Sunday, 17 December 2017

MfD: Prague landlords reluctant to let flats to foreigners

ČTK |
6 December 2016

Prague, Dec 5 (CTK) - Landlords in Prague often refuse to let their flats to foreigners, mostly those from the Far East for various reasons, MfD writes, adding that this is revealed by the ads, real estate agents and the foreigners themselves.
More than 172,000 foreigners live in the cosmopolitan city of Prague, which is roughly 37 percent of their total number in the Czech Republic, MfD writes, citing statistics.
If you are from the "bad" part of the world, which means from almost anywhere, you may have a problem, it adds.
"It is quite the same category as with people who have pet dogs. The landlords want to be sure that their flat worth three million crowns will not be vandalised," Jan Martina, director of a regional office of M and M Reality brokers, is quoted as saying.
"They are also afraid of communication problems. One can hardly sue a Ukrainian, Armenian or a Kazakh," he added.
There is a big problem with providing accommodation to the Vietnamese and Chinese and the reason is bizarre, Martina said.
"The clients are afraid that Asian cuisine stinks and the smell will stay in their flats," he adds.
Immigrants from the former Soviet Union and the Middle East in general face problems, Martina said.
"No one will tell you this directly. But it is obvious that if a landlord has two bidders, the Czech one is chosen," a Turk who requested anonymity and who lives in Prague is quoted as saying.
"Lots of friends have recently told me that they cannot find any housing. It does not matter from where they are. An Algerian, Tunisian, Moroccan. Are you a foreigner? No, thanks," an Algerian, who also requested anonymity, told the paper.
"Due to the migrant crisis and terrorist attacks, people consider every foreigner an assassin," he added.
However, the view is not shared by all foreigners.
"This depends on your appearance and communication. If you have money, you have no problem," an Egyptian doctor told the paper.
"If people learn that the Ukrainian client is a journalist and her husband owns a construction business, there are no problems," Martina said.
"Moreover, the foreigners know that they have a worse position by the landlords and are ready to pay a double deposit," he added.
Not all foreigners say Czechs only want to let their flats to Czechs. This depends on the part of the world from which the foreigners come, MfD writes.
The least problems are faced by Slovaks. For Czechs, they are hardly any foreigners, it adds.
The Czechs and Slovaks formed a joint country, Czechoslovakia, in 1918-1992.
Westerners, too, have few if any problems when looking for a flat in Prague, Martina said.
"When it comes to eastern countries, there is often a clash of cultures," he added.
"People in the Czech Republic are not used to large families with several generations living together. However, in the East, they still keep together," Martina said.
($1 = 25.426 crowns)

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