Renting in Moscow: What’s on the Market and How to Stay Safe

Moscow, the capital city of Russia, is a sprawling mega-polis with dozens of diverse neighborhoods buzzing with business, culture and party life, while also being replete with comfortable residential havens. Apartment hunting here is not the simplest of tasks. Luckily, however, this means there are options on the city’s property market to suit any lifestyle and budget.

In this article, we will have a look at the sort of apartments one can rent in Moscow, and also provide a word of warning to those setting out on their apartment hunting journey regarding the dangers that await unwary renters in this beautiful city.

The smallest apartment floor areas in Moscow start at just 70 square feet! These tiny studios would, of course, only be fitting for students, and are usually found closer to the outskirts of the city in brand new high-rise residential buildings.

The average floor area for a 1-room apartment, including a kitchen, bathroom and hall area, is 115 square feet.

2 and 3-room apartments are the most popular and common offers on Moscow’s real estate market. Apartments with 4 and more rooms are not as common, and thus more often than not are located in elite residential complexes and have a matching price tag.

The average floor area of a 2-room apartment in Moscow is 170 square feet, and the same for a 3-room apartment is 250 square feet.

There are many types of apartment buildings in Moscow, from pre-revolutionary mansions and Stalin period buildings to the block and panel buildings of later Soviet years and the modern premium-class high rises. Their architectural style reflects the historic period in which they were constructed. Each type of building contains apartments with different characteristics, including ceiling height and typical floor plan.

But the most important thing to take into account when renting an apartment in Russia’s capital city is actually the District or neighborhood in which it is located. This would determine the accessibility of various public facilities, as well as business blocks, parks, leisure and entertainment centers, etc. Remember, commuting from one end of Moscow to another to get to one’s office or a park for a weekend outing can take anywhere up to three hours depending on the time of day – the city is truly enormous!

Thus, to avoid spending a lot of time in traffic, consider where you would need to go from your home most often and how accessible those locations are.

The most prestigious Districts are, of course, located centrally. These are the Khamovniki, Yakimanka and Arbat Districts. The easiest locations to visit from them would be Moscow’s main historic and cultural neighborhoods and venues, including museums and high-end restaurants. The highest rent prices are also to be found in these areas.

On the other hand, peaceful residential neighborhoods such as the Strogino, Ramenki, Sokolniki, Yasenevo and Krylatskoye Districts are best suited for family life, with plenty of wooded outdoor areas and recreational facilities on hand. These Districts are renowned for their excellent environmental conditions, which are key to a healthy lifestyle for the whole family.

Most apartments in Moscow are traditionally leased out fully furnished. This unfortunately means tenants are often not able to make any changes to the furnishings and finishings of their new home. However, such changes may be possible to some extent, depending on what is specifically set out in the lease agreement.

Something to consider seriously is the fact that fraudsters of all kinds are currently thriving on the Moscow property market. It is exceedingly easy to lose money to a scam whilst trying to rent an apartment. Fake titles to properties can be encountered most often, in which case the new tenant would suddenly discover their lease is void and they have no access to the property.

It is therefore always advisable to get professional help when apartment-hunting in Moscow. Your realtor of choice must be well-versed in all the legal technicalities of the local property market. At the Moscow Real Estate Company, we have a team of lawyers for the specific purpose of helping our clients avoid losing their time and money on fictitious listings.

You can visit us at our website for more information and other articles on Moscow’s property market. Good luck on your apartment hunt and stay safe!

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