Renting in Russia: A Guide to Avoid Pitfalls and Enjoy Peaceful Living

A guide on renting in Russia by Chen Liu. Hoping to assist everyone in having a pleasant renting experience.

Renting in Russia: A Guide to Avoid Pitfalls and Enjoy Peaceful Living

In the journey of studying abroad, dormitory life is often the initial consideration for many students. However, for various reasons, some students opt for renting, adding a touch of freedom and independence to their study abroad experience, along with the luxury of a personalized living space. Yet, finding an ideal place in Russia can be challenging, encountering issues like language barriers and landlords hesitant to rent to foreigners. Therefore, I've compiled a guide on renting in Russia, hoping to assist everyone in having a pleasant renting experience.

Searching for Accommodation

Циан: It is an online real estate service platform in Russia, covering the entire nation and offering a plethora of housing options. Users can conduct detailed searches based on budget, housing layout, duration of stay, and pet-friendly preferences. Website:

Авито: This is a Russian classified ads website, with a section specifically dedicated to real estate. Although the housing options are not as extensive as Циан, it serves as an alternative platform. Additionally, you can find second-hand furniture and appliances at economical prices. Website:

HSE Student Housing Office: In reality, universities offer various accommodation options. More information can be found at

Using Intermediaries: Look for Russian local agencies but exercise caution to avoid scams.

Finding Roommates through Messages: Check student WeChat groups for rental or roommate ads, avoiding potential pitfalls and ensuring a smoother process.

Communicating with Russian Landlords

Effective communication with landlords is crucial in any country. Some landlords can be accommodating and may not inspect the property regularly, even assisting with providing appliances when needed. Ensure understanding of the landlord's attitude and rules to avoid unnecessary disputes. However, it's worth noting that some landlords in Russia may exhibit biases against foreigners, as evident in rental ads specifying preferences for Russian citizens or Slavic faces. Pay attention to such details to save time and potential complications.

Contract Signing and Considerations

Once the housing is chosen, confirmation is done through a lease agreement. The contract should include details such as leasing duration, rent amount, passport information of both parties, and the landlord's property proof. During this period, clarify the costs involved, inspect the condition of furniture and appliances, and understand utility costs to avoid unexpected expenses. It is essential to retain a copy of the lease agreement for both the tenant and the landlord.

Inquiring About On-Arrival Registration

In some former Soviet countries like Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, etc., there exists a requirement for on-arrival registration (регистрация), where foreigners must register within a certain timeframe after arrival. This is typically facilitated by the landlord, hotel, or accommodation provider. In Russia, foreign students are obliged to acquire on-arrival registration (регистрация), a crucial procedure influencing the potential success of future visa renewals. Inquire with the landlord about the provision of this service and ensure timely completion during the renting process.

With these suggestions, I hope your renting experience in Russia will be smoother and more secure. Wishing you the discovery of your ideal residence and an enriching and safe study abroad journey.

Experienced by

Chen Liu