STEP FIVE: Signing the Lease
Here's what you need to consider when signing a lease:
- Get it in English. The lease should be in English so you understand what you are signing, but the legally binding one will always be in Czech.
- Who is showing you the flat? For non-EU Citizens, you’ll need to have the permission of the owners of the flat to live there for purposes of your visa. If you’re subletting a room, you might not have access to the owners who need to sign paperwork for you, and that could seriously mess with your visa. Make sure before you agree to live in your flat that you’re dealing directly with the owner.
- How long can you live there? Maybe you figure you’ll live there for 6 months and find somewhere better later? That could mess with your visa, as you have to prove to the authorities that you have permission to stay at that place for the length of time you’re requesting a visa for.
- Remember: a 6-month lease will get you a 6-month visa; a 1-year lease will get you a 1-year visa. Try to find a more permanent set-up from the beginning. Moving can be costly and a hassle later on. If you sign a year-long lease, but have to move-out, most landlords are open to releasing you from the lease if you can find them a replacement tenant, so it’s best to commit to at least a year, for purposes of your visa.
- Utilities (water, electricity, gas) + building fees are usually included in the cost of the rent, and can range anywhere from 2000 Kc - 5000 Kc per month. We recommend finding a flat with internet already installed, so you don't have to fuss with an installer. Make sure the contract reflects those costs.
- The cost of utilities will be an approximation of the previous tenant's expenditure. You should be reimbursed by the end of the year if you went under that estimation.