Paying for utilities when renting in Moscow is a need.

When renting Russian flats, the cost of essential utilities such as water, heating, and facility management fees is often included in the monthly rental amount. Additional costs for power, internet, television, and phone services, on the other hand, are often paid by the renter in a separate transaction.




Utilities in Russia are administered by the government and are often inexpensive. Tenants in a normal Russian flat, as opposed to a luxury western-style building, have no control over when the heating is turned on and off, which means they have no control over the temperature of their home. In addition, during the summer months, the hot water is shut off for up to three weeks over the whole city for normal maintenance purposes.

What neighborhoods in Moscow are best to reside in?

When looking for a place to rent in Moscow, it’s necessary to consider your financial situation, the sort of housing you want, the minimal standards you require, as well as the location and facilities the property has to offer before making a decision.


 Particularly in Moscow, where traffic is usually congested, being near to the Metro or locating an apartment within walking distance of your place of work or study will make a significant difference in the amount of time it takes you to travel.




Renting a room in the heart of Moscow

For many young expats and others who want easy access to the city, renting a place in the center of Moscow puts them right in the middle of everything they desire. Tverskaya Street, which branches off from Red Square, is the most important street in Moscow, with a slew of high-end boutiques and nightclubs that cater to both tourists and the city’s rich residents.



There are other key places that are a bit quieter, but just as central, such as the region between Arbat and Kropotkinskaya, which are gorgeous tree-lined pedestrianized streets with a relaxing, cafe-oriented atmosphere.


Other well-known residential neighborhoods

While Sadovoye Koltso, commonly known as the Garden Ring, is a little out of the way, it has several nice spots that are still within walking distance of the center. Most of them are residential neighborhoods with decent access to the city center and a wide range of local facilities, such as restaurants, cafés and stores as well as open spaces.



The Patriarshiye Prudy, which is located on the northeastern side of the Garden Ring, is one of the most popular sites. With a beautiful park as its focal point and excellent transportation connections, including four metro stations that are all within walking distance, it’s the ideal balance for urban living with more room.

While Chistye Prudy is another gorgeous residential neighborhood with a lake that provides boating opportunities in the summer and ice skating opportunities in the winter, it is more suited to those seeking a taste of European architecture and charm.


Moscow has a number of international communities.

There are a variety of communities in Moscow that cater to expats who are searching for foreign neighbors or who want a little additional comfort and protection. These are often gated communities or serviced apartments with round-the-clock surveillance. Rental costs in these places, on the other hand, might be on the expensive side.



Pokrovsky Hills and Rosinka International Resident Complex, both located in the northwest of Moscow and close to some of Russia’s premier foreign schools, are two of the most popular and distinguished regions for international communities.

Although renting in the suburbs entails a somewhat longer commute, this is a small price to pay for the fresh air, open space, and peace and quiet that comes with living in a major city that is struggling with air pollution.

Does everyone in Russia live in apartments?


In socialist and communist societies, the housing was constructed and owned by government. In this case, there was no motivation to make things comfortable and appealing. As a result, they constructed their structures at a reasonable cost.


To be clear, apartments in Russia are not the same as apartments in the United States or other Western countries.. For the Russian government, it’s as if the government prefabricated thousands of concrete square walls and then stacked them all together to form a single structure. The most basic Russian apartment building is composed of a swinging wooden door and a dark and gloomy concrete stairwell. Bars on all of the windows below the third story, made of large, concrete, dull, and freezing. Depressingly sad. 


Though the Russian people are very beautiful and fantastic, Soviet socialism was a dismal failure in terms of delivering living circumstances that were commensurate with their extensive cultural legacy and natural resources.

The basic flats erected in the Soviet Union are hardly instances of great architecture, despite the fact that Russia has many gorgeous structures.






Russia is a large nation, and even in the European section of the country, villages and small towns are located pretty far apart from one another.
People from villages were enticed to towns and cities during the period of industrialization, during which a large number of manufacturing factories were built. First, barracks with communal apartments were constructed between 1930 and 1940, then community flats were constructed between 1950 and 1960, and finally residential buildings with private flats were constructed between 1960 and now. As a result, employees lived in close proximity to their places of employment. The Soviet Union had limited motorization, thus those who lived outside of cities would have to travel a long distance to go to their places of employment.



Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, urbanization has continued, with infrastructure, particularly highways, falling behind. Access to high-quality education and medical care will be difficult for someone who lives in a remote area distant from a large metropolis. It should be noted that the number of personal automobiles was still quite low.


The current trend is still in effect today. Large construction corporations acquire properties surrounding cities and develop them into multistory apartment buildings with units that are far less expensive than comparable apartments in the metropolis.. They are purchased by a significant number of individuals. The price of land in the vicinity of the city rises as a result of this. When, despite some improvements in infrastructure, a large number of automobiles began to congest the streets of major cities’ suburbs during rush hour, the only option to go between the city and suburbs fast was to use commuter trains, another issue arose.



As a summary, there are historical roots to this phenomenon, as well as high land prices near cities, and purchasing an apartment in the same neighborhood is significantly less expensive than purchasing land, building a house, and tying it into a centralized natural gas supply (which is necessary for heating in most Russian regions), which is quite costly.

The cost of land is lower in smaller towns and cities, which encourages residents to construct more homes. Construction firms develop large apartment complexes in the outskirts of large cities such as Moscow, where land is costly and there is a strong influx of people from the city.

What percentage of Russians live in houses?

Russians have a strong desire to possess a home.
According to a recent study, 85 percent of Russians own their houses in their own country.

In multi-unit structures, apartments or flats comprise 54% of the total number of house owners.
A home, a cottage, or a townhouse is owned by 31% of the population.
The vast majority of renters live in multi-unit buildings, where they either rent a complete apartment or a single room in a larger apartment (11 percent of respondents). People who reside in dorms are included in this category.



Approximately 2% of the population rents a home or cottage.

When it comes to major cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg, 77 percent of the population owns an apartment, while just 5 percent own a home or a cottage. In villages, on the other hand, 70 percent of those who answered the survey question own a home.




The proportion of persons who own flats in multi-level buildings increases in proportion to the size of the city. For smaller communities, the tendency is in the reverse direction: the smaller the community, the greater the proportion of individuals who live in their own homes.

However, it should be remembered that many Russians have little plots of land in the countryside where they have historically grown vegetables and berries for their personal sustenance. The majority of such plots came with a building permit for a cottage, which was often erected by the property owner. “Dacha” was the name given to such little homes.




Nowadays, such tracts of land in the countryside are often home to wealthy mansions. When compared to recent years, the cost of these plots has skyrocketed. During the Soviet period, however, both apartments and plots in the countryside were given away for free in accordance with the order of a general queue based on the amount of time worked for the company as well as special entitlements such as having more than three children or being disabled, among other things.

Affordability in housing

People were allowed to purchase an apartment (flat) for their primary dwelling, as well as a small plot of land for recreational purposes in the countryside, throughout the Soviet era and immediately after its dissolution. A single family was eligible to each of these benefits simultaneously.



This technique is still used in Russia, but on a much lesser scale, and is often abused by government officials in order to gain flats without having to pay for them in the traditional manner. High-level officials are scoring the nicest sites and flats in the city while other groups of people who are entitled to a free unit under the law must frequently wait for decades without receiving one.




As a result of the fact that people were given free houses throughout the Soviet Union’s 70-year existence, the level of home ownership in Russia has remained quite high since then.

Free land may still be obtained in Russia, if one knows where to look. Among other things, citizens in Russia’s Far East (Vladivostok region) are being given one hectare of land per family member, on condition that the property be developed within a certain time frame

How to Rent an Apartment in Russia

Daniel Brooks is a writer who lives in Moscow.

Because I’d been a resident of Moscow for many years, I figured it would be simple enough to assist a close friend in finding a rental flat in the city. There was no lack of flats to rent, after all, according to the websites that offered rental properties.


 AVITO.RU alone has more than 8000 ads for one-bedroom flats, according to their website. The figures on the other websites in the city were comparable. There seemed to be an abundance of available properties on the market, making it appear as if locating one of them would not be difficult. I didn’t realize how much I was missing out on till later.




It turned out to be more difficult than anticipated to find a rental property for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the large number of brokers looking for new methods to make commissions. In certain cases, agents have taken on the appearance of con artists in order to make their living. Hopefully, the information in this post will assist individuals in finding and renting the apartment of their dreams without being duped.




Nowadays, it seems that working as a commission agent in the apartment leasing market is a thriving business. Or perhaps the quantity of persons with sales talents outstrips the demand for such positions. With so many agents on the market, apartment owners are flooded with phone calls from agents as soon as their flats are posted on the market.




