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Expat Exchange - How to Rent a Home in Bulgaria
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How to Rent a Home in Bulgaria

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: Renting a home in Bulgaria for the first time can be daunting. You probably have so many questions: Do I need a lawyer? Do rentals come with appliances? How do I find good rentals? How do I choose the right neighborhood? The list goes on and on. Here are answers to some of the top questions plus insight from our members living in Bulgaria.

Renting in Bulgaria - How to Rent a Home in Bulgaria

Navigating the process of renting a home in Bulgaria for the first time can feel overwhelming. Numerous questions might arise: Should I consult a lawyer? Are appliances typically included in rentals? How can I discover quality rental properties? Which neighborhoods will best suit my needs? These are just the tip of the iceberg. Dive in for answers to these pressing questions and gain insights from our members who've made Bulgaria their home.

"Relocating to a new country can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to finding a place to live. If you're planning to move to Bulgaria, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information about renting an apartment. From finding a rental property to understanding the legalities, we've got you covered.

How Do You Find a Rental Property in Bulgaria?

There are several ways to find rental properties in Bulgaria. Online property portals and websites are a popular choice, offering a wide range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. Local newspapers and real estate agencies are also good sources. Word of mouth can be helpful too, especially in smaller towns and communities.

Does Bulgaria Have an MLS Type System?

Bulgaria does not have a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system like in the United States. However, real estate agencies and online portals provide comprehensive listings of available properties.

Do Brokers Have Licenses and How Do I Know If They Are Licensed?

Yes, real estate brokers in Bulgaria are required to have a professional license. You can verify their license by asking to see it or checking with the Bulgarian Chamber of Real Estate (BCRE).

Should I Buy or Rent in Bulgaria?

This decision depends on your personal circumstances, financial situation, and long-term plans. Renting can be a good option if you're not planning to stay long-term or prefer flexibility. Buying might be a better choice if you plan to stay for several years and see it as an investment.

Is It Difficult to Find Rentals in Bulgaria?

Finding a rental in Bulgaria is not typically difficult, especially in larger cities like Sofia and Plovdiv. However, the process can be more challenging in smaller towns or during peak tourist season in coastal areas.

What Documents Are Required When Renting an Apartment in Bulgaria?

When renting an apartment in Bulgaria, you will typically need your passport, proof of income or employment, and a Bulgarian bank account for rent payments. Some landlords may also require references.

Do I Need a Lawyer When Renting an Apartment in Bulgaria?

While not mandatory, it's advisable to hire a lawyer when renting an apartment in Bulgaria. A lawyer can help you understand the rental agreement, ensure it's legally sound, and protect your rights as a tenant. Legal fees can vary, but expect to pay around 1% of the annual rent.

How Long Is the Typical Lease For?

The typical lease in Bulgaria is for one year, but it can be negotiated with the landlord. Short-term rentals are also available, especially in tourist areas.

Do I Have to Pay a Deposit?

Yes, a security deposit is typically required when renting an apartment in Bulgaria. This is usually equivalent to one or two months' rent.

What Other Upfront Costs Are There When Renting?

Other upfront costs can include the first month's rent, a broker's fee (if you used a real estate agent), and potentially a fee for drawing up the lease agreement.

Are Utilities Included?

Utilities are usually not included in the rent and are paid separately. The cost can vary depending on the size of the apartment and usage, but they are generally not expensive.

Are Furnished or Unfurnished Rentals More Popular?

Both furnished and unfurnished rentals are available in Bulgaria. Furnished apartments typically include basic furniture and appliances, while unfurnished ones might not include appliances like a refrigerator or stove. The choice between furnished or unfurnished depends on your personal needs and preferences," said one expat living in Bulgaria.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.

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Expats Talk about What Type of Housing They Live In

"I live in an house, most expats who have moved to this area live in houses and not apartments," said one expat living in Pleven.

"I suggest you rent an apartment before you buy. Bulgarians, for the most part, are very familiar with apartment life, However, my Bulgarian wife lived in an apartment for many years before we got married. We now live in a house with a yard, vegetable garden, dogs and cats. She will not go back to apartment living," wrote a member in Bulgaria.

Expats Talk about How they Found their Home

"Wanted a house in town with land at a good price, but hard to come by. Searched many many estate agents, found 2 luckily in the same area, brought one of these, as don't drive its easy to walk into town, no problems in winter, and am on the main train line so can get anywhere in Bulgaria," commented an expat living in Pleven.

"One of the best ways to find a place to live in Bulgaria is to use online resources such as real estate websites. These websites typically list a variety of properties for rent or sale in Bulgaria, including apartments, houses, and villas. Additionally, you can search for properties on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, as many landlords and real estate agents post their listings on these sites. You can also contact local real estate agents in Bulgaria to help you find a suitable property. Finally, you can also look for rental properties in newspapers and magazines, as many landlords advertise their properties in these publications," said an expat in Bulgaria.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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