Searching for your perfect apartment in Moscow.
Get ready for a ride.
Trough the years, I helped my friends in the search for the places to stay in Moscow, and today I’m facing the dreadful relocation from the place I lived for six years.
There are several roadblocks that landlords have for you; if you fall under any of them, you’ll have a disadvantage in getting your perfect place in the city. I hope that this article will help you to minimize the pain of the searching process and to get your ideal home.
Roadblock one. Only Slavic people.
Yes, Russians are seriously racist when it comes to renting out their places. The reason is a stereotype that makes them believe in the safety of the apartment if it’s rented to Slavic people. It’s a ridiculous stereotype, but unfortunately, it’s wildly spread. So much that expats who are living in Moscow have created numerous groups in social networks where they exchange information about the apartments that are expat-friendly.
Getting around it.
Find a Russian friend and let him/her negotiate for you. A native speaker who understands local culture will have much better chances of explaining to the landlord that you are a decent human being.
Dress sharply for the showing, and make sure that you break the negative stereotype of your homeland when you meet the landlord. It’s a blood bath of a fight when the right place hits the market, so be prepared, ideally, take your Russian friend to help you negotiate the deal.
Roadblock two. Pets.
Moscow is a tough city to live in; it’s loud, it’s fast; the people here are competitive and even cold sometimes. A cuddly pet can be a warm ray of light that awaits for you at home after a tough working day. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a place that has a decent renovation, 99% of the time, it will have a rigorous “no pets” rule. And explaining to the landlord that you are willing to cover the costs of any potential damage or that your pet is better behaved than most people doesn’t help. Often even willingness to pay more and giving additional deposit does not work.
Getting around it.
This is going to sound controversial, but it works. Lie! Don’t tell the agent and the landlord that you have a pet until you meet them. Negotiate the deal and only then admit of your mischief. If you use your charming personality right, the landlord will melt and agree to the pet. Have cute photos of the pet and the proof of your previous apartment’s good conditions ready. In my case, mentioning that I use a housekeeping service helps a great deal.
Roadblock three. Job.
The landlord want’s to know that you are capable of paying your bills, so if you are a self-employed, freelancer, or have a creative profession, you might face some rejections, even harder to get past this roadblock if you don’t have a job. The students will be fine. For some reason, landlords love them.
Getting around it.
If you are young, say that you have family support even if you don’t. If you are older, make sure to create a rich backstory to your current situation. This is a case where your Russian friend can come to the rescue again, vouching for you and explaining your situation better.
Good luck in your search and remember, sometimes even if you are a perfect candidate, you might still get rejected. Don’t take it personally and continue your search, when you’ll find your ideal place, you’ll know it. And while you are settling down, Moscow Suites team is happy to provide you with your temporary home and to help out in your exciting adventure.
WARNING. Be aware of the scammers, never give your money before seeing the apartment, always check for ownership papers, and request their scans along with the scans of the passport of the owner.
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