Housing and renting in Russia

Rentals are managed by property companies or by landlords directly. It is very likely that major employers would give foreign workers accommodation. In this case, make sure it is a safe place to live and meets all specifications before moving in.

To find accommodation without recourse to an agency, Russian speakers can use online listings sites, forums, and newspaper classifieds. This could cause lower prices and shorter rental terms to be negotiated. Via word-of-mouth, asking friends and colleagues for help, it is not uncommon to find a flat. Expat forums could be helpful places for non-Russian-speakers to try.

Housing and renting in Russia

The websites below are good places to look for rental accommodation in Moscow, St Petersburg, and other Russian regions for Russian speakers or those with a Russian-speaking friend or colleague willing to help with the language. For subletting property or seeking a temporary tenant, both Cian and Sdamsam are suitable, as both portals allow advertisements to be posted.

  • From Gdeetotdom (in Russian)
  • Cian (in Russian)
  • Sdamsam’s (in Russian)
  • Kvartirant is a listing platform for Moscow apartments to rent, either via agencies or directly from the owner, which provides an interactive Moscow Metro map with all listings connected with the nearest metro station (in Russian).
  • Slando is one of the leading online message boards in Russia, and the property rental section allows you to search for a rental flat based on the type of house, the living space, the kitchen area, the number of rooms, and the floor.

This section will concentrate on concerns that individual investors should take into consideration when considering purchasing (or receiving) residential property in Russia as a gift. They are:

1) who can acquire residential property in Russia;

2) what sort of property can be listed as residential;

3) the limitations on the acquisition and use of cultural heritage-protected property;

4) due diligence: how to obtain and review residential property information;

5) execution of a sale and purchase agreement or donation agreement and registration of the transfer of title;

A list of the best tools for looking for an apartment in Russia is provided below.

I usually like to begin with the country-specific apartment search engines and portals when I’m searching for an apartment abroad. The most famous ones are here.

Avito: Avito is one of Russia’s most famous portals for real estate. A great place to start your quest is this blog.

Cian.ru: The most famous platform for rentals unique to Moscow is Cian.ru.

Gdeetotdom: Gdeetotdom has lots of listings for apartments and has the latest news on Russia’s real estate market as well.

Real Estate Brokers and Classifieds

If you search through the classifieds and real estate agent listings, you will also find some hidden gems.


Craigslist: Pioneers in the world of online classifieds. These guys have loads of apartment choices in Russia that are updated every day. The first place I would check after checking the Russia-specific search engines is Craigslist.

Search Engines for General Apartments and Housing


Check out the general apartment and housing search engines below if you have already exhausted your options above.


Trip Advisor: A perfect destination for holiday rentals is Trip Advisor. To see what you come up with, click through this section.

Additional reading

Worldwide Moving Guide: What you need to know in order to schedule your move to more than 65 countries worldwide.


Worldwide Apartments Guide: Take a look at my posts on how to find an apartment in different countries around the world if you are interested in renting an apartment in another country.


Worldwide Employment Guide: Be sure to check out my reports on how every country in the world can find jobs.


Worldwide Dating Guide: Also, in 60+ countries around the world, check out my posts on the best online dating sites.

In Russia, can a foreigner buy a house?

Generally, any person may acquire residential property in Russia, regardless of his or her citizenship. There is no direct ban anywhere in the world on foreigners owning residential land. However, for example, they are not allowed to own land on state borders or in maritime port areas.

How much is there in Russia for a house?

The situation is different in Russia: the average price per square meter in Moscow is 177,000 rubles ($2,700), while it stands at 115,000 rubles ($1,800) in St. Petersburg. Apartment rentals in New York start at $1,000, while they start at 25,000 rubles ($400) in Moscow.

How much is there in Russia for an average house?
The average cost in the city center of a three-bedroom apartment is $1,111.84 and normally varies from $668.39 to $2,364.73. As for a three-bedroom apartment outside the center of the city, the average cost is $807.54 and typically varies from $490.83 to $1,423.37.

Who Can Acquire Russian Residential Property?

Generally, any person may acquire residential property in Russia, regardless of his or her citizenship. There is no direct ban anywhere in the world on foreigners owning residential land. However, for example, they are not allowed to own land on state borders or in maritime port areas. It means they can buy a home, but not the land that lies beneath it. That also means the owners of the house are then reliant on the landlord’s mood.

A group of people can also purchase residential property. In this situation, many owners will share it and each of them will hold the title of a share of that land.

Restrictions on the acquisition and use of land protected as cultural heritage

Residential properties can be protected as cultural heritage by the federal or state governments. Cultural heritage status imposes certain additional conditions or even limitations on the selling and purchase process, on future use, reconstruction, and renovation work, including its colors, such as a prohibition on altering the room plans or the exterior of the house. A piece of property may be reviewed against the federal cultural heritage registry and the respective regional register.

Factors for selecting accommodation to remember

It is good practice to have an idea of when searching for a new home:

  • The desired accommodation type
  • The minimum and gross rent per month available
  • The required minimum facilities
  • In the local area, requirements
  • It is necessary to consider all criteria, such as those mentioned below, before making the final choice:
  • How long does it take to get to work and what form of transport is available?
    At rush hour, how congested the area is or the roads to it, and in case of emergencies/traffic jams, there are some alternate routes
  • What are the fitness, leisure, sports, and childcare facilities in the area, and how far from the house?
  • Which shopping facilities for food, household and other products are available

Russia’s residential property investments may seem lucrative and secure, and they may be if an individual investor follows the measures suggested, considers all the pros and cons, estimates the potential outcome and keeps track of all the changes in Russia’s economics and laws. Investors should align their steps with asset planning and tax advice to minimize financial losses and legal risks.


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