If you move to the Czech Republic, you will need to find proper accommodation for yourself and potentially also for your family. If you have no opportunities for accommodation in the Czech Republic, we recommend you strongly to try and arrange for accommodation already prior to your return to the Czech Republic. If you fail to do so, you will probably face a rather unpleasant period of time right after returning to the Czech Republic when you will have to resolve the matter of accommodation. Therefore, try to resolve it in advance! If you arrange for your accommodation in advance, there is a higher chance that your return to the Czech Republic will be smooth, and if you have children, you will not make them face uncertainty and your entire family will avoid some associated stress. Thereupon, you will be able to point your attention to children sooner and more closely (school, general practitioners), and also to finding employment and handling other necessary matters. (Some people resolve the momentary accommodation need by moving in with their relatives/acquaintances. In an emergency situation, this is surely a solution, but it will most likely mean that housing conditions will be constricted, without proper privacy, conflicts among co-habitants may arise and this cannot be recommended for a longer period than a few days. Relatives/ acquaintances who provide accommodation to you also risk that they lose their housing in the extreme case if they live in a municipal flat or commercial lease – they usually need the consent of the owner in order to allow other people living there and the owners are not often very inclined towards that, while illegal accommodation of another period may lead up to termination notice of such lease).
The first option of acquiring accommodation is to try and lease a flat provided by a town, i.e. to have the so-called “municipal flat”.
Some towns, or town parts, do not own any municipal flats at all or only a very small number of them. If the town manages some of such flats, these are usually divided into several types:
- regular municipal flats
- flats of a specific purpose – wheelchair accessible flats
- flats of a specific purpose – flats in houses providing care services
- crisis accommodation
- starting flats – a type of lease accommodation which is provided to young citizens starting their independent lives for a definite period of time
- cooperative flats (an option similar to municipal flats) – these are owned by a cooperative and the given member of such cooperative is only entitled to the right of lease to the given flat. The member of a cooperative is not entitled to sell or otherwise freely dispose of the flat. The member of a cooperative is potentially only entitled to transfer his/her member rights and obligations in relation to the cooperative, which are related to the lease of such flat, to another person.
- social flats with complex social support (such as in Brno)
- social flats without complex social support (also in Brno, for example)
You may apply for these types of flats at Housing Departments of the relevant town parts, city halls, municipal offices or town offices.
If you want to apply for any of the above-specified types of flats, you will usually need these certificates and documents:
- identification document
- application for the assignment of the flat via a form provided by the given authority/office
- annexes to the application for the flat – prove of permanent residence and marital status, prove of current accommodation of the applicant and his/her housing conditions, confirmation on the income of the applicant and his/her household member for the last year, and the declaration on the ownership/non-ownership of real estate of the applicant
- potentially also other documents (such as confirmation on not being a recorded owner with the city/town in which you are applying for a flat, and some towns also request the information on any potential debt in relation to the fee for the municipal waste removal)
It is important to remember that the assignment of municipal or similar flats is not possible in all cities and towns, and that the cities and town consider carefully to whom their assign the flats (several factors are then determining – debtlessness, individual condition of the family, income of the family, whether such income at least partially comes from wage or pension, and whether the applicant has provable ties to the given location (city, town) in which the applicant applies for the flat; some towns even require a condition of permanent residence in the given location). However, it is not impossible to be granted such a flat if you are patient and you are willing to wait for months or a year, or even two or more in some cases, unfortunately. Still, it is a reasonable solution for anyone who does not own any real estate in the meaning of the ration between the accommodation quality, some certainty, the rent amount and the seriousness of handling and behaviour. Also, due to the fact that acquiring a municipal flat is usually a long-time matter, it is good to arrange for accommodation in another way up to the moment of being assigned such a flat. Which also applies to situations when you do not want or cannot apply for a municipal flat.
You can also lease a flat/house with a commercial lessor (usually the owner) of a flat/house.
