Author Topic: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev  (Read 1338 times)

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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.



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Re: How to Rent an Apartment in Kiev
« Reply #1 on: 11:04 22-Aug-2017 »
I've culled the posts on this topic that were unnecessary and personal.

It's also been locked.

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