I congratulate you for the admission result. You deserve to study in Cluj-Napoca, a European city, known as the friendliest city in Eastern Europe. Let me give you some advice before traveling to Romania.
Arriving in Cluj
If you come to Cluj by plane, you should know that:
- After you’ve got your bags and got out of the airport, it is desirable to take a taxi belonging to a company.
- Note on a piece of paper the company and the car number. Using a taxi company is advantageous because: (1) prices are correct; (2) you will be able to get your luggage back in case you lose it; (3) you may claim damages in case of a car accident.
- Do not exchange more than 50 euros at airport. Once you are in the city centre, look for an exchange office.
IF YOU’RE GOING TO START LOOKING FOR A HOME, DO NOT EXCHANGE MONEY for that. The owners demand guarantees and rent in EUROS, not in LEI.
- You may also take the bus (number 8) from the airport; it costs no more than one euro (the buses arrive every 30 minutes).
- If you have found a home with our company’s help, you’ll be taken from the airport by our manager.
Accommodation in Cluj
Every Tuesday, there is a newspaper with rental houses. Unfortunately, many of these houses are not real. Trap: behind the ads, there are real-estate agents who are trying to attract customers to give them something else. Many houses are not good, they are not well finished or they have not modern furniture. A newcomer will waste valuable time looking for apartments if he is looking in a wrong company, with a young agent with no experience and no idea about what his clients want. Uniassist is working for more than ten years in real-estate. We know immediately what our customers want. For details, go to the APARTMENTS&HOUSES FOR RENT page.
Pay attention to the ads on the Internet. Some are old, some show pictures of apartments that are not real. Uniassist is trying to provide videos of the apartments for rent, photos and real maps.
When to look for accommodation in Cluj?
In August it is the best time to start looking for an apartment if you want to find the best places around the university. Therefore, Uniassist propose a collaboration that does not require your direct presence here, which help you save the cost of a trip to Cluj. Uniassist is available to start a correspondence by e-mail, we will be able to send you pictures or videos of apartments, so you don’t have to move to Cluj before September. With the experience we have gained, we know exactly the kind of locations and area that most of the students prefer.
Of course, Uniassist is available especially when you come in person to Cluj. In this case, we will help you familiarize yourself with the city and its culture, and we will try to find the home you are looking for.
Where to find accommodation in Cluj?
Most of the students live in Centre, in Zorilor, Mănăştur or Plopilor area. For students of UMF (University of Medicine and Pharmacy), the best locations are Zorilor and Centre, identified in the picture bellow with the red circles. For students of USAMV, the best locations are Center, Plopilor and Mănăştur area, identified in the picture bellow with the blue circles. Although the houses in these areas are more expensive, there are great benefits. You don’t need to take a taxi in order to go to school, or to wake up an hour before leaving. In the breaks between classes, if you live nearby, you can go home to shower, change or relax, because sometimes you have classes from dusk till dawn. Remember: the location of the apartment is ALWAYS more important than the condition of the apartment.
Very important !!!
There were students who had booked an apartment since June, thinking they would be admitted to the faculty they had applied to. They had to pay deposit and even three months’ rent in advance until the day they learned that they were not on the list of admitted candidates. Please, don’t do that! Be patient until you see you’re admitted to the university. Only after you find your name on the list, start looking for accommodation in Cluj.
How to find accommodation in Cluj?
There are a lot of real-estate agencies in Cluj, but not all of them have experience with foreign students. The real-estate agents are always changing as they are very young and don’t know what to do or don’t have the adequate experience to look for apartments that meet their clients’ requirements. Therefore, you must pay attention to what they are offering.
Stay away from people who want to do real estate transactions without having documents for that (no legal status or real estate company). These people are working illegally and they are putting you in an illegal situation.
According to Romanian law, if you do not receive a tax receipt from the real estate agency, you have the right not to pay his commission (for the lease or for any other real estate transaction).
Please consider the following tips:
- Pay attention to the distance to the university. Look on the map on your smartphone and calculate the distance from the apartment to the university. 1500 metres far from school will be ok. That means 15 minutes walking.
- Look for facilities in the apartment! See if you have central heating, oven (this is not included sometimes), and if everything is metered. It’s possible to find apartments without central heating. Surprisingly, in these ones you will pay less money for winter heating.
