Renting a panelak apartment




My wife and I are planning to move to Prague - this year, if possible - and we are looking at accommodation options. All the research I have done seems to suggest that living in a panelak could be the best option for us - we really just want to find a place with a decent amount of space in a safe area with good transport links. Would posters agree that this is the best option? We don't speak Czech yet (but we are learning) and the rental agencies I have found don't seem to list panelaks. I am planning to go to Prague for a few days to try to arrange a place to stay before we move. Does anyone have any advice?

12:27:05 23.07.2007 BernieT

A panelek should be cheaper, they look awful and you can hear the drunken neighbours beating their wives, but they're as safe as any other type of building and some look quite nice inside. Just make sure you're not paying over the odds.

12:34:21 23.07.2007 skinny

Quote: skinnyJust make sure you're not paying over the odds.

What should we expect to pay?

12:41:42 23.07.2007 BernieT

Blimey, I'm not sure. I would imagine a panel of the same size and neighbourhood of a brick building may be 20% cheaper? I'm sure those that rent them will be able to help more. You need to check all prices as some landlords will charge more as a foreigner, if they think you'll pay it.

12:45:08 23.07.2007 skinny

Bernie, In the whole issue, not the material (concrete panels) but the location matters. So there are good panelaks and bad panelaks, some of them renovated, some of them not, some are quite nice neighbourhoods and some are quite ghettos. If you lived in apartment complex before then most of them will not make any difference. If you lived in a detached house before then you would definitely go on a lower standard even in a four rooms flat situated in the best panelak of Prague.

13:04:43 23.07.2007 D.Brux

Quote: D.BruxBernie, In the whole issue, not the material (concrete panels) but the location matters. So there are good panelaks and bad panelaks, some of them renovated, some of them not, some are quite nice neighbourhoods and some are quite ghettos. If you lived in apartment complex before then most of them will not make any difference. If you lived in a detached house before then you would definitely go on a lower standard even in a four rooms flat situated in the best panelak of Prague.

Thanks for the advice. I have lived in tenement flats in Glasgow for years so I'm used to living close to the neighbours (even the alcoholics), though always in quite reasonable areas. As far as I can tell Prague has no areas like the worst housing schemes of Glasgow. I don't think we'd be put off by the "rougher" parts of Prague after living all our lives in Glasgow but we do want a relatively safe district. We don't mind the area being a bit run down and we don't need luxury - just an apartment in reasonable condition with modest amenities in an area well served by trams, buses or metro.

13:41:35 23.07.2007 BernieT

Hi Bernie, See, for sure you already know the weather is going to be better most days around your Prague flat :-). I lived in Praha-Vrsovice in one of those old fashioned but small flats once, that would still be considered as city centre. And then I moved to panelak, and have to say the life in panelak was a better quality. Something of this living in old-Prague-feeling was definitely lost when I moved to Prague-Panelaks-Suborbs but that was just it. What only pissed me off was the fact that a parked car had quite reasonable chance to be stolen overnight in many public parking areas around panelaks. Some of the houses had a possibility of fenced supervised parkings.

14:32:29 23.07.2007 D.Brux

Quote: D.BruxWhat only pissed me off was the fact that a parked car had quite reasonable chance to be stolen overnight in many public parking areas around panelaks. Some of the houses had a possibility of fenced supervised parkings.

Hi D.Brux, Luckily, we don't have a car! :D Seriously, i know car crime is a problem but the city has such great public transport (compared to many places in the UK) that we would be happy to rely on trams, buses or the metro. Are there any sources of info for non-Czech speakers?

15:12:50 24.07.2007 BernieT

Look for panalaks in Prague 9 or 10. Those areas seem to be full of them.

15:23:42 24.07.2007 dreday35

Quote: BernieTMy wife and I are planning to move to Prague - this year, if possible - and we are looking at accommodation options. All the research I have done seems to suggest that living in a panelak could be the best option for us - we really just want to find a place with a decent amount of space in a safe area with good transport links. Would posters agree that this is the best option? We don't speak Czech yet (but we are learning) and the rental agencies I have found don't seem to list panelaks. I am planning to go to Prague for a few days to try to arrange a place to stay before we move. Does anyone have any advice?

