Finding an apartment and the price
You can look for housing yourself at on-line advertising sites on the internet or through real estate agencies. The price of a rental apartment depends on its location, its condition and size, for example, the rent for an apartment in the centre of a town/city is considerably higher than for one on the outskirts. Rental costs of an apartment in a small town are lower than those of a similar apartment in a larger city.
Security deposit for a rental apartment
Please note that landlords often request payment of the first month’s rent in advance and a deposit in the amount of the rent for one or two months. The deposit will be repaid to you, when you leave the apartment. The landlord is entitled to keep the security deposit, if you have failed to pay the rent or have left the apartment in a poor condition.
As soon as you are granted the status of a refugee or a person under subsidiary protection and a residence permit in Latvia, you will be able to apply for a lump-sum financial benefit for the payment of the security deposit for the apartment. To receive the benefit, you will have to write an application addressed to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. Ask your social mentor for assistance with its writing and submission.
The amount of the benefit:
- to an adult – EUR 278.00,
- if two applicants are spouses – EUR 278.00 to one applicant and EUR 194.00 to the other,
- to a minor – EUR 194.00.
One of the parents of a minor child or the child’s legal representative must apply for the benefit on behalf of a minor child.
Conclude a rental agreement with the landlord. Before signing the agreement, make sure you understand its provisions.
Declaration of the place of residence
All persons residing in Latvia are required to declare their place of residence. This is required so that national and local authorities could contact you, if necessary. Your declared place of residence is also required, if you wish to conclude an agreement with a service provider for various services or receive services provided by municipalities, including social assistance.
The place of residence must be declared within a month of its change. A penalty of up to EUR 350 may be imposed if a person fails to declare his or her place of residence.
Foreigners with a residence permit in Latvia can declare their place of residence with:
Change of the place of residence
You need to remember a couple of things when moving from one home to another:
- the previous rental agreement must be terminated before you move to a new home. You have to give a notice to the landlord a month before moving or according to the terms of the rental agreement;
- the apartment must be cleaned before you leave;
- the new place of residence has to be declared within a month after moving.
The municipality may provide assistance to poor and indigent persons by paying housing costs. A poor person is a person whose income during the last three months does not exceed EUR 128.06 per member of the family and who has no savings. An indigent person is a person whose income and material situation does not exceed the level determined by the council of the municipality where you request support. Municipalities provide assistance only to persons who have declared their place of residence in the respective municipality.
The amount of the allowance for housing costs depends on resources at the disposal of each municipality and municipal regulations on allowances. You can learn about your eligibility for such an allowance from the social service of your municipality or ask your social mentors to help clarify the matter. The support from social mentors is available to you for 12 months after you have been granted the status of a refugee or a person under subsidiary protection.