ABC of renting a flat
Renting a flat in Kielce may pose quite a challenge for a foreigner. However, after reading the following rules, it may get much easier. First, it might be useful to provide some facts concerning standard rates on the rental market in the capital city of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship.
The costs depend on the size of a flat and its location. Definitely the most expensive flats are located on the following housing estates: Ślichowice, Pod Dalnią, and in the Centre. The cheapest flats can be found on the tower block housing estates, i.e. on the Czarnów, Herby, Bocianek, Świętokrzyskie, or Na Stoku housing estates. If you want to have a good location in terms of communication, you should look for a flat on the following housing estates: Świętokrzyskie, Na Stoku, Szydłówek, Bocianek, or Ślichowice. A good-quality one-room flat in a good location can be rented for approximately 800-1100 PLN per month. The rent for a two-room flat equals about 1200-1500 PLN, and for a three-room flat – 2000-2200 PLN per month.
While browsing through advertisements, one should remember that apart from the rent, it is necessary to pay also counter charges, which usually include electricity, gas and water. The amount of the charges depends on the tenants and the media consumption. For 1-2 people the charges may amount 120-180 PLN per month. The information if the price includes rent with additional charges is usually provided in the advertisements. Moreover, it should be noted that many flats in the Centre are located in rather old tenements with gas heating, which causes the gas bills to be significantly higher in the winter.
One should also remember that apart from the rent for the first month of tenancy, it is necessary to pay a deposit, which usually equals a monthly rent payment. It is a so called security payment that covers possible damages in a flat. The deposit is returned on the last day of tenancy. It is advisable to sign a tenancy agreement, which protects both sides. A foreigner who signs an agreement has to provide accurate personal data, including the number of their identity document. The agreement is usually concluded for definite time; it includes the cost of rent, the obligation to pay a security deposit and the period of notice. It should be remembered that every agreement may be extended.
How to find a flat
Normally, most people look for a flat by browsing advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet. The most popular websites with rental offers are: Gumtree.pl, Gratka.pl, OLX.pl, Domiporta.pl. While looking through the advertisements, one should take note whether a flat is rented directly (i.e. from an owner) or by an estate agent. In the latter case, it might be necessary to pay a commission to the agent.
It should be noted that looking for a flat is not always an easy process. The owners are often unwilling to rent their flat to a foreigner, and they claim that the offer has expired. In order to increase your chances, you can ask your Polish friends to make a first phone call to the owners on your behalf. Arranging a meeting is half of success.
The number of rental offers in Kielce is rather big, and there is quite a competition among future tenants. It should be noted that as Kielce is a university town, there are many offers for students. Those flats are usually cheaper which means that their standard is also lower. Most of such offers appear in the late spring or during the summer. The number of offers drops near the beginning of the academic year. When you manage to arrange a meeting with the owner of a flat, it might appear that the price is higher and that you are not the only potential tenants. However, one should think positively and be patient, and then looking for a flat will end successfully. It is also worth trying to negotiate the price for a flat, perhaps it will result in a slightly lower rent.
It’s time to think about the registration
When renting a room or a flat we have to be prepared for the fact that the owners usually do not want to register their tenants – it applies both to foreigners and Poles. The only possibility in such a case is to try to build good relations with the owner and to hope that they will be more willing to register a foreigner. Especially that for a foreigner, the registration is indispensable to apply for a temporary residence permit (i.e. a residence card). While talking with the owner, it is necessary to make them aware that it is as easy to register as to de-register a tenant (registration matters are dealt with in the municipal office). Another solution is to ask your Polish friends to register you in their own flat.
Information for refugees and people trying to obtain a refugee status
If you are a foreigner who tries to obtain a refugee status in Poland, you need to know that you have right to live outside the centre for refugees. In order to do that, it is necessary to submit the application for financial support in the Department of Social Aid (Wydział Pomocy Socjalnej) in the Office for Foreigners (Urząd ds. Cudzoziemców).The financial support amounts to 25 PLN per day for a person. If a foreigner is staying on the territory of the Republic of Poland with a spouse or children under age, the financial support amounts to 20 PLN per day for two people, 15 PLN for three people, 12.50 PLN for four and more people.
The number of family members
The amount of the benefit
25 PLN per day
20PLN per day
15 PLN per day
4 people and more
12,50 PLN per day
The financial support is granted once a month, on the 15thday of the month at the latest, in the centre that is the closest to the place of residence of a foreigner or by the postal order.
Municipal premises. Waiting period, granting.
The foreigners who obtained the refugee status and who live in Kielce, can apply for the municipal premises, which are much cheaper than flats available on the market. They need to submit the application for a municipal flat in the Division of Housing in the Municipal Office in Kielce. However, they should be aware that waiting period for the decision may last even several months, and remember that in case they change their place of residence, the whole procedure starts all over again. Unfortunately, the number of municipal flats is not big, which makes obtaining municipal premises really difficult and troublesome, as the waiting period may be really long.