 The agents promise to locate tenants for the owners at no cost to them in exchange for their services. Consequently, most online listings only offer contact information for agents, rather than for the property’s actual owner(s). It seems that a large number of the ads are for apartments that either don’t exist or have already been leased out. The goal of these advertisements is often to get the viewer to contact an agent.




A new fraud in Moscow is quickly discovered by anybody who responds to an advertisement for an apartment rental in the city. It operates in a similar manner to a short scam, telling the naive tenant that a magnificent flat is simply ready to be leased at an unbelievable price. After being persuaded via phone, the tenant makes a fast trip to the agent’s office to have a look at it.




 The vast majority of agents guarantee that no commissions or upfront payments will be required on any transactions. Following that, the hard sale begins at the agent’s desk. Using a sales speech that he has learned, the realtor displays various photographs of two or three excellent residences in ideal locations. After becoming enthusiastic about these homes, the individual looking for properties signs a contract and pays in cash, before receiving the contact information for the rental properties. 





In exchange for their services, the agents, who are often youthful and trustworthy-looking individuals, guarantee to uphold the terms of the agreement and to deliver five suggestions every day of high-quality flats, each with photographs of the properties. In addition, the agency guarantees to contact the landlords in advance of exhibiting the properties to the clients. A large amount of information is available to them. It’s off to the rental homes for this pleased tenant!

Following exiting the business and on the way to inspect the flats, it is discovered that the lovely apartments that were shown in the agent’s office do not exist. Either that, or no one answers the phone at the properties, the landlord is not interested in exhibiting the rental, the price is too expensive, the location is horrible, or the flat is unsuitable to live in. A phone call to the agency results in promises of new units being built. Only a small number of people are dispatched. In the days and weeks that follow, the flats advised by the agent turn out to be duds one after another, or no suggestions are provided at all.




When searching for an apartment, there are a few easy rules of thumb to remember. Before signing a rental agreement, you owe no money to any agency, and you should make this plain to any agents with whom you may come into contact. If at all feasible, avoid paying commissions entirely. If someone offers you an apartment, meet with the agent or the owner at the property rather than wasting time travelling to the agency’s office. When viewing an apartment, be sure to ask to see the owner’s passport as well as the title to the property.




 If the individual signing the lease is not the property’s owner, request a power of attorney permitting that person to rent out the property, as well as a meeting with the property’s true owner and a copy of the original lease. Keep in mind that a power of attorney paper may potentially be forged. Only sign a lease after thoroughly reviewing it. Do not rent the property until you have taken these procedures. You should always discuss your commission fees in advance. When the agents claim that a commission equivalent to a month’s rent is the typical rate across Moscow, don’t trust a word of it. All commissions are negotiable. The best commission is none at all.





Visit VKontakte and Facebook on a regular basis to look for landlords and homes, and read the advertisements that are posted there. Join a Vkontakte online page dedicated to apartment searches and rentals. Because excellent properties sell quickly on Vkontakte, it will be necessary to utilize the service attentively. Inquire with all of your friends and family members to see if they know of any available rental flats. 


Check CIAN.RU as often as possible for new ads put by apartment owners, and contact them as soon as the postings are available. Other websites, such as, IRR.RU, and, may be accessed as well; but, unlike CIAN.RU, these sites do not have a filtering option to reveal rentals supplied by the owners rather than the agents. used to be a platform where people could advertise their rental homes, but these days the options for foreigners looking to rent are few and far between, maybe because there are less expats in the city as a whole.





Be patient, and don’t put your faith in anybody. Many agents pretend to be landlords, but when the property is visited, it is discovered that they are not. Apartments with rentals that are much below the market rate are almost certainly forgeries. Ads that have been up for more than a month are likewise most likely false or not worth renting. Before viewing a home, insist on the owner stating that the flat matches the photographs on the website. They don’t always follow through.

The client I was assisting finally found housing.




 It was identified by checking CIAN.RU on a regular basis and exclusively phoning property owners. The owner of the flat received a phone call within minutes of the advertisement becoming up on the internet. The renter paid a visit to the flat just as the previous tenant was packing up and cleaning up. All of the paperwork were neatly arranged. A lesson was learnt. The story has a happy finish, although a few roubles short of the beginning position.