To acquire such lease (or sublease), it is the most suitable to search for offers of flat leases via internet advertisements or newspaper advertisement. For example, you can use these websites:
The prices of such leases, especially in larger towns, are rather high, but that can in legitimate cases be resolved by applying for some of the social support benefits. Moreover, most of the owners request that the lessee also pays a returnable deposit when moving in, which usually amounts to 1-3 monthly rents for the given flat. (The finances for the deposit may be handled by applying for the extraordinary immediate assistance at the Labour Office or by applying for a subsidy at any of the charities which are located in the Czech Republic.)
If you do not succeed in acquiring a standard type of accommodation, you can also try to arrange for any type of asylum housing, i.e. by using social services.
There are 3 basic types of asylum housing:
Asylum houses for individuals (adult men/women – individuals)
- hostel (1 x overnight stay, shower, breakfast) or accommodation directly in an asylum house, while these usually offer accommodation for several days, weeks or even months, including meals, and usually an opportunity to use a bathroom and a washing machine as well)
Asylum houses are located in all large towns in the Czech Republic, but sometimes also in smaller towns. They are operated by, for example, Salvation Army, Naděje, Charity of the Czech Republic, or directly by cities or towns.
Asylum houses for mothers (parents with children) – “Homes for mothers with children”
- they serve for the accommodation of mothers with a child or more children, some houses also accommodate fathers with children, but it always has to be only one of the parents. Naturally, there are opportunities to use a washing machine, these usually are flat units with a bathroom and a kitchenette, while the accommodated families prepare their food themselves. Such accommodation may usually be used by up to 1 year. These are located in most big cities.
Asylum houses for families with children
- these accommodate families with a child or more children, preferably there are both parents accommodated in this case. These are usually also flat units with a bathroom and a kitchenette. There is a rather small number of these institutions in the Czech Republic, e.g. in Třebíč, Strakonice, Plzeň, Příbram.
These are social services which are charged. The hostel costs up to CZK 50 per night, and other above-specified services usually equal CZK 120/day – for an adult, CZK 90/day – for a parent, CZK 60/day – for a child, i.e. approx. CZK 3,600 per month for an adult, CZK 2,700 per month for a parent, CZK 1,800 per month for a child.
Still, these are significantly lower prices than those paid for commercial lease. Moreover, this accommodation usually has a reasonable quality, serious handling and behaviour on the part of the provider and you are able to use the services of a social worker as well, who may help you to resolve any potential further issues or arranging for accommodation after leaving this social service. (The cooperation with the social worker here is usually mandatory, and it is thus necessary to adapt to the operation of the facility, its regime and order; however, the restrictions for the people and families are usually not very dramatic, and this is a good solution for people and families in need in order to get through the first critical days, weeks or months, until the situation improves.)
However, even in these cases there is an obligation to pay a deposit when moving in, but it is usually lower than in cases of commercial leases. To pay the rent in these services, you may use social support benefits or contributions by various social charities, including the payment of the deposit.
What is necessary to do and submit in order to receive accommodation in asylum houses:
- application for asylum housing (usually completed directly in the asylum house with a social worker)
- prove of financial income of the person, or the family (social benefits, pension, salary)
- identification document (in the case of completing an agreement on provision of social services)
- report from a general practitioner (a form shall be provided by the social worker to the applicant during the completion of the application)
As specified above, the deposit or a contribution thereon, for the purposes of new accommodation may be acquired via some of the foundations which operate in the Czech Republic. You may file an application and try to obtain a foundation contribution for the purposes of paying the deposit or at least a part of it.
You will need an identification document (IC, passport) and other certificates and documents which the given foundation shall specify. In most cases, you can directly apply in relation to a specific chosen flat with the lease already promised by the lessor.
For example, there are these foundations:
- AGROFERT foundation – www.nadace-agrofert.cz
- WOMEN FOR WOMEN, o.p.s. (within the project ‘I have where to reside, therefore I am’) – www.bydlimtedyjsem.cz
- Social endowment fund of Brno and the South-Bohemian Region - Mečová 5, Brno, www.socialni-nadacni-fond.cz