Contact data – The Division of Housing in the Municipal Office in Kielce (Wydział Mieszkalnictwa w Urzędzie Miasta Kielce)
The Division of Housing
6 Strycharska St, 25-659 Kielce
Telephone number: 41-36-76-613; or 41-36-76-00
The opening hours: Monday–Friday; from 7.30 to 15.30
Head of the Division: Agata Kalita telephone number 41 36 76 614
If for any reasons you are in a sudden need of temporary lodging, it will not be a problem. There are several night shelters and warming-up facilities in Kielce:
Night shelter (Noclegownia)
5 Sienna St, Kielce
Telephone number: 0-41 366-07-34
Operator: St. Albert Foundation (Fundacja Gospodarcza św. Brata Alberta)
St. Albert Hostel (Schronisko im. św. Brata Alberta)
36a Żeromskiego St, 25-369 Kielce
Telephone number: 0-41 361-44-85
Operator: St. Albert Aid Society (Towarzystwo Pomocy im. św. Brata Alberta)
Hostel for Women:
Address: 5a Urzędnicza St, 25-729 Kielce
Operator: Caritas of the Kielce Diocese (Caritas Diecezji Kieleckiej)
How to buy a flat
A foreigner does not need to have a legal status in Poland in order to be able to buy a flat.It means that a foreigner who has a visa, a temporary residence permit, a permit to settle, or a long-term resident’s EU residence permit does not need any permit to buy a flat. Neither it is needed by a foreigner who is not staying in Poland but wants to buy a flat. However, the purchased flat should serve only for housing purposes. If one wants to use their flat for utility purposes, it is necessary to obtain a permit from the Minister of the Interior.
The permit from the Minister of the Interior is also necessary when a foreigner wants to buy a house, except for people who have been living in Poland for at least 5 years from the moment they were granted a permit to settle or a long-term resident’s EU residence permit. Another exception is also a foreigner who married to a Polish citizen and who has been living in Poland for at least 2 years from the moment they were granted a permit to settle or a long-term resident’s EU residence permit if they want to purchase a house that will constitute marital estate of the spouses.
Note: The permit from the Minister of the Interior is necessary in every case of the purchase when the estate is located in the frontier zone or when the agricultural area exceeds 1 ha. When a foreigner needs the permit to purchase the estate, it is issued as an administrative decision by the Minister of the Interior. There is no specified application template; it can be even written by hand. Apart from the information about the applicant, the document should include:
• Designation of the property, i.e. location, registration number, area, the Real Estate Register (Księga wieczysta) number;
• Specification of the form of acquisition – e.g. if it is a purchase, a gift, or inheritance;
• Information about the purpose of acquisition – e.g.to rent, to sell, for accommodation purposes, to conduct business activityin case of inheritance and a gift –a testament and an agreement imposing the obligation to conclude a gift agreement.
Attachments to the application should include copies of the following documents:
• Personal identification document, passport, and an extract from the business register in case of people conducting business activity;
• Copy of the Real Estate Register (Księga wieczysta) of the property;
• An excerpt and a map from the Land Register;
• Excerpts from the local area plan or from the study (Polish: studium) (the last three points do not apply when separate ownership is established)
• The declaration of the vendor that they are willing to transfer the property, or the preliminary agreement between the vendor and the purchaser.
The copies of the documents have to be certified as true copies, documents in a foreign language have to be translated by a sworn translator. Documents concerning property should be issued not earlier than 6 months before the submission of the application. It is also necessary to attach the confirmation of the payment of the stamp duty, which is 1570 PLN. Without it, the application will be returned unprocessed. The stamp duty will be returned in case of not grating the permit only at the request of one of the parties.
The first challenge for the majority of foreigners who come to Kielce is renting a flat. It is a quite complicated process and you need to be well-prepared. First, you have to think about the kind of a flat you need. Renting a one-room flat will allow you to have some privacy, but if you want to reduce the costs of rent, think about renting a flat with your friends or to sub-letting rooms to other tenants. There are many ways of looking for a flat. You can search on your own on different websites, such as tablica.pl, gumtree.pl or with the assistance of an estate agent.However, the last thing involves additional costs. You can also put some advertisements in the area of your choice or publish them on the Internet.
While looking for a flat, you have to pay attention to the most important issues, such as localization, security in the neighbourhood, public transport. While inspecting a flat, you need to examine its condition and furnishings.
Before you decide to rent a flat, you have to check its legal status and if a landlord is its owner or a person authorised by an owner.
Signing the agreement is the most important thing. It should include the information about the landlord and the tenant and specify the following elements: the subject of rent, the amount of rent, possible additional charges and deposits, rights and obligations of the parties, the duration of the agreement.
At the beginning of the period of tenancy, it is usually necessary to pay a security deposit which equals a monthly rent payment. When the flat is not damaged, the deposit is returned at the end of the period of tenancy. One-room flat in Kielce costs approximately 800-900 PLN, two-room flat – 1100-1200 PLN, three-room flat – 1500-1600 PLN.
It is possible to be registered in the rented flat, but unfortunately, the owners are not willing to do so. In such a case you can ask your Polish friend to register you or talk with the owner and explain that registering is as easy as de-registering a tenant and it does not involve any consequences.
A foreigner can buy a flat in Poland on condition that it will serve for housing, not utility purposes. In the latter case, it is necessary to obtain a permit from the Minister of the Interior. The permit is also required when a foreigner wants to buy a house, except for people who have been living in Poland for at least 5 years from the moment they were granted a permit to settle or a long-term residence permit.