Finding nice and affordable accommodation is an important step of every foreigner’s journey in Bulgaria! In the following I will share useful tips and things to bear in mind when looking for a place to stay and signing a tenancy agreement in Bulgaria. Here is a useful video I made too!
There are plenty of websites that list all available apartments in a specific city (often presented by estate agents). Keep in mind that some offers online might be fake! I don’t say this to scare you – just be cautious as sometimes estate agents upload nice photos of a flat so that they attract you as a customer and later send you multiple offers for other apartments in town. Hence, make sure to ask a friend for a recommendation for a good estate agent that will assist you with the apartment hunt. Of course, feel welcome to email us – we will get you in touch with trustworthy estate agents who offer modern and affordable accommodation in Bulgaria.
Of course, keep in mind that estate agents in Bulgaria usually charge a one-time fee. This may vary between 50 to 100% of the monthly rent you will be paying. Their service fee usually includes help with finding a flat according to your standards and assistance with preparation of the tenancy agreement. Good estate agents also keep in touch with you even after you have used their service to check up on you and see if you are satisfied with the place you live in and in case you need any further help. Hence, make sure you discuss all (financial) matters with the estate agents before you want to rent a flat so that you are both on the same page. Unfortunately, it is rather hard to find a flat directly from an owner without the services of an estate agent – even for Bulgarians.
As for tenancy agreements in Bulgaria, tenant and owner usually sign a contract for one year. Once you sign the tenancy agreement, you usually pay the first rent and a deposit. Usually, the deposit is also the price of a one month rent and is returned to you in the end of the contract in case you have not destroyed or caused damage to some furniture, for example. Of course, make sure you sign a protocol before you move in where it is carefully described in what condition the apartment is and what furniture it has (so that the owner does not claim at a later stage that you have damaged or stolen something). Last but not least, make sure you are allowed to move out within a one-month notice – this gives you flexibility in case you find a nicer flat or there is something about this apartment that you don’t particularly fancy.
Finally, I recommend vising your “future” home before you sign the contract – this way you will have a clear idea of the neighborhood, the common areas in the building, the rooms in the flat and maybe even get to meet your future neighbors!