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Tips for Renting in Poznań?


Vaasa 3 | 14  
19 Jul 2011 /  #1
I have accepted a 2-year assignment in Poznan from my employer and will be moving there later this year (exactly when depends on whenever the visa and work permit get approved). I would like to know if anyone can provide any tips for renting in Poznan?

I'm 41 and single, and I'm definitely not looking for room-mates. "Quiet" and "Modern finishes" describe what I'm looking for, but I have no idea how likely I will be to find that in my price range. My employer will put me in touch with a real estate agent there, but I figured I should try and get some info before I arrive.

I have the following questions, but feel free to add any tips of your own:

1) Do I need to have a bank account before I can rent an apartment?

2) Do I need to have a permenant address before I an open a bank account? If so, do you think they will accept my work address?

3) Can anyone recommend a good bank that allows for wires between the US and Poland at an affordable rate. In order to retain access to my 401k (retirement) plan, my employer is going to keep me as a US employee. This means I will still get paid in US dollars to a US bank. I will then need to transfer and convert funds from the US to Poland.

4) Is there an equivalent in Poland to the renters insurance we have here in the US? This is insurance I take out that covers my personal property in an apartment in case of theft or in case a water main or something similar breaks and damages my property. If so, can you recommend any good company's to purchase this from and what I might expect to pay? (I am expecting to bring a PC and my camera gear with me, and definitely want to insure them).

5) Are there any other types of insurance that I might need, or that you recommend?

6) Are there particular types of buildings or complex's to look for when I rent, or to avoid? I expect newer complexes might have newer equipment (larger refrigerator, oven, washer/dryer, microwave, etc) but might also have very thin walls like US apartments (greater noise from your neighbors, risk of smoke coming into your apartment if your neighbors smoke, etc). My employer is NOT going to be paying for my rent, so I certainly won't be able to afford top of the line. I'm not management-level, so I don't get paid rediculous amounts of money. =)

7) Any other recommendations or things to think about as a US citizen living in Poznan who does not speak Polish (although I'm certainly going to try and learn).

My company office is located near the Stary Browar shopping complex, and I would like to stay in walking distance. So any tips that are especially relevant to that area would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1082  
19 Jul 2011 /  #2
1) Do I need to have a bank account before I can rent an apartment?

No, you don't

Do I need to have a permenant address before I an open a bank account?

yup

If so, do you think they will accept my work address?

I don't think so

Is there an equivalent in Poland to the renters insurance we have here in the US?

yes, you can buy it from insurance broker, flat should have at least two certified locks in front door (e.g. Gerda, Wilka).

I am expecting to bring a PC and my camera gear with me, and definitely want to insure them

at the moment in Olsztyn you can find working pc near recycling bins on average once a month ;)
If you choose well housing estate you don't need an insurance (except water leak, it is very important).
delphiandomine 86 | 17823  
20 Jul 2011 /  #3
I would like to know if anyone can provide any tips for renting in Poznan?

Yep - when you come here, give me a shout and I'll help you out. :) It's a shame I was on holiday when you were last here - I could've helped you out then.

As for your questions -

1) Do I need to have a bank account before I can rent an apartment?

It's advisable - everything is done by bank transfer here. You don't *need* it - but it makes life easier. However, bank accounts can be set up quickly and painlessly.

2) Do I need to have a permenant address before I an open a bank account? If so, do you think they will accept my work address?

Passport is all you need - they shouldn't have any issues with your work address for correspondence purposes. However, you can start to rent the place and then open an account - it won't be an issue.

3) Can anyone recommend a good bank that allows for wires between the US and Poland at an affordable rate

What you can do is use a service like moneybookers.com :)

(Vaasa, who are you working for? I'm wondering if you aren't working for a certain employer who has an office in San Francisco too, owned by a certain guy who is rather famous...if you are - good ;)).

4) Is there an equivalent in Poland to the renters insurance we have here in the US?

Insurance is cheap - maybe 100 dollars a year at most? I'll do some research on this for you - but anyway, it's widely available.

6) Are there particular types of buildings or complex's to look for when I rent, or to avoid?

Don't worry about this - give me a shout when you come, and we'll find you something decent. :)

7) Any other recommendations or things to think about as a US citizen living in Poznan who does not speak Polish

Yes - know me - and I'll make sure you get a soft landing :) No, in all seriousness, the city is quite well set-up for foreigners.

My company office is located near the Stary Browar shopping complex, and I would like to stay in walking distance

There are some interesting flats in that area - I know one block in particular that might serve your needs well without being ridiculously expensive. But - send me a PM with your budget and I'll do some investigative work for you.
takachclan - | 6  
25 Jul 2011 /  #4
On the Apt front - No idea, leave that to the others on here :-) - I have many friends living within walking distance of Stary Browar but I think they are on the higher end pricewise as their companies are paying for them (then again not sure what you would class as walking distance..).

Bank Account
We did have some issues with setting up a bank account with Citibank when we got here 4 years ago, but we had to use them due to a contract with husbands company, I hear others are better, and I think it is better generally now.. But we found the monthly fees on the polish account and with the cost of wiring the money every month, we it was easier to just use our American account and pull cash out from the ATM and charge the rest on our American credit cards and then pay them online monthly.. We have an American credit card that only charges 1% foreign transaction fee, and I hear that Deutsche Bank have free ATM withdrawals with Bank of America (although I can not confirm this..) - We pay all our bills here in Poland at the post office (for a very very small fee), as to expense them we need a receipt and the company will not accept the bank statement as proof of payment so cannot do it online.

