Author Topic: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev  (Read 963 times)

domenic and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online K24

  • Expat VS
  • **
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 18
  • -Receive: 39
  • Posts: 69
How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« on: 18:50 11-Nov-2016 »

Horrors of Kyiv apartment search
By Isobel Koshiw.
Published Nov. 3.

Wallpaper with montages of London buses and the Eiffel Tower, luminous pink kitchens with matching appliances, Venetian style bathrooms and Tutankhamun-themed boudoirs.

And that?s not even the worst one can see when searching for an apartment to rent in Kyiv.

According to Kyiv residents, there aren?t enough landlords delivering the ever-popular IKEA look, prompting many estate agents to post fake pictures of what one would like to see in an apartment.

?One big problem is that there is no IKEA,? said Arnoud Gueulet of Kiev Stones real estate agency. ?The same sofa which costs $200 in Europe will cost $1,000 when imported to Ukraine.?

Several dozen flat hunters the Kyiv Post spoke with described their typical experience: The flat looks good, the price is just within budget, you ring and after getting you to describe it at length, they tell you they?ll ring you back. Ten minutes later, they tell you the flat has just gone but ask if you would like to look at a more expensive, lurid alternative? Agents call this method ?catching calls.?

Of course, there are worse things that can happen when looking for an apartment in Kyiv than being fooled by fake pictures. Like outright robbery.

Unsuspecting information technologhy professional Roman Pupkov signed a contract and paid a deposit of Hr 4,600 to an agent for a nice apartment he found on the popular site Olx.ua. When he went to meet with the second agent to get the keys immediately afterwards, he was told the landlord was no longer renting the apartment.

?I didn?t go back to the agency because it was pointless,? Pupkov said. ?I knew that they were not going to be there anymore by the time I came back.?

The police read the contract and told Pupkov he wouldn?t be able to bring a case against them.

Another scheme, according to Kyivans, is people who rent an apartment for a few days, pretend to be the owner, and advertise the place for long-term rent. They then hand over a set of newly copied keys in exchange for the first and last month?s rent. The scammers can even attract multiple tenants in the course of a week. It?s not until the real owner shows up or the tenants come knocking that they realize they?ve been duped.

One common trap for foreigners used by several real estate agents, says Gueulet, is charging a full month?s rent for commission, while the standard is 50 percent.

Gueulet says he started his agency because of the unprofessionalism and riskiness he had personally experienced in the Kyiv rental market.

Like other agencies targeted at expats, Kiev Stones provides certain guarantees: that the owners documentation is verified, the bills are genuine, the flat has a boiler (not all expats may realize it is essential for the summer months) and that the contract ensures the landlord doesn?t impulsively call round.

But these agencies tend to deal more in the ?luxury? end of the market, $1,000 and more per month. Something reflected in the responses to the Kyiv Post by many expats, who couldn?t see what all the fuss was about:

?Easy ? hire a service to hunt the flats for you. Tell them what you?re looking for? I spent a day visiting flats, fell in love with a very large flat on the top floor at 25 Khreshchatyk St.?and only $2,000/month,? Engeuio Cinraua wrote in Facebook comments. ?The service cost a month?s rent, but my time and the lack of hassle was worth it,?

Other expats such as Canadian Tanya Bednarczyk weren?t so lucky.

?My roommate and I were away and our landlord set up viewings of our apartment without our knowledge,? she wrote. ?She did a deep clean of the entire flat, staged it and held several showings. When we confronted her about it, she ignored us. So we wrote a letter to her saying we met with the prosecutor general of Ukraine, to see if it was OK to enter one?s flat unannounced. Then she evicted us.?

Apartment owner Ekaterina Bistryakova says that all the blame for market can?t just be placed with the owners or agents. In her experience, tenants often pay late or vacate after just two months of a yearlong contract leaving the apartment dirty with broken furniture: ?People just don?t appreciate our hard work.?

Marina Perepelitsa, a former agent, agreed, adding that if a tenant comes across a professional agent there should be no problems.

The situation for people moving from the Donbas, however, is unmatched. The number of the adverts stipulating ?No people from the Donbas? has faded along with the amount of people relocating from the East but prejudice does remain.

Having moved from the eastern city of Luhansk to Kyiv 10 years ago, Anna Dolbieva recently found it almost impossible to find an apartment.