I would look what is available http://www.sreality.cz/search_s.php?k=1&kind=flat&fce=2 http://www.reality.cz/cgi/hledat?obec=praha&typ=2&druh=6&cena=max.cena&hledat=VYHLEDAT Living in a panelak is OK but you may find something better for similar money. What do you want to spend?

17:21:49 24.07.2007 maxd

Watch out for the "resident's commitee" and any communal fees, as they will try to screw you Panelaks stink - Rab C. Nesbitt style neighbours are the problem as the walls are like paper.

20:35:50 24.07.2007 Ermintrude

Quote: maxdI would look what is available http://www.sreality.cz/search_s.php?k=1&kind=flat&fce=2 http://www.reality.cz/cgi/hledat?obec=praha&typ=2&druh=6&cena=max.cena&hledat=VYHLEDAT Living in a panelak is OK but you may find something better for similar money. What do you want to spend?

Thanks. Ideally, we would like to spend less than 13,000.00 CZK - the less the better. We could spend a bit more but we want to minimise our living costs until we are settled in and in a position to find work.

20:59:22 24.07.2007 BernieT

Quote: ErmintrudeWatch out for the "resident's commitee" and any communal fees, as they will try to screw you Panelaks stink - Rab C. Nesbitt style neighbours are the problem as the walls are like paper.

Are they really as bad as in the UK?

21:00:24 24.07.2007 BernieT

Hi Bernie, That is right, I lived in Opatov, some 5 mins walking to the Metro station what took me downtown much faster than any car would have. But like the Max says you can get more fun for similar money living more centrally, in the inner districts. Because the panelak outskirts are just dead after the local supermarket closes, everybody in, tucked up, watching telly, out being just drunks, punks and homeless. Vinohrady, Zizkov, Nove Mesto, Vrsovice, Smichov, Letna Dejvice, Holesovice, Karlin all might be more fun living, more Prague, similar money, just less parking space and perhaps no balcony. The only thing I hate about those places are the horrendous amount of pet **** on every side walk and the everlasting dog piss smell just everywhere.

21:13:00 24.07.2007 D.Brux

The paper walls, specially in the not- renovated panelak flats around the bathing/toilet area, true. Light material, braunish color, called umakart, absorbing absolutely no noise. And those areas are usually adjusted to the kitchen/ette, which is just on the other side. Many panelak flats are being renovated though. Would not hope for no noise in the more traditional flats in inner Prague houses /u call them usually cinzak, cinze means rent/. Especially passing trams make super heavy noise, but also, again, many bathrooms in houses from the first half of 20th century would have chimney windows /that area called svetlik/ which people tend to leave rather opened. Czech households are however in average much quiter than the Irish averadge for example. They also wake up earlier so most of them do not stay awake till late. Nobody in Prague also says studio, one room apartement they call garsonka, from French garson, single guy. For thirteen you should however get much bigger than that, if you do not require Prague Castle view of course.

21:27:43 24.07.2007 D.Brux

Quote: Ermintrudeas the walls are like paper.

Still much better than what was the OP probably used to in the UK. Because over there the walls are not just LIKE paper, but really made of paper...

11:23:05 25.07.2007 jjj

Quote: D.BruxThe paper walls, specially in the not- renovated panelak flats around the bathing/toilet area, true. Light material, braunish color, called umakart, absorbing absolutely no noise. And those areas are usually adjusted to the kitchen/ette, which is just on the other side.

Oh yes, but I don't suppose that the OP would live in the kitchen and his neighbours in the bathroom of the SAME apartment. So I don't quite understand what's the problem. And I have never heard that umakart would be used to separate TWO different apartments. Apartments in panelaks are separated from each other by concrete panels, I guess... I agree you can hear relatively a lot of noise from your neighbours in panelaks (I have never lived in one so this is just what I have been told) but still nothing comparable to many UK city apartments built of real paper.

11:44:31 25.07.2007 jjj