If you are planning to retire to Romania or simply relocate/move to Romania for a longer period of time, you will need to rent a place – or even buy an apartment or a house in the city you’re planning to relocate to.

For foreigners, finding an agent to handle everything sounds like the best possible idea, but that might not be the case. You will see that most real estate agents are lazy and rarely motivated to see you sign a deal (surprisingly, since this is how they earn money!)

Plus, they don’t work together, so if you decide to contact an agent, you might miss out of some solid properties they don’t have access to.

So the best bet would be, in that case, to try and do things on your own by visiting one of the real estate websites listing apartments for rent, houses for rent or all sorts of properties on sale (usually directly from the owners, so that you can save on commissions and fees).

Are you ready to find your dream home? 🙂

However, since websites where you can check out such properties available for rent or sale in Romania are rarely translated in English – and those that are available in English usually have higher prices since they’re directly aimed at foreigners (and if you’re a foreigner, you’re automatically considered richer) – I decided to write this article, sharing with you the biggest real estate websites where you can find properties for rent in Romania.

The best part about these websites is that, since they’re aimed mostly at the Romanian market and not directly at foreigners, they will have cheaper offers overall.

Also, most of them have way more property ads available than any real estate agency in the country – so they’re a perfect place to do some scouting and at least understanding the market, both in term of prices and what to expect for the money.

Things to know about renting an apartment or house in Romania

Before getting tot he actual websites where you can find your next home in the country, I want to go through some really important things that you should have in mind when renting in Romania – especially long term rentals.

The first and most important thing is that you need a contract. You’ll be surprised to find out that many owners prefer to go through the risks of renting without a contract because this way they avoid paying taxes.

However, this is not something you could do even if you wanted to: since you’re not a Romanian citizen, you will need to get your resident permit no matter what country you come from, and for that you will need the rental contract. So you really need it!

The old communist buildings are not the nicest, but they are cheap. Plus, local authorities started rehabilitating them.

Next, make sure that you thoroughly inspect the place and ask questions about everything that’s available and anticipated costs. Ideally, you should talk to a neighbor: find an older person living in the same building and they will love to tell you all the good and bad things about the flat, its owner, the building itself and the surrounding area.

The only problem here is that they will probably not speak English, but if you can start a conversation with them, you will find the best and most complete info about your place.

Finally, expect to have to sign a long term contract (usually 12 months) with one month paid in advance (as a deposit). If you’re doing this through an agent, there will be a fee involved which will vary depending on the type of property, but it will usually be 50% of a month’s rent (while the owner pays the other half).

In most cases, utilities and other costs are NOT included in the price, so expect to pay everything else extra, from cable to electricity, as well as what is called “Intretinere” (maintenance) which includes garbage collection, sometimes heating, water and minimal costs for the building’s upkeep.

What prices to expect when renting long term in Romania?

These things vary a lot and many things should be taken into consideration. Rental prices in Romania have skyrocketed in the past few years, so the market is not as cheap as it was when I first wrote this article with examples of cheap properties available for rent in various cities across the country.

Rent is still usually cheaper than in most other European countries – the larger cities like Cluj, Bucharest, Timisoara and so on are generally more expensive, while smaller cities can surprise you with some amazing deals.

When it comes to actual numbers, you could still find (although not as often) a decent studio renting for as low as 100 Euros per month in the smaller cities, a one bedroom for as low as 250 Euros per month and a two bedroom apartment for 300-350 Euros.

In my own opinion, if you’re not on a very tight budget, I would say that you could find a really good studio for 200 Euros per month, while for 400 Euros per month, you could get a modern 1 bedroom apartment in the city center.

IMPORTANT: In Romania, people are usually counting the number of rooms an apartment or house has, and not number of bedrooms (so the living room is counted as well). As a result, a 3 room apartment would be one with 2 bedrooms and 1 living room. Have this in mind when searching for your next home.

Websites with house and apartment rentals in Romania

As I said, I would recommend every person to check out the major real estate websites in the country as they usually have thousands of ads for places to rent or buy.

While many of these ads are posted directly by owners simply because in Romania most people prefer to try and rent/sell on their own just to avoid the agent fees, most agencies push their listings here as well in order to increase their chances of renting or selling, so you’re really getting the best offers available.

