Finding Housing as an Expat in Greece

1. What are the best resources for searching for rental properties in Greece as an expat?

1. As an expat looking for rental properties in Greece, some of the best resources to utilize include online platforms such as Idealista, Spitogatos, and These websites offer a wide range of options in terms of properties available for rent, allowing you to filter your search based on location, price range, and specific preferences. Additionally, reaching out to local real estate agents or property management companies can also be beneficial, as they often have access to a variety of listings that may not be posted online. Networking within expat communities or on social media platforms can also help in finding housing options through word of mouth recommendations. Lastly, considering hiring a relocation specialist or consultant who can provide personalized assistance in finding the right rental property based on your specific needs and budget.

2. What are the typical rental prices for apartments in major cities in Greece?

Rental prices for apartments in major cities in Greece can vary significantly depending on the location, size, and condition of the property. Here are some general estimates based on data available as of 2021:

1. In Athens, the capital city, rental prices for apartments can range from approximately €400 to €1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in areas outside the city center. Prices are generally higher in central neighborhoods such as Kolonaki and Plaka, where a one-bedroom apartment can cost between €700 and €1,500 per month.

2. In Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, rental prices are slightly lower compared to Athens. One-bedroom apartments can be found for around €300 to €800 per month, with prices increasing in popular areas such as the city center or near the university.

3. In other major cities like Heraklion in Crete or Patras in the Peloponnese, rental prices tend to be more affordable compared to Athens and Thessaloniki. One-bedroom apartments in these cities typically range from €250 to €600 per month, depending on the location and amenities.

It’s important to note that these are general estimates and actual rental prices may vary based on specific factors such as the condition of the property, amenities included, and current market conditions. It’s advisable for expats looking for housing in Greece to research the local rental market thoroughly and consider working with a reputable real estate agent to find the best options that suit their budget and preferences.

3. Are there any specific neighborhoods in Greece that are popular among expats for renting housing?

Yes, there are specific neighborhoods in Greece that are popular among expats for renting housing. Some of the popular ones include:

1. Kolonaki in Athens: Known for its upscale shops, trendy cafes, and proximity to cultural attractions, Kolonaki is a desirable neighborhood for expats seeking a vibrant city life.

2. Kifisia in Athens: Situated in the northern suburbs of Athens, Kifisia appeals to expats looking for a more suburban, family-friendly environment with excellent schools and green spaces.

3. Plaka in Athens: Famed for its picturesque streets, ancient ruins, and charming atmosphere, Plaka is a top choice for expats wanting to live in the heart of historic Athens.

4. Chalandri in Athens: Offering a mix of residential, commercial, and entertainment options, Chalandri is popular among expats seeking a lively neighborhood with a good balance of amenities.

5. Nea Smirni in Athens: With its diverse dining scene, local markets, and easy access to the beach, Nea Smirni is a preferred area for expats looking for a relaxed yet well-connected community.

These neighborhoods typically offer a range of housing options, from apartments to villas, and boast good transport links, amenities, and a welcoming expat community.

4. What are the legal requirements for expats renting property in Greece?

Expats renting property in Greece are subject to certain legal requirements, including the following:

1. Residency Permit: Expats must obtain a valid residency permit in order to rent a property in Greece. This permit is typically obtained through the local authorities and may require specific documentation such as proof of income, a valid passport, and a lease agreement.

2. Tax Identification Number: Expats are also required to have a tax identification number (AFM) in order to enter into a rental agreement in Greece. This number is used for tax purposes and is obtained through the local tax office.

3. Lease Agreement: When renting a property in Greece, expats should ensure they have a written lease agreement in place with the landlord. The lease agreement should outline the terms of the rental, including the monthly rent, security deposit, duration of the lease, and any other relevant conditions.

4. Deposit: Landlords in Greece commonly require a security deposit from tenants, typically equivalent to one or two months’ rent. This deposit is held to cover any damages or unpaid rent at the end of the tenancy.

