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Rent a house in Greece

Short guide how to rent a home for prospect tenants
Rent a house in Greece

Searching a house for rent in a foreign country might seem difficult or even exhausting sometimes. For this reason, this guide aims to give all the important information as well as to summarize the main points that someone should take into consideration before finally renting a property in Greece.

Where to search for properties

The main source of finding a property is now by using various platforms such as Spitogatos and Xrysi Eukairia. These portals give you the chance to see many new properties uploaded daily. However, many times the posted ads are countless and several of them are old listings that are not valid. This can be solved by using filters for a more personalized and up to date search according to someone’s needs. You can also find many private and professional ads on social media such as Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Groups, also Airbnb, which in recent years have started to gain more and more popularity in Greece as well.

A different type of rental source are websites such as Blueground, which mainly offer furnished apartments mostly addressing at company executives from abroad, digital nomad employees etc.

Finally, there are also professionals such as brokers, who may be paid for their services but offer immediately efficient and customized complete solutions. That way, brokers make the whole procedure of renting a property easier with a lot less frustration at the same time.

The value of a realtor's help

Searching residential properties for rent takes time, several phone calls, visits to several properties and of course discomposure. Nowadays, it has been observed that fewer owners are renting out their homes on their own. On the contrary, most of them prefer to assign this task to a professional broker.

The latter, only intends to act as an intercessor and lead both the leaseholder and the leaser to a beneficial agreement for both ways, commonly named as a win-win situation. A realtor is objective and has the knowledge about market trends and all the updates so that proper guidance is provided and valuable time for both sides can be saved.

Moreover, many times the valuable skill of negotiation is required so that tension due to conflict of interest between the interested party and the lessor can be avoided, but also with his experience, he provides solutions to either usual or non-routine issues and difficulties that may arise.

What a prospective tenant should look out for while searching

Pick the right neighbourhood: Choosing an area and by extension a neighbourhood plays an important role in the final choice. The main criteria are safety of the area, proximity to public transport, supermarkets, schools, etc. Also be careful of any disturbing activities in the neighbourhood.

Avoid high season searching: Each region and city has its own peculiarities. Factors such as school periods, tourist season, etc. affect the procedure due to increased demand. Finding a home during high season is usually associated with higher rental prices as well as less variety.

Decision-making without time pressure: Deciding to rent a property in just a few days leads to hasty moves and impaired judgment. It should generally be avoided. On the other hand, if a house meets all the criteria someone has, then he should not delay because it will be rented by the next person for sure.

Budget calculation: Except for the requested rent, one must calculate that there will be additional costs such as the guarantee, building fees, moving costs, possible additional costs of organizing and decorating the residence, broker's fee if any, etc. Pay attention to the type of heating and the frames, as they can cause a raise to the bills.

Always visit the property: As mentioned above, it is common practice to start the house search on the internet. However, the photos of the property may be misleading and may not correspond to reality. For this reason, a visit is always necessary.

Main points to consider while visiting the property

Whether someone decides to call on a broker or search for a house on his own, when a listing comes up and is time to pay a visit to the property, there are some important points that need to be considered.

    • Always pay the visit way before sunset since natural light can contribute to tracking down any damages that might exist.
    • The layout should be taken in account. Renting many sq.m might seem really appealing but most of the times it is the layout that contributes to making a home comfortable and easy to live in.
    • To have no signs of mould and humidity, preferably to be a bright and airy residence.
    • Moving in a freshly painted and in good condition place is suggested. Be extra careful with humidity and rust, especially in plumbing.
    • Doors and windows should be airtight so that heat loss in the winter can be minimized. It is also common knowledge that energy frames with double glazing really make a difference.
    • Check the type of heating and whether solar-powered boiler exists.
    • Ask about the building fees as they make a significant expense, especially if the heating is not autonomous. Such costs are posted on the notification board of the entrance of the building.

And the most important thing that many overlook: Whether you like a house or not, Be kind and not offensive.

What should a tenant look for in a lease agreement

Carefully reading the contract before signing: After finding an apartment that meets your needs, the next step is signing a contract, which is going to include details for both parts and the property as well. Reading the document is essential because there may be issues that are likely to incommode someone in the future.

What is certain is that many times each side tries to gain as much as possible. However, a rental relationship should always be balanced in order to withstand time without friction and conflicts afterwards. Both sides should be fair, with clear boundaries, but also flexible.

The most basic points to which the prospective lessee must give priority and negotiate immediately, mainly concern the financial part and are the following:

    • To agree the duration of the lease based on his needs, whether it will be extended or there is going to be early departure. The law as it stands today protects the tenant for a minimum stay of 3 years. Care should be taken if by chance the property is about to be auctioned.
    • To agree the amount of the rent, its adjustment, and the guarantee, to be informed about utilities, bills, and all financial obligations, as well as about the regulation of the apartment building.  
    • If a private lease agreement is signed, it must be declared to Taxisnet by the owner and accepted by the leaseholder (within 30 days of its signature).
    • A valid electrician's certificate should be asked from the lessor or issue a new one as it is necessary to get the electricity bill in the tenant’s name.
    • Although it does not have any legal consequences for the dweller, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required and must be declared from the owner.

Tips: It is a good idea to take photos of the house before moving in, so that there is indisputable evidence of the condition in which it was received.

Lessee’s obligations during its stay

During their residency, any lessee is obliged to pay the rent at the pre-agreed time and place as well as the utilities and all debts arising from bills e.g., electricity, water, etc. It goes without saying that apart from the amendments and additions included in the lease, any other modulation not included in the lease, must have the landlord's written consent.

In addition, the place should be treated with care without causing damage, except for damages that may be caused due to wear and tear, which is in accordance with good faith and commercial ethics. One should be able at the end of the contract to hand over the property as received, otherwise he is obliged to compensate for any other incidental damage that the owner may suffer from.

In case the lease belongs to a complex or an apartment building, the occupant should maintain good relations with the other tenants, respect the apartment building regulations and the obligations arising from it.

After the end of the lease

At the end of the lease, the lessee has the obligation to return the rent to the lessor in the condition in which he received it, that is, without damage, except for those caused by, in accordance with business ethics and good faith, due to everyday use.

Lastly, we would like to note that, as in all transactions, a good chemistry between the prospective tenant and the owner is important in order to keep unnecessary friction and conflicts during the lease process at bay. Also, if you do not know well the area where you intend to search for a property, then the best solution is to contact a professional broker to help you with his knowledge, so that you can make the right decision.