Long Term Accommodation in Croatia: An Introductory Guide
March 18, 2022 – If you’re a digital nomad, visitor or resident, long-term accommodation in Croatia can be notoriously difficult to find. Here are some ways to help you in your search for long-term accommodation, as well as some additional advice on what to expect in the Croatian rental market.
Are long term rentals even available? Why are they so hard to find?
Croatia is a very touristy country, accounting for nearly 20% of its GDP, with the trend continuing to increase year on year. Thus, tourism has strongly influenced the real estate industry throughout Croatia, especially for towns along the coast where short-term tourist rentals are often an important source of income for locals.
This may explain why some rental listings often stipulate a move-in period after September, but a firm move-out date before June/July 1, in time for the peak tourist season. After all, income from tourist vacation rentals is often equal to, or even greater than, what owners can earn from a year-round rental.
In 2019, almost 1.5 million tourists visited the city of Dubrovnik. Image: Pexel.
For example, a landlord might charge €400/month for a 50 square meter two-bedroom apartment during the “off-peak” season, but could easily charge the same amount. per week during the tourist season.
To go further in this example, during the 4 months of the “high” season (June-September), the same lessor can, in the best case, receive a maximum of €6,400 (€400/week X 16 weeks) which is more than if they charged €400/month for the whole year (€4,800).
Another possible reason for the lack of longer-term options may be that before the introduction of the digital nomad visa, opportunities for non-Croatian residents to reside long-term were limited. This would make the long-term rental market softer and less prevalent compared to tourist rentals.
What types of accommodation are available for long-term rentals?
Options 1 and 2 are fairly typical, while number 3 may be new to some.
1. Independent house or villas – These are pretty self explanatory although villas tend to come with a pool. Although I have personally come across houses and villas for long term rental, they have been scarce.
2. Apartments in a building – Similar to blocks of condos or apartments that are grouped together in a complex. These types of apartments can usually be found for rent from around €350/month for a one-bedroom apartment in Split in low season.
3. Apartment in a family house – They are basically 3-4 story houses where each floor is its own independent apartment with separate entrances. Typically, families from different generations will live together, albeit on different floors. Since more and more Croats have left over the years, more apartments of this type are available for long-term rental.
Where is the best place to look for long-term housing?
1. Mark Njuškalo as one of your reference sites and ideally your first point of reference. The site is a local version of Craigslist or eBay, where you can literally find anything and everything from domestic goods to used cars, clothing and multi-million dollar villas for sale. . You would like to focus on the real estate section (nekretnin) For rent (iznajmljivanje).
A word of warning, if you are renting through an estate agent (they often advertise on this site), you as the tenant must pay for their services, do not The owner. The price for their services is often one month’s rent, so if you have found an apartment to rent for €450/month, you will need to pay the agent a service fee of €450.
Your first stopover. Image: Njuškalo.com/screenshot
2. Facebook groups/marketplaces are another great source of long-term rental housing. Try searching for groups in the city of your choice with keywords such as “trazim/iznajmljivanje stan/kuće(looking for an apartment/house to rent).
Although there are fewer options compared to Njuskalo, you’ll probably be able to circumvent the estate agent’s fees by renting directly from a landlord.
An example of a social media group based in Split, Croatia. Image: Facebook.com/screenshot
3. Via sites such as Booking.com and Airbnb. Although I haven’t experienced it myself yet, some have managed to negotiate a long-term stay with their landlords after booking short-term accommodation on one of these sites.
There’s no harm in trying to find a solution if you’ve enjoyed your stay and are looking to extend it longer term, but I wouldn’t recommend relying on this strategy as the priority for most landlords remains short-term tourist rental.
What else should I pay attention to when renting in Croatia?
Before signing on the dotted line, specify whether your monthly rent includes amenities such as water, electricity and internet. If you rent an apartment in a family house, there must be separate water and electricity meters for each apartment where you pay for your own consumption.
For a couple with a 70 square meter apartment in Split, you can expect to pay around €10/month for water, €30/month for internet, and €80/month for electricity. The exact breakdown of electricity prices can be found on the HEP website.
Most rental apartments tend to be furnished, and if not, include larger appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, televisions, beds, and washing machines. A security deposit of one month’s rent is therefore standard.
Fully furnished apartments are common here. Image: Pexel.
Once you have chosen accommodation, make sure your landlord prepares a rental contract for your stay and, if possible, have it legalized. Although rare, there have been horror stories of landlords evicting long-term tenants during tourist season, so you’ll find more security with a rental agreement. You will also need the notarized copy of the contract for your Croatian documents.
Some landlords may also require you to pay your monthly rent in cash. This can be inconvenient as you will need to find a way to withdraw large sums of money without incurring high fees and conversion rates. If this happens, try to negotiate a wire transfer, but if that fails, consider opening a multi-currency bank account with a local or online bank.
To find out more, see our section dedicated to lifestyle.