By ensuring compliance with these legal requirements, expats can navigate the rental process in Greece smoothly and enjoy their new living arrangements with peace of mind.

5. Can expats buy property in Greece, and what are the requirements and process involved?

Yes, expats can buy property in Greece with relative ease compared to some other countries. The process typically involves the following steps:

1. Obtain a Greek tax number (AFM) which is required for any property transaction in Greece.
2. Find a property that fits your needs and budget. It’s advisable to work with a local real estate agent who can help navigate the market and provide valuable insights.
3. Once you’ve found a property, you’ll need to hire a lawyer to conduct due diligence on the property to ensure there are no issues with the title or outstanding debts.
4. Secure financing if necessary. Many expats choose to finance their property purchase through a Greek bank, although some may also opt to use an international bank.
5. Finalize the purchase by signing a purchase agreement (synallagma) before a notary public in Greece. This agreement will outline the terms and conditions of the sale. The final step is registering the property with the Greek Cadastre (Land Registry).

It’s important to note that as an expat, you are subject to the same regulations and restrictions as Greek citizens when buying property in certain areas, such as border regions. Overall, buying property in Greece as an expat is a relatively straightforward process, especially if you have the right professionals guiding you through each step.

6. Is it common to use a real estate agent when searching for housing in Greece as an expat?

Yes, it is common for expats to use real estate agents when searching for housing in Greece. Here are some reasons why using a real estate agent can be beneficial:

1. Local Expertise: Real estate agents in Greece have a good understanding of the local housing market, including neighborhoods, property prices, and rental regulations. This can be extremely valuable for expats who may not be familiar with the area.

2. Language Barrier: Many expats may not be fluent in Greek, which can make it challenging to navigate the housing market on their own. Real estate agents can help bridge this language gap and ensure clear communication between all parties involved in the housing process.

3. Legal Assistance: Real estate agents can provide guidance on legal matters related to renting or buying a property in Greece. They can help expats understand the terms of their lease agreement, navigate any legal requirements, and ensure a smooth transition into their new home.

Overall, while it is not mandatory to use a real estate agent when searching for housing in Greece as an expat, it can certainly make the process easier and more efficient, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the local market and language.

7. What are the common lease terms and contracts used for renting property in Greece?

In Greece, the common lease terms and contracts used for renting property can vary but typically include the following features:

1. Lease Duration: Standard lease agreements in Greece are usually set for a minimum of one year.

2. Deposit: Landlords may require a security deposit equivalent to one or two months’ rent to cover damages or unpaid bills at the end of the tenancy.

3. Rent Payment: Rent payments are most commonly due on a monthly basis, typically paid in cash.

4. Renewal Terms: If both parties agree, the lease can be renewed for another term under mutually agreed conditions.

5. Maintenance: Generally, the landlord is responsible for major repairs, while tenants are expected to maintain the property in good condition.

6. Utilities: It’s common for tenants to be responsible for utility bills, including electricity, water, heating, and internet.

7. Notice Period: Typically, a notice period of one month is required for either the landlord or tenant to terminate the lease agreement.

It’s important for expats to carefully review and understand the terms of the lease agreement before signing to ensure they are in compliance with local laws and regulations. Consulting with a local real estate agent or legal professional can be helpful in navigating the rental process in Greece.

8. Are utilities typically included in rental prices for properties in Greece?

In Greece, utilities are typically not included in rental prices for properties. Renters are usually responsible for paying for their own utilities such as electricity, water, heating, and internet separately from the rent. It is important for expats looking for housing in Greece to factor in these additional costs when budgeting for accommodation. Rental agreements may vary, so it is advisable to clarify with the landlord or the real estate agency whether utilities are included in the rental price or not before signing a lease agreement. Familiarizing oneself with the average costs of utilities in the specific area of interest can also help expats better estimate their overall expenses for housing in Greece.