?It?s hard to speak with the landlord directly and the agents won?t lift a finger to help you with the owner,? she says. ?You say that you have stable job, no pets or children but the most important thing is whether you?re registered in Donetsk or Luhansk.?

Elena Ageyeva, from Donetsk, was refused five to seven viewings a day when trying to rent a place in Kyiv, before friends passed on their apartment.

Hoping to relieve renters and landlords is journalist Dmytro Korol who has designed a website which seeks to cut out the unprofessional middlemen. His website Dwell.kyiv.ua connects renters directly to the owners, meaning that there is no 50 percent commission typically demanded by agents.



Offline steveo

  • I live here
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 229
  • -Receive: 348
  • Posts: 505
  • Growing older is no excuse for growing up.
Re: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« Reply #1 on: 22:30 15-Nov-2016 »
Yup, I heard about this agency, the owner is in a number of expat facebook groups I am in, and often gives wonderful advice like:
"The average price of an apartment in Kyiv is US$1000 per month."...which, in case you don't know, is absolute BS.
Their business is set up to cater to the expat diplomatic postings and international conglomerate staffing accommodation/housing need, and/or stupid foreigners who don't know better, and those who preferably don't speak Russian/Ukrainian.
There is a market for a real estate agency dealing honestly in mid-range 10K - 15K UAH per month rentals, but every expat-focused agency gets sucked into the high return of the luxury rental commissions of 30K UAH plus rentals.
Sure, there are rental/agent scams in every country, and hence most people who have been here a while know that the best way to find a rental is to know an agent personally, or to get a personal recommendation for an agent.
Keep calm and let karma do its thing.

Online Reggie

  • I live here
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 923
  • -Receive: 743
  • Posts: 1061
  • 100% Against jellied eels
Re: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« Reply #2 on: 04:40 17-Nov-2016 »


@ Steveo:  Is "Arnoud Gueulet of Kiev Stones real estate agency" the one that is over-charging expats?   If so, good to make him directly famous.

Let the clowns know that exploiting people won't work anymore. 

Yes, 1000 USD is a ridiculous price in Ukraine for an apartment.

Offline steveo

  • I live here
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 229
  • -Receive: 348
  • Posts: 505
  • Growing older is no excuse for growing up.
Re: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« Reply #3 on: 10:54 17-Nov-2016 »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login


@ Steveo:  Is "Arnoud Gueulet of Kiev Stones real estate agency" the one that is over-charging expats?   If so, good to make him directly famous.

Let the clowns know that exploiting people won't work anymore. 

Yes, 1000 USD is a ridiculous price in Ukraine for an apartment.

Arnoud isn't really over-charging, more misrepresenting the market to the ignorant, normally what happens is that he answers queries in expat groups, like:
Q: I am interning at a Ukrainian company, and don't have much money, how much does an average one room apartment in Kiev cost?
Arnoud: You can rent an apartment for $1000 per month in Kiev, look at our website to get an idea of prices.

As soon as he posted that, a whole bunch of people called him out, it happened a few times then he stopped doing it. The apartments they rent are priced about right for luxury rentals, and if you're into that kind of life, then they're probably cheaper than you'd find in other cities. They're often decorated in a kind of grotesque Yanukovych style,
Keep calm and let karma do its thing.

Online K24

  • Expat VS
  • **
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 18
  • -Receive: 39
  • Posts: 69
Re: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« Reply #4 on: 21:34 17-Nov-2016 »
What is shown on the website of his agency is actuallz frequently significantly overpriced even for luxury rentals in Kiev

Offline ZorbaTheGreek

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 3
  • I'm new here - please be gentle with me!!
Re: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« Reply #5 on: 09:21 31-Jan-2017 »
I am looking to rent an apartment in Kiev. Can you please let me know which agencies are good.

Online Reggie

  • I live here
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 923
  • -Receive: 743
  • Posts: 1061
  • 100% Against jellied eels
Re: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« Reply #6 on: 10:46 01-Feb-2017 »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
I am looking to rent an apartment in Kiev. Can you please let me know which agencies are good.

Depends on what you mean by "good".   

Agencies that tend to advertise to expats, tend to overcharge.  So not good.

But it's better than people that take deposits from 100 renters and then flee with your cash.

Find an expat that is leaving his/her apartment, or that has rented with someone, and rent that way.   This way you have at least 1 verifiable past customer and it works to keep the landlord honest.   Bad service = no more referrals.   