So, here are the websites (listed by popularity, in my opinion) where you can start hunting for properties to rent or buy in Romania at Romanian prices.

Please have in mind that we’re talking about long term rentals in Romania (6+ months, usually a year-long contract) even though some of the people listing their properties here might also agree with renting short term but with higher prices:

OLX: this is the best rental property website in Romania in my opinion as it is the largest classifieds portal in the country. I’d go as far as saying that simply checking this website alone might be enough for you to find what you’re looking for.

Storia: I believe that this one’s owned by the same company that operates OLX, focused exclusively on the property market. I often see listings from Storia promoted on OLX, but the website might have some exclusive offers as well. It has grown a lot lately and got a huge marketing campaign on TV and all other sources of media, so definitely check it out as well.

Magazinul de case: a smaller website where you can find properties for rent or sale, with a nice option to search for apartments our houses in newly built residential areas. These places are usually extremely modern and nice, but as a downside they’re usually farther away from the city center.

Homezz: Another smaller website dedicated exclusively to the property market. During my research, I found here properties that were not listed elsewhere, so definitely worth checking out especially since you might have to compete against fewer people on their exclusive properties.

Imobiliare: This one is dedicated exclusively to renting and selling houses/apartments and is probably the best known dedicated website, with offers mostly from agencies. The biggest problem is that it doesn’t seem to be updated properly, as I saw listings that are 2 years old still posted.

All the websites listed above allow you to search for properties to rent long term in Romania or buy and if the Romanian language is not your main strength, you can always use Google Translate here.

You simply paste the URL (from your browser’s top bar) into the box to the left and choose whatever language you prefer in the box to the right. Then click the link in that box to the right and the whole website will be translated.

It won’t be a perfect translation, but enough for you to be able to navigate through the websites and understand most of the text.

Now, if you’re just moving to Romania and you don’t really know how everything works here, it might be wiser to rent through an agent. If not, at least make sure that the contract you sign is translated in English (and authenticated by a notary) so that you are aware of all the clauses and such.

Cheap and nice apartments are (still) available in Romania

To give you an example of what you would save, I checked out some offers in Bucharest on AirBnB and there are just 2 one bedroom apartments available for under 500 Euros per month (a huge price anyway) and they are small and unimpressive to say the least.

On OLX, except for some luxury 1,800 square feet one bedroom apartments that go over 1,000 Euros, you have around 150 apartments available for under 250 Euros per month, many in at least decent areas of the city.

Of course, we’re talking about long term rentals here, while AirBnb is for short term stays, but still the difference is impressive.

Another interesting thing about the numbers is that when I originally wrote this article, in June 2014, there were over 1,000 one bedroom apartments available for rent in Bucharest under 250 Euros per month. Now the number has dropped significantly. But although prices have definitely gone up, you can still find good deals!

And this would be everything that you should know, in my opinion, about renting in Romania and especially what are the best sites for rental offers in the country. If you have any extra questions, don’t hesitate to let me know by commenting below!

[Update notice:] This article has been rewritten and republished in October 2019, with updated websites and more information.

22 COMMENTS

  1. You know l always love checking out rental prices everywhere. I almost became a realtor as a second profession. Every house l’ve ever owned, l found myself. I remember my first house, no internet in those days, they had this big huge book called the MLS book, looked like the phone pages, and basically had little black and white pictures of the houses and a little description. My realtor got tired and just eventually handed me the book to find my own house cos l bugged so much…lol! What fun l had driving around L.A on my little scooter searching for the right house. Once l found it, then l let her know and we went to see it inside. I even found houses for like 4 friends! The internet really has changed everything..lol!