9. How can expats find short-term housing options in Greece, such as sublets or serviced apartments?

Expats looking for short-term housing options in Greece, such as sublets or serviced apartments, have several avenues to explore:

1. Online platforms: Websites like Airbnb,, and Nestpick offer a wide range of short-term rental options in various cities across Greece. Expats can browse through listings, read reviews, and book directly through these platforms.

2. Real estate agencies: Local real estate agencies can help expats find furnished apartments or serviced apartments for short-term stays. These agencies often have listings that may not be available on popular online platforms.

3. Networking: Expats can also tap into their network or local expat communities for recommendations on short-term housing options. Asking for referrals from fellow expats or joining expat groups on social media can lead to valuable leads on sublets or serviced apartments.

4. Temporary accommodations: Some expats opt for temporary accommodations such as extended-stay hotels or aparthotels while they search for more permanent housing options. These provide a comfortable and convenient short-term solution.

Overall, expats in Greece can find short-term housing options through a combination of online resources, real estate agencies, networking, and temporary accommodations to suit their needs and preferences.

10. What are the considerations for expats looking to rent a property in a rural area or on one of the Greek islands?

When looking to rent a property in a rural area or on one of the Greek islands as an expat, there are several key considerations to keep in mind:

1. Infrastructure: Evaluate the availability of essential services such as water, electricity, internet, and heating, especially in more remote rural locations and on some islands. Lack of infrastructure might affect your daily convenience and quality of life.

2. Accessibility: Consider the ease of access to the property, especially if it’s in a rural area or on an island. Some properties may only be reachable by narrow roads, requiring a vehicle that can navigate such terrain.

3. Local Community: Understand the local community and culture in the area where you plan to rent. Being in a rural location or on an island might mean limited contact with other expats and a need to integrate with the local community, which can be both rewarding and challenging.

4. Seasonal Variations: Be aware of any seasonal variations in terms of amenities, services, and accessibility, especially on Greek islands with a significant tourist influx during the summer months. Some services and businesses may only operate during the peak season.

5. Language Barrier: In more remote rural areas or on smaller islands, English proficiency among locals might be lower compared to larger cities. Consider how you will navigate potential language barriers when renting a property and interacting with the local community.

6. Property Management: If you are not planning to be in Greece year-round, consider how you’ll manage the property in your absence. Look into property management services or reliable contacts who can help oversee your rental property when you are not there.

By taking these factors into account and conducting thorough research, expats can make informed decisions when renting a property in rural areas or on Greek islands, ensuring a smooth transition and enjoyable experience living in Greece.

11. Are there any cultural norms or expectations that expats should be aware of when renting housing in Greece?

When renting housing in Greece as an expat, there are certain cultural norms and expectations to be aware of:

1. Rental Agreements: In Greece, rental agreements are often more informal than in some other countries, with verbal agreements being common. However, it is advisable to have a written contract in place to avoid any misunderstandings.

2. Deposits: Landlords in Greece often require a deposit, usually equivalent to one or two months’ rent, to secure the property. Make sure to clarify the terms of the deposit, including under what conditions it will be returned to you.

3. Rent Payment Schedule: Rent is typically paid on a monthly basis in Greece, and it is customary to pay in cash. Some landlords may also request post-dated cheques for the monthly rent.

4. Maintenance and Repairs: It is generally expected that tenants will take care of minor maintenance and repairs themselves. For larger issues, such as structural problems or electrical issues, the landlord is usually responsible.

5. Respect for the Property: Greeks take pride in their homes, and it is important to treat the rented property with respect. Avoid causing any damage or making significant alterations without the landlord’s permission.

6. Neighbourly Relations: Building strong relationships with your neighbours is valued in Greek culture. Be mindful of noise levels and respect shared spaces to maintain good relations with those living around you.

7. Pets: If you have pets, make sure to discuss this with the landlord beforehand, as some properties may have restrictions on keeping pets.

8. Furnished vs Unfurnished: Rental properties in Greece are often rented unfurnished, so be prepared to furnish the property yourself or negotiate with the landlord for furnishings.