Offline arnoagent

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 1
  • I'm new here - please be gentle with me!!
Re: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« Reply #7 on: 21:36 26-Jul-2017 »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login



@ Steveo:  Is "Arnoud Gueulet of Kiev Stones real estate agency" the one that is over-charging expats?   If so, good to make him directly famous.

Let the clowns know that exploiting people won't work anymore. 

Yes, 1000 USD is a ridiculous price in Ukraine for an apartment.

Arnoud isn't really over-charging, more misrepresenting the market to the ignorant, normally what happens is that he answers queries in expat groups, like:
Q: I am interning at a Ukrainian company, and don't have much money, how much does an average one room apartment in Kiev cost?
Arnoud: You can rent an apartment for $1000 per month in Kiev, look at our website to get an idea of prices.

As soon as he posted that, a whole bunch of people called him out, it happened a few times then he stopped doing it. The apartments they rent are priced about right for luxury rentals, and if you're into that kind of life, then they're probably cheaper than you'd find in other cities. They're often decorated in a kind of grotesque Yanukovych style,

Hi everybody,

First of all thank you Steveo.

Our Agency has a wide range of apartments to offer in the city center from usually 500usd to 4000usd per months.
We never determinate any prices, the owners are offering property at a certain price and we advertise it. No more

Our agency do not overcharge prices, we are not involved in it. You can check the same apartments on different websites, price are identical.
More over, some prices are negotiable.
And a cheap good apartment does not stay long on the market, so doesn't worth to upload it on our website.

What we charge are the agency fees (30 to 50%) according to the property. Same than any agencies in Kiev.

But yes, 600-1000 USD is a normal price for comfortable 1BR near Maidan or equivalent prime location.
Features like unique view from the apartment can make the price rise dramatically.

We have apartments at prices 300USD few metro stops from the center also sometimes. But this is not our main target.
Anyway, we apologize if someone felt offended by the price of apartments we offer.


(Modified to move added text from within other member's quotes so that we can see what has been posted)
« Last Edit: 12:22 27-Jul-2017 by Дідусь »

Offline steveo

  • I live here
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 229
  • -Receive: 348
  • Posts: 505
  • Growing older is no excuse for growing up.
Re: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« Reply #8 on: 22:36 10-Aug-2017 »
Hey Arnoud,

You're welcome, I'm not offended by your listings' prices, the decor of some of them maybe, but each to their own. Everyone has the ability to shop around for properties, real estate agencies, and agents. If they don't that's their own problem.

I recently needed a rental and called 3 or 4 agencies, one of them was yours (we spoke on the phone), one of your agents called back the next day but I had already found an apartment, I wasn't in a terrible rush, but one of the agents I called found an apartment in the building I wanted in 20 mins and set up a viewing that same day, some quality hustling there. 

Anyways, best of luck with your business, and everything is a learning experience, I'm sure you know your target market ;).
Keep calm and let karma do its thing.

Online ConsciousHost

  • Expat Messenger
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 14
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 30
  • I'm new here - please be gentle with me!!
Re: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« Reply #9 on: 00:51 11-Aug-2017 »
It happens evetywhere but it really seems like unethical bullshit like this is just so prevalent in Ukraine moreso than anywhere I've learned about before. What's wrong with these people, do they not stop to consider the immorality of their actions at all? Is there no official agency setup to deal with things like this because all involved, landlords and tenants, should have official rights and also responsibilities and obligations when entering a contract to rent apartments.

Greed is a sad trait for one to have. It's really not worth Fraking people over just to have some extra bit of money.

I always wondered how there seemed to be so many expensive cars around Kyiv when the average salary is "~$400" and most people I know there are earning around that - people with masters and working in multinational financial companies. I guess reading about people like this gives a real idea of where and how that money is being earned by many people. Is there no hope for people there like my friends, that have done everything 'right', to become at least modestly wealthy like they would if they lived in other parts of the world with similar qualifications and experience? IT seems to be the only exception where just regular, honest, hard work can pay well enough to get established in life, and that's purely because most companies there are just doing projects for global companies that outsourced it to them.

Seems like there's some exclusive club and I guess I'm not "in" on it and its workings
« Last Edit: 01:04 11-Aug-2017 by ConsciousHost »