- Usually, the rent does not include the charges. If the rent is 300 euros, that means you will pay monthly 300 euros directly to the owner, and additionally, you will pay charges depending on how much you have consumed (water, gas, electricity) plus some fixed charges, such as internet or garbage. On average, all costs (common charges plus water, electricity, gas, internet) should not exceed more than 50 euros for an apartment with an area between 40 and 50 square meters. But that always depends on how much you consume.
- Do not sign a contract if you don’t understand what is written in it. Ask for an English and Romanian contract. If the owner refuses, step away and look for something else. Don’t worry, you will always find something else.
- If you’ve paid a deposit and a rent, ask for the key of the house. Make sure you always pay directly to the owner, and never to a mediator. If possible, ask for a bank transfer. That makes the transaction safer and more transparent. If the owner refuses, you shouldn’t worry. Romanian people are still not very familiar with the banking technology.
- There are some individuals or some students who rent houses to make extra money. It would be good to know something about them before making transactions with them. Usually, these people don’t earn legally their money. If anything happens, they cannot be held responsible.
- Some owners don’t like to declare the real price of the rent to avoid paying high taxes. So don’t be surprised (or worried) when they want to write a smaller amount in the rental contract.
- For a long-term contract, the owner will never raise the rent price. The strategy to benefit of a lower housing: respect and be kind to the owner and, especially, keep the property clean without vandalizing it.
- In order to buy the necessary things for daily use, go to the Auchan supermarket in Iulius Mall or to the Cora hypermarket in Mănăştur. You will find what you need at the lowest prices in town.
- In Romania, you don’t pay for home insurance or local taxes.
Over time, because of the new challenges, Uniassist has perfected its activity. Thus, our company offers not only real estate consulting, but also perfects the documents necessary for the rental process. Contracts drawn up by Uniassist are always contracts in Romanian and one of the languages of international circulation: French or English. Uniassist clients do not sign acts that they do not understand. We advise those who want to rent a home to accept and sign only contracts translated into the language they understand.
When booking an apartment or at the beginning of the rental process, the owners always ask for a guarantee/ security deposit. This guarantee is not money that belongs to the owner, but is money that belongs to the client, but which are withheld by the owner during the lease. For a long time, the guarantee was the equivalent of a rent. But, because the owners invested a lot of money in finishing and modernizing the apartments, to minimize the risks, these owners started to request a guarantee representing the equivalent of two rents. Don’t be scared of these claims. They are normal when the apartment offers above average conditions. The guarantee must necessarily be stipulated in the contract under specific conditions.
Normally, in Cluj-Napoca, the price of the rent does not include the price of maintenance costs. Maintenance expenses correspond to the consumption of water, electricity and gas. Also included in the maintenance costs are the TV and internet subscription, as well as the common expenses of the block. On average, a person pays maintenance costs of about 50 euros / month, if and only if that person lives alone. If you live with someone else (colocation), then your expenses can be reduced to 30 euros / month / person.
FEES FOR THE REAL-ESTATE AGENCY
In Cluj-Napoca, normally, the agency fees for a rental transaction are no more then 50% of the first rent plus taxes. For example, if you rent an apartment for 400 euros/month, you must pay to real-estate agency a fee of 200 euros plus taxes. You pay only one time this fee. Uniassist is demanding, as agency fees, 50% of the first rent, but with taxes included. If, for example, you have rent an apartment with the help of Uniassist, and the price of that apartment is 400 euros, you will pay to Uniassist, as real-estate fees, 200 euros, taxes included. Do remember, you don’t have to pay any fees if you don’t rent an apartment with the help of the real-estate agency that pretend those fees. Also, if the real-estate agency don’t offer you a receipt for the fees is pretending, according to the laws of Romania, you don’t have to pay those fees.
Very important !!!
When you start looking for a house, always have cash on you and, if you like the house, do the contract immediately. Sometimes, after the customer leaves, another client comes and rents the house.
Don’t allow anyone come into your home under any pretext. Always call the landlord if someone wants to come into your house.
Remember, we are at your disposal, both to find your desired home and to give you a helping hand in the transaction you are about to make (even if you choose not to do it with our help).
In case you want to benefit from our services, we provide you not only our database, but also a special package of accommodation. Thus, we will provide transportation from the airport to the apartment; throughout our searches, we will provide you with soft drinks or coffee; we offer you a tour of the city, so you can understand what you need to look for and what suits you in terms of accommodation.
For any details, Dorin Muresan (english and french speaker), our CEO, is at your disposal:
tel: (004)0742504519 WhatsApp