9. Language Barrier: While many Greeks speak English, particularly in tourist areas, it can be helpful to know some basic Greek phrases to communicate effectively with landlords and neighbours.

By being aware of and respecting these cultural norms and expectations, expats can navigate the process of finding and renting housing in Greece more smoothly.

12. How can expats protect themselves from rental scams or fraudulent listings when searching for housing in Greece?

To protect themselves from rental scams or fraudulent listings when searching for housing in Greece, expats should follow these valuable tips:

1. Research the market: Familiarize yourself with the typical rental prices in the area you are looking to live in. This knowledge will help you identify any listings that seem too good to be true.

2. Use trusted websites: Stick to reputable websites and agencies when searching for rental properties in Greece. Platforms like Airbnb, HomeAway, and local real estate websites are good places to start.

3. Verify the landlord’s identity: Ask for identification from the landlord or rental agency before making any payments. Scammers often use fake identities to lure victims.

4. Avoid wire transfers: Be cautious of landlords who request payment via wire transfer or money transfer services. Opt for safer payment methods like bank transfers or PayPal.

5. Visit the property in person: Whenever possible, schedule a visit to the property before committing to renting it. This will help you verify its existence and condition.

6. Read the contract carefully: Thoroughly review the rental contract to ensure you understand all terms and conditions. Pay attention to any unusual requests or clauses that seem suspicious.

7. Request references: Ask the landlord for references from previous tenants or proof of ownership of the property. Legitimate landlords should be able to provide this information.

8. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts and proceed with caution. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when dealing with potential rental scams.

By following these precautions and staying vigilant throughout your housing search in Greece, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to rental scams or fraudulent listings.

13. What should expats look for in terms of safety and security when choosing a rental property in Greece?

When choosing a rental property in Greece, expats should prioritize safety and security measures to ensure a comfortable living experience. Here are some key factors expats should look for in terms of safety and security:

1. Location: Choose a rental property in a safe and well-lit neighborhood with low crime rates.
2. Secure entrances: Opt for properties with secure entrances such as gated communities, doormen, or electronic access control systems.
3. Secure windows and doors: Ensure that the property has robust locks on all windows and doors to prevent unauthorized entry.
4. Fire safety measures: Check for smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and clearly marked emergency exits in the rental property.
5. Building security: Look for properties with security cameras, intercom systems, and on-site security personnel for added peace of mind.
6. Neighborhood surveillance: Consider areas with active neighborhood watch programs or police presence for enhanced security.
7. Emergency services proximity: Choose a rental property close to hospitals, police stations, and fire departments for quick access in case of emergencies.
8. Reputation of the landlord or property management: Research the reputation of the landlord or property management company to ensure they prioritize safety and security for tenants.
9. Personal safety measures: Take personal precautions such as avoiding sharing personal information with strangers, keeping valuables secure, and being cautious when coming home late at night.
10. Legal obligations: Familiarize yourself with Greek rental laws regarding safety and security standards to understand your rights as a tenant.

By considering these factors, expats can make informed decisions when selecting a rental property in Greece that prioritizes their safety and security.

14. Are there any specific challenges or considerations for expats with families looking to rent housing in Greece?

When looking to rent housing in Greece as an expat with a family, there are several challenges and considerations to keep in mind:

1. Schooling: Ensuring access to good quality international schools or bilingual education for expat children can be a priority. Researching the availability and proximity of schools in the chosen location is important.

2. Space and Layout: Greek properties may differ in terms of space and layout compared to what expats are used to in their home countries. It’s essential to assess whether the property meets the family’s needs in terms of bedrooms, living spaces, and outdoor areas.

3. Safety and Neighborhood: Consideration should be given to the safety of the neighborhood, proximity to amenities, public transportation, healthcare facilities, and recreational spaces suitable for families.

4. Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local rental laws and regulations to understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant in Greece. Seek legal advice if needed to ensure a smooth rental process.

