ASK AN EXPERT: What are the key steps involved in renting a Prague apartment?

We asked the head of residential rentals at Engel & Völkers how you can land your dream apartment in the Czech capital. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 09.04.2024 14:00:00 (updated on 09.04.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

in cooperation with

It’s no secret that finding an apartment to rent in Prague has become fiercely competitive in recent years, with demand far outpacing supply. We asked Ondřej Hlaváč, head of residential rentals at Engel & Völkers Prague, to tell us what you can expect during your housing search. He offers many valuable tips and tricks in this detailed step-by-step guide.    

Set your search criteria

It’s essential to list your key criteria before beginning your search. Start with your maximum budget, including costs for utilities and energy. Then get more specific about what you need: Number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Are you looking for something quiet or centrally located? Do you want a new development or a historic building? Is outdoor space, like a garden, balcony, loggia, or terrace, a must-have? Do you need a courtyard or garage, or is blue-zone parking OK? Are good public transit links important?       

Check online listings, contact a broker

Check the online listings to see what’s available in your budget. Use the filters to help narrow your search to fit your criteria. Engel & Völkers, for example, has around 280 properties currently for rent in Prague. Contact a reliable broker who can give you more detailed information about the market and the location you are focusing on.

Schedule viewings of at leasts 3 selected properties

Choose at least three properties you want to see, ideally over one week. The Prague rental market is highly competitive, with landlords and brokers receiving many inquiries from eager renters. Viewings can be canceled at the last minute if another interested party quickly signs a contract. The same scenario might play out if you take too long mulling over your choices. Low-cost apartments or smaller units, like 1+kt or 2+kt, move quickly. 

Start two months before moving date

It’s recommended that you start searching one or two months before your ideal moving date. The maximum is three months, because a landlord usually won’t hold an apartment for longer than that. 

TIP: If you can't find a place that meets everything on your initial criteria list, it might be time to cross off features you could live without and consider if you could loosen your budget. 

Reserve your dream property

After the landlord selects you as the next tenant, you must reserve the property. The reservation secures the property for you until you sign the lease contract. It’s important to know your tenant rights. We have previously highlighted what a landlord is legally allowed to ask from you during the lease process. Read our insights here.   

Agree to the terms of the lease contract

For landlords, Engel & Völkers recommends using its draft of the lease contract which is pretty balanced and covers civil code for the Czech Republic. A lease contract is pretty simple when compared with a purchase contract. A tenant is more protected by the civil code than a landlord. If there are any provisions limiting the lessee ́s rights in the contract, the civil code prevails above these provisions. This is why it is usually not necessary to hire a lawyer regarding a lease contract. 

Agreement on a lease contract typically covers a few main points: The duration of the lease contract, the start date of the lease, the net lease amount, prepayments for utilities and energy costs as well as other payments (like for parking) and the amount of a returnable deposit. The discussion might also cover if the leased property is for living purpose only or if it will be partly used for a tenant’s business.   

Arrange the apartment handover

This is the last step after signing the lease contract. Parties sign a handover protocol. Tenants will receive the keys, and a document listing any damages to the apartment at the time of the handover, along with photos showing the state of the apartment and its furnishings. The numbers from all the energy readers will be taken for future billing purposes. 

All payments by the tenant should be done before the handover, including first month’s rent, the security deposit and the commision for the agency if the property is leased through a broker.

Don't hesitate to contact Engel & Völkers at We will be happy to advise you and help you choose the ideal apartment that will meet your requirements and be in line with your particular living situation.

This article is part of a paid cooperation.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more