Drivers License
Even if you are not planning on bringing over/buying a car, make sure you get your International Drivers Permit just incase you want to rent a vehicle for a few days etc. When we first came we were informed by the lawyers that you can drive on your American license for 1 year, but this technically resets everytime you leave the country so we didn't need to convert to the polish one (as we have to go back to USA for 4 weeks a year due to my husbands contract) - From what I understand there have been some issues with this with this, so I believe they have chaned their policy to now be that you can drive on your American one as long as you have a current International Drivers Permit (although my friend who has lived here for 10 years and still drives on her American license was told that she really needed to convert it when she was stopped the other day as 10 years is a bit long LOL) - The only valid International Drivers Permits are the ones you can get from AAA in the USA, and are only good for 1 year, but you can renew it by mail when it comes due.

Electrical Equip...
If you are planning on bringing anything electrical with you (that is only 110v), buy your transformer in the States and bring with you (much cheaper than here). Most PC's and cameras etc., are multi voltage, so you will just need plug adapters for them which you can get here inexpensively. Most people I know who rent apts, rent fully furnished and so request TV's, DVD players etc. to be included.. Remember American DVD's will not play here, unless you can find a multi-region DVD player, so wouldn't bother bringing them if you are not here for long. Most DVD's here are in 'original language' so no problem watching the ones you can buy here.

As far as washing machines, etc., everyone I know has requested the landlords put these in if not included (including dishwashers if there is not one) - Because there is quite a rental market right now, we have found most landlords will put in anything that you ask for in the way of 'built in' appliances to get the rental contract - we bought our microwave, but our friends asked their landlord and he got one for them..

Phone
We set up a Vonage account before we left America - We love it, runs over the internet, but just hooks into our regular phone, so you don't have to be sitting at the computer, and it just rings like a regular phone (and we kept our old number - Handy for the grandparents to remember) - think we pay around $40.00 a month and for that we get unlimited calls to the US and England (the two places that we call) - It may be different now, but we had to set it up in America before we left as they would only mail the equipment to an American address.

Most American cell phones do not work here (you will need a tri-band), and to be honest, the pay-as-you-go ones here are very cheap with no contracts etc., most people I know have these.

If I think of anything else I will post..
OP Vaasa 3 | 14  
26 Jul 2011 /  #5
Thanks for all of the replies. Here are a few additional points:

* My employer has arranged a rental agent through our relocation service that they are paying for. So I'm sorry to decline those who PM'd me offering rental services. I spoke to the only other person in the Poznan office who relocated from the US and was assured the agent was quite competent and who did a good job helping my co-worker find a flat that worked for her. I also had a chance to meet her and visit a few apartments when I was in Poznan a few weeks ago for a short visit.

* The same co-worker recommended HSBC as a bank. She has been doing to the Bank of America cash from the ATM and deposited into the local account tactic. But the $5 charge per ATM use + 3% currency conversion fee seems a bit excessive. Luckily my US bank only charges $30 for an outgoing international wire, $1.50 for an ATM use (no currency conversion fee), and allows the use of my US debit card for 0.8% of the total charge amount as a fee. If anyone knows of a better deal, I would appreciate hearing about it. Otherwise, I'll probably just go with HSBC initially.

* I'm not going to bother with a phone, as my employer will be providing a local cell phone for my use that will work throughout Europe (necessary for my job).

* I'm not planning on bringing any electric equipment other than the PC and monitor, both of which are set up to accept AC power from anywhere. I just need to buy a new cable and they should work fine. I prefer to bring my own equipment that I know is reliable and able to support photo editing, than risk anything out by the bin. =) (but thanks for the tip Peter)

** Delphian ** My employer is in the financial services business. No famous owner. And their offices are south of San Francisco, not in it. Does Oracle have an office in Poznań??? (as I would guess that's who you are talking about) =)

** takachclan ** Thanks for the tip on the international drivers license. I'll look into it.

Thanks again to everyone for the info!
delphiandomine 86 | 17823  
26 Jul 2011 /  #6
* My employer has arranged a rental agent through our relocation service that they are paying for.

Be careful with this - I know some people who have had rather bad experiences with company-approved agents. It's not a bad idea to meet her and so on, but I would make sure that you know the going rate for apartments. Usually - the more "professional" - the higher the price. As you're paying on your own dime, so to speak - you want to get the best deal possible.

One thing that's quite Polish to me is the way the whole thing works. There's no such thing as professional valuation of property here - prices are literally based on what the landlord/agent think they can get. So - the market is full of people who will quite happily add on 500zl a month onto the price as soon as they see a "rich" foreigner - and yes, the professional services market is the worst for this. My advice in Poland is pretty simple in this respect - let people show you, but let your own intuition decide. There is a bad, bad habit here of people pretending to be friendly, only for them to get a financial "kickback" from someone.

I'm almost certain that you'll find yourself paying much more than the going rate if you go through the agent they found - so it's a good idea to keep her under control.

** Delphian ** My employer is in the financial services business. No famous owner.

Ah, much smaller than Oracle ;) Wrong guess, I suppose - but now I definitely know who you're talking about.

I'll have a think over the next couple of days and send you the details of apartment buildings (along with a rough price-guide) that might be of interest to you - what you can do is take this to her and make it clear that you aren't interested in paying more than locals will pay. There is a very clear "ex-pat tax" here so to speak - partially because expats usually aren't bold enough to say "no, the price is a joke, I'll give you 75% of that".

As for the driving licence - the IDP is a must here.
OP Vaasa 3 | 14  
26 Jul 2011 /  #7
Sweet. Thanks for the additional info.
radoslav_woj 5 | 8  
2 Apr 2016 /  #8
Merged: Areas to live near Adam Mickiewiecz University in Poznan

Please let me know about decent areas near Adam Mickiewiecz University. I will be a doctoral student and need a decent apartment. I will be getting 3000PLN per month so please tell me suitable areas in that budget.

Thanks,

No one replying to poor old Radosław Wojtaszek :-(

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