5. Language and Cultural Barrier: Communication with landlords or property agents may require proficiency in Greek, especially in more rural areas. It’s advisable to have a translator or interpreter on hand if facing language barriers.

6. Furnished vs. Unfurnished: Decide whether to opt for a furnished or unfurnished property based on your family’s needs and length of stay in Greece. Furnished properties may be more convenient for short-term stays.

By addressing these considerations and challenges proactively, expat families can navigate the rental housing market in Greece more effectively and find a suitable home that meets their specific requirements.

15. What are the typical amenities and features included in rental properties in Greece for expats?

When looking for rental properties in Greece as an expat, you can typically expect certain amenities and features to be included in the properties. Some of the common features and amenities you may find in rental properties in Greece include:

1. Furnished or unfurnished options: Rental properties in Greece may come either fully furnished or unfurnished, depending on your preferences and needs.

2. Air conditioning and heating: Given the diverse climate in Greece, most rental properties will come equipped with air conditioning for the hot summers and heating for the cooler winters.

3. Balconies or terraces: Many rental properties in Greece offer balconies or terraces, allowing you to enjoy outdoor living and beautiful views.

4. Access to shared facilities: Depending on the property type, some rentals may provide access to shared facilities such as a swimming pool, gym, or communal garden.

5. Secure parking: Many rental properties in Greece come with secure parking spaces, either in a garage or designated parking area.

6. Proximity to amenities: Rental properties in Greece are often located close to amenities such as supermarkets, restaurants, public transportation, and medical facilities.

7. Internet and utilities: Some rental properties may include internet connection and utilities in the rent, while others may require you to set up and pay for these services separately.

8. Pet-friendly options: If you have pets, you may be able to find rental properties in Greece that are pet-friendly, although this may come with additional fees or restrictions.

Overall, rental properties in Greece offer a range of amenities and features to suit different preferences and lifestyles, making it easier for expats to find a comfortable and convenient living space in the country.

16. How can expats navigate language barriers when communicating with landlords or real estate agents in Greece?

Navigating language barriers when communicating with landlords or real estate agents in Greece can be challenging for expats, but there are several strategies that can help overcome this hurdle:

1. Hire a translator or interpreter: Consider hiring a professional translator or interpreter who can help facilitate communication between you and the landlord or real estate agent. This can ensure that all parties involved fully understand the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.

2. Use online translation tools: Online translation tools such as Google Translate can also be helpful in translating written communication. However, keep in mind that these tools may not always provide accurate translations, so it’s best to double-check with a native speaker if possible.

3. Learn some basic Greek phrases: While not necessary, learning some basic Greek phrases related to renting and real estate can go a long way in building rapport with landlords or real estate agents. Simple gestures like greetings in Greek can also show your effort and goodwill in trying to communicate effectively.

4. Seek support from expat communities: Joining expat groups or forums in Greece can provide valuable insights and recommendations on navigating language barriers in the rental process. Other expats may have helpful tips or contacts that can assist you in your housing search.

By employing a combination of these strategies, expats can successfully navigate language barriers when communicating with landlords or real estate agents in Greece, ultimately facilitating a smoother and more efficient rental process.

17. Are there any specific tips or advice for negotiating rental prices or lease terms as an expat in Greece?

As an expat looking to find housing in Greece, there are several tips and pieces of advice you can consider when negotiating rental prices or lease terms:

1. Research the market: Before entering negotiations, take the time to understand the current rental market in the specific area you are interested in. This will give you a better idea of the average rental prices and what to expect.

2. Consider using a local agent: Employing the services of a local real estate agent can be beneficial as they have a good understanding of the market dynamics and can help negotiate on your behalf.

3. Be prepared to negotiate: In Greece, rental prices are often open to negotiation, so don’t be afraid to make a reasonable offer below the asking price. Landlords may be willing to lower the rent, especially if you are willing to sign a longer-term lease.

4. Highlight your strengths as a tenant: Landlords may be more inclined to negotiate if they see you as a reliable tenant. Mention any stable income, good references, or commitment to taking care of the property as this can strengthen your bargaining position.

