The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
 
 
User: Guest

Home / Life  % width posts: 2

How to avoid being ripped off in Poland - feel free to add your own advice


Snowmuncher 3 | 24
2 May 2013 #1
1. Don't take taxis from main stations.

Almost every time I take a taxi from a main station in Krakow, Warsaw, and Wroclaw I get ripped off - the taxis waiting at the station. Normal ways of ripping you off are "oops I forgot to turn the meter on", refusing to use a meter and giving you an inflated fixed price. Setting the tariff to 4 (or the highest) and trying to hide the meter with a hand on the gear stick or a well placed cap or cloth.

Solution: ask a Polish friend to call a local taxi company to come to pick you up.

2. Don't use local rental agencies or brokers to rent an apartment

Trying to rent in Krakow, I contacted some local agencies. I was shown around some of the most disgusting apartments I have ever seen which had not been refurbished for at least 30 years, and were absolutely filthy. The bathrooms were something out of the third world. They were quite big apartments from 90 to 140 m2. The asking price per month was 4000 to 4500 zl.

Solution: Go on to the web portals like gratka.pl and krn.pl to find suitable properties for the best deals. Or use a foreign owned agency. In Krakow there are at least 2 good ones, owned by English guys. Remember that most landlords (Polish and foreign) prefer foreign tenants other things being equal since they are less likely to take advantage of strong tenant protection legislation (esp. pregnant women or those with young children) and much more likely to work for international companies on good salaries, and a a return home date.

3. Don't buy an old apartment in Poland

There are at least 3 areas where you open yourself up to being taken advantage of because of the language, the odd legislation and the unusual rules and regulations, under tried and tested tricks designed to catch out foreigners, the naive and the unwary

3.1 When you ask for a surveyors report the estate agent / broker will offer to find a suitable person to do a surveyors report. The report will be in Polish (of course) and the broker will tell you that everything is in order. In fact, later when it is too late, the surveyors report will turn out to be a report by, say, an electrician doing a survey of the electric system or by someone who is not qualified to do such a report, and is merely a description of the property that costs PLN X000.

Solution: Don't buy an apartment in Poland.

3.2 As one of the owners, you will be at the mercy of the residents' board and the building administrator. They will all know each other and consider you to be a host on which they can feed. Expect being over charged on service fees, opaque decisions made by the residents board on items of expenditure designed to benefit everybody else, often at inflated prices with benefits being given on the side, and expect to lose the use of chimneys to other apartments as a result of chimney men decisions, often obtained with bribes.

Solution: Don't buy an apartment in Poland.

3.3 Expect to be truly fleeced as a foreigner when it comes to refurbishment costs. Expect to have to accept huge delays in getting the work done or to pay several times over the market rate. The worst trades in my experience are: 1. Carpenters 2. Tilers. 3. Painters. Costs of these trades are a fraction of London prices in terms of labour costs from 1/4 to 1/8, but they will try to charge you UK prices for an apartment in Poland.

Solution: Don't buy an apartment in Poland. Or use a project manager (PM) and be as invisible as possible, but unfortunately unless the PM is your spouse, expect the cost to be increased by 20% or much more depending on how much money they think you have, and for the extra to be split between the PM and the contractor.
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
6 May 2013 #2
Solution: ask a Polish friend to call a local taxi company to come to pick you up.

No need, you can order taxis by SMS in most Polish cities now.

In Krakow there are at least 2 good ones, owned by English guys.

Do they have a licence? You need to have passed the State Exam in Polish at C2 level in order to legally practice...

Remember that most landlords (Polish and foreign) prefer foreign tenants other things being equal since they are less likely to take advantage of strong tenant protection legislation.

Oh no they don't. Foreign tenants can be a nuisance, particularly if they need to register themselves to the flat.

Expect being over charged on service fees.

Not my experience. The law surrounding this is very clear, and you have the right to take the cooperative to court should you feel that they aren't acting in your best interests. Any such behaviour like that is likely to be frowned upon - unless of course, you let them take advantage. As for the decisions, you have the right to attend such meetings.

It is normal in Poland to have copies of the administration bills before you buy - if they suddenly try and increase these without reason, then no court is going to look at them in a favourable light.

Don't buy an apartment in Poland.

Better to use common sense than not to buy one.

I find that the majority of cases where people have been "ripped off" are due to buyer incompetence.


Home / Life / How to avoid being ripped off in Poland - feel free to add your own advice
BoldItalic [quote]
 
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.