1. Search for housing
In Latvia, there are multiple websites that come in handy when looking for a house or apartment. Some of the websites offer places for rent, some offer properties for sale, where some offer both. The most popular property search websites are:
- https://reklama.bb.lv/lv/ (use the Translate to English option)
Additionally, you can also contact with real estate agencies for help. Here are some agency suggestions:
To find a more extensive list of real estate agencies, visit www.1188.lv "Real Estate" section!
In recent years, Facebook groups have become a popular source for finding a property to purchase or rent. In these groups, people personally share property listings, and often real treasures can be found there. Join the groups and check them regularly – the best offers disappear very quickly!
Some of the groups available (search for them on Facebook):
- Dzīvokļu īres piedāvājumi draugiem/paziņām;
- Dzīvokļi Rīgā - Pārdod - Izīrē;
- Dzīvokļus īrē, izīrē, pērk, pārdod – RĪGĀ.
2. Useful things to know when renting in Riga
Typically, the tenant covers the rent and utility bills. The rental price in listings usually does not include the utilities, because these change each month.
Many landlords require you to pay the first and the last month's rent when moving in as a guarantee. This does not mean you lose your money, just that you pay for these months in advance. Some landlords may also ask for a deposit (this cannot exceed 2 month's rent) from which necessary maintenance costs can be deducted. However, the deposit is usually returned upon the expiry of the contract.
The number of rooms indicated in the advertisement correspond to the total number of rooms in the apartment, not just bedrooms.
The rental contract should be signed in writing, and it should include all important aspects like the price, duration of the contract, and whether pets are allowed, etc. According to the Latvian legislation, the contract can be signed for up to 10 years (indefinite contracts are not allowed).
On average, apartment rental prices in Riga range from EUR 300 to EUR 800 a month. The price, of course, depends on the size, condition, and location of the apartment.
3. Buying a property in Latvia
When it comes to buying a property, the steps are quite similar to renting one. Find something you like, contact the seller and visit the property. As with renting, you can always turn to real estate agencies for help, which can help you to navigate the market and handle the legal aspects of the deal. Usually, they will take a commission from the seller not the buyer.
Here are a few reputable real estate agencies:
If you would like to obtain a mortgage for your purchase - mortgages are available from banks. Contact the banks to find out their offer and the sum you could receive approval for. The sums and interest might vary from bank to bank. The approval of the mortgage will also be influenced by the bank's assessment of your desired property.