5. Understand lease terms: Pay close attention to the lease terms, including the duration of the lease, deposit requirements, and any additional fees. Clarify any questions you have before signing the agreement.

6. Use any leverage you have: If you are able to pay several months’ rent upfront or sign a longer lease, this may give you more bargaining power to negotiate a lower rent.

7. Stay flexible: Consider being flexible with your move-in date or other terms to accommodate the landlord’s needs. This can sometimes help in negotiating a better deal.

By following these tips and being prepared for negotiations, you can increase your chances of securing a favorable rental price and lease terms as an expat in Greece.

18. What are the options for furnished versus unfurnished rental properties in Greece?

In Greece, expats have the option to rent either furnished or unfurnished properties depending on their preferences and needs. Here are the options available for both:

1. Furnished properties: These are ideal for expats who are looking for a convenient and hassle-free moving experience as they come fully equipped with furniture and appliances. This is a great option for those who are only planning to stay in Greece for a short period of time or don’t want the hassle of buying and transporting furniture.

2. Unfurnished properties: Expats looking for a more personalized living space or those planning to stay in Greece long-term may opt for unfurnished properties. This allows them to decorate and furnish the space according to their own style and preferences. While this option requires more effort initially, it provides more flexibility in creating a home that suits the expat’s individual needs.

When selecting between furnished and unfurnished properties in Greece, expats should consider factors such as their length of stay, budget, and personal preferences to choose the option that best suits their requirements.

19. How can expats handle the process of renewing a lease or ending a rental agreement in Greece?

Renewing a lease or ending a rental agreement in Greece as an expat can be a relatively straightforward process if you know the necessary steps to take. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Renewing a Lease:
– Typically, landlords in Greece give tenants the option to renew their lease either verbally or in writing. It’s common practice for leases in Greece to be renewed on an annual basis.
– If you wish to renew your lease, it’s essential to communicate with your landlord well in advance of the expiration date to avoid any misunderstandings.
– Make sure to clarify any changes in rent, terms, or conditions of the lease before signing the new agreement.

2. Ending a Rental Agreement:
– If you decide to end your rental agreement, you are required to provide the landlord with notice in writing as per the terms of your lease agreement. The typical notice period is one month, but this can vary depending on the terms of your contract.
– It’s important to return the property in the same condition as when you moved in, to ensure a smooth return of your security deposit.
– Plan ahead for any potential costs associated with terminating the lease, such as cleaning, repairs, or legal fees.

Overall, communication and understanding of the terms of your lease agreement are key when navigating the process of renewing or ending a rental agreement in Greece as an expat. It’s advisable to seek legal advice or consult with a real estate agent if you encounter any complexities or uncertainties during this process.

20. Are there any specific housing regulations or restrictions that expats should be aware of when renting property in Greece?

1. As an expat renting property in Greece, there are specific housing regulations and restrictions to be aware of to ensure a smooth rental experience. Firstly, it is important to note that rental agreements in Greece are typically regulated by the Greek Civil Code, which sets out the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants. It is advisable for expats to thoroughly review and understand the terms of the rental contract before signing it.

2. Additionally, there are restrictions on short-term rentals in Greece, with specific regulations in place for properties rented out for tourism purposes. Expats looking to rent out their property on platforms like Airbnb should ensure they comply with the legal requirements and obtain the necessary permits.

3. Another key consideration is the issue of residency permits. Non-EU expats are required to have a valid residency permit to rent property in Greece, and landlords may request proof of this before finalizing a rental agreement. It is important for expats to have all the necessary documentation in order to avoid any complications during the rental process.

4. Finally, expats should be aware of the rights and responsibilities outlined in the Greek Tenancy Law, which covers issues such as rent increases, maintenance and repairs, and the eviction process. Familiarizing oneself with these regulations can help expats navigate the rental market in Greece more effectively and protect their rights as tenants.