    • Yes, there’s something about taking things into your own hands that seems the right thing to do. Agents have other interests besides finding the best property for you, so it makes sense to do some research on your own. It’s fun too! 🙂

  2. Hi Calin:
    Great post!!! AirBnB is truly a rip-off! They must assume everyone is wealthy;-) I’ve looked at imobiliere.ro, and the rent is either in Leu or Euro–Euro seems the preferred. But yes, there is certainly a variety. I’ll have to check out OLX.
    We all await to see how your renting goes in your city. You’re a smart guy, so you’ll get the best deal, I am sure.
    I assume most of the Romanian apartments are owned by individuals and not by companies. Do the laws provide for the lessors or the lessees? By this, I mean if the owner doesn’t provide routine maintenance to address issues with water heating, heating, refrigerator, stove, plumbing, a/c cooling (if equipped), paint, common areas, etc., etc., is the lessee able to ensure the issues are addressed and not ignored? (We have some shady owners/lessors here who really are “slumlords.” They don’t care about their properties–only that the rent is paid on time.)
    BTW: Do most people have a/c for the hot summers? What city do you know which is most seasonally comfortable–not stifling hot in the summer, or too bone-chilling cold in the winter?
    Thanks for the great post!
    ~Teil (USA)

    • Hello Teil,

      Some great questions raised – something that I, as a person living in Romania, didn’t consider talking about, but they probably deserve their own article.

      To put it short, indeed most of the apartments (probably all in the smaller cities) are owned by individuals. The funny thing compared to how things work in the States is that the renter is in many occasions expected to deal with the issues you’ve mentioned. It really depends on the owner and how you arrange things to happen, but don’t be surprise that if a water pipe breaks down, you’ll have to take care of it. Or at least pay the costs.

      Regarding air conditioning, they start to become common use, but you can surely find a lot of apartments for rent without a/c. The weather is pretty much the same in Romania – colder up in the mountains and a bit hotter in the South. The area where I live in (South Eastern Romania) is considered the warmest in the country (big cities here being Timisoara, Craiova, Targu Jiu and Drobeta Turnu Severin) and the central-western part of the country (Covasna, Buzau, Vrancea) are the coldest.

      • Hey Calin,
        Nice picture of you “chillin.”
        The USD is a joke, anyway.
        I better read up on DIY maintenance, then;-)
        Ciao,
        ~Teil (USA)

  3. Nice blog, very helpful. With your permission I would like to repost some of the content, for example, cost of living article, on my site.

    I would say though, not all agents are as you say, focused on other things. As a workaholic, I built a reputable business week by week since 2007 & most of my cleints are either repeat or referral, as our google+, google maps, fb, linkedin & own site testimonials can demonstrate.

    True, there are many agents too lazy to try very hard to help & others that take opportunities they should not. But equally, there are plenty of local landlords who offer very poor value for money, lack of a decent agreement, lack of interest after signing up. So as an expat myself & a real estate agent with now 7 years experience on this market, running a decent sized team (multiplying my experience by a factor of 10), I can say that you are just as likely to get cheated by a greedy property owner as you are by a lazy agent.

    I’ve personally had dozens of conversations with owners where I refused to list their property until they fixed certain functional items, such as heating, a bed, or heating, or a dangerous electrical circuit. Tenants do not always have the confidence or courage to insist on such a repair.

    So, I can say with confidence, as an agent, I genuinely do take first priority of the tenants needs to ensure value for money, stability, quality and fair treatment whilst trying to find the owner a decent tenant at a fair rent.

    So if you are seeking a nicely furnished fair priced apartment in Bucharest for example , check also with recommended agents as well as private searches & compare the difference. I personally would willingly write a public apology on here if any of my cleints over the years were able to say we treated them as suggested in the main article able. It is about pride in your work & personal integrity. When people mention my name I do not want it to be accompanied by words like lazy, dishonest, greedy etc. I want them to use words like dedicated, hard working, helpful. Therefore I work to earn those descriptions & I manage my team to do the same.

    All the same, very nice idea for a blog. Keep it positive & informative for everyones sake. Spor la treaba.

    WhiteMountain

    • That is good to hear! I am sure that there are honest agents doing the hard work there – they are difficult to find though 🙂

      Regarding the reposting of articles from this site, you can post a snippet on the blog with a link back to the whole article, but unfortunately not the entire article. Thanks for the visit and keep up the good work too!

    • If you sign a contract with the owner or especially an agency, you usually have to sign for a longer lease. However, it’s not a rule for the 6 months period and I am sure that most owners would be willing to go for a short term let too.

  4. Thanks so much for your precious first hand information.
    In fact, I’d like to find a deal where I could pay the rent month per month a bit like with Airbnb (without any long term lease) but if possible with better prices. Do you think it would be possible in Romania? Some owners could accept such conditions?

    • I have checked out the Airbnb prices and they are outrageous for what you should expect to actually pay here in Romania. I am also sure that most owners would accept such a deal. The truth is that in Romania, in order for owners to avoid tax, they will not sign with you an official contract if you don’t want to. This would mean that the lease could be broken at any moment by the renter, as the owner has no reason to do it. Either way, I am sure you will be able to find what you’re looking for!

  5. Hi Calin:
    I forgot how helpful this post was!
    Still don’t get why most prices are in Euro as opposed to Lei.
    (Which would be better price–Euro or Lei?)
    Definitely NOT a Romanian house in the top picture.
    I’d be very leery about old Communist structures.
    The one in the 3rd picture looks quite ramshackle.
    And where in Romania is the 4th picture? It’s more
    colorful than most cities, but certainly the structures are
    too crammed together.
    I figure “knowing” some smart, good-looking blogger,
    who speaks the language, might help an old retiree in the
    USA looking for a long-term rental in Predeal for a reasonable
    commission.;-)
    I read somewhere that some lawyers will have the “business”
    address/headquarters at their office for a fee. It certainly seems
    easier than having to get letters/permission from all surrounding
    neighbors to have a “business” in your apartment.
    ~Teil (old retiree in USA)

    • I did use some stock photos for the article. The top one, for example – but nowadays you can see houses like that built in Romania as well. Of course, these are extremely expensive and they rarely are built to be sold, but built by people who buy the land first and plan to move there with the family. The fourth is also a stock photo and I used it because I simply enjoyed the color. It can be a bit misleading indeed so I might have to change it 🙂

      Regarding the second part, indeed most lawyers (or accountants) allow for the firm to have their address. However, there is a limit of how many firms can be in one place (which is a good thing as the lawyer/accountant won’t overbook).

      While I know little about Predeal, I would be more than happy to help when you decide to make things happen. Most likely, deals will have to be done in Brasov… but we’ll look and find out 🙂

      • Calin:
        Ha! You figured out who I was talking about, I see.;-) Thanks!
        Is the American family in Brasov still enjoying their life? I think the gentleman’s name is Kevin(?)
        I was thinking about lack of a/c on buses and trams. I assume the Metro is “a/c’d.”
        Maybe enough people will speak up and demand a/c for new bus fleet additions.
        There are options to retrofit buses, too.

        Are you happy with your apartment in DTS? I know you’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. I bet having a view of a cemetery make things more spooky for Halloween.;-)

        Have you made any plans for future trips? I see Tarom will be initiating transatlantic service again in 2020. https://onemileatatime.com/tarom-usa-flights/
        They’re looking for larger aircraft for this. I would stay away from Boeing because of all the QC issues. Seems like Airbus would be the way to go.
        ~Teil

        • I am generally scared of flying, so the Boeing thing didn’t make things easier for me. So I will have to stick to places that I can reach by train or car/bus for now 🙂 No plans on where to go next year, though – now that my son started school, he has a much tighter schedule with tons of extracurricular activities he shouldn’t miss. It will be a challenge, to say the least 🙂

          We’re still happy in the apartment, but as Romania isn’t really big on Halloween, the cemetery view won’t change much. We do have a better view of it now as this year they cut a huge tree that was in front of our window as it was old and dangerous (the freak storms that we had actually broke some large branches). So now, even though we don’t really want that, we have a much clearer view of the silent place :))

          Finally, regarding the air conditioning – there’s none in metros either, but the temperature there is always pleasant since they’re underground. People are asking for air conditioning in busses since I was in college, years ago and it will probably be a long time before it will actually become reality 🙂 (And yes, Kevin and his family are still enjoying Brasov and calling it their home).

  6. It’s amazing how high the prices have become as AirBnB has mushroomed like wildfire. It’s nice that you can still get a good deal on rentals if you look carefully. We were lucky to get a great price on our visit thankfully. I love looking at prices in different cities. 🙂

    • Yes, AirBnb is now pushing rent prices a bit higher as well, because many people now prefer to rent on AirBnb simply because they make more. The market will get saturated eventually, but right now – especially in the larger cities, there’s still a lot of demand and prices are still going up, maybe at a faster rate with Airbnbs. But this is not a complete disaster, as short term travelers have way more options now than they ever did. I just wonder how much of a hit hotels are taking from this…

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