Renting a flat in Krakow: Paying for utility bills

When browsing through property listings on the internet we often see the following price description: 1500 zł rent for the owner + 300 zł for administration + electricity + internet (also collectively known as “media”). What does that mean? do I have to pay separately for all those elements or do I pay just one amount do the landlord?

Well, both options are possible and it’s definitely worth finding out what your landlord’s preference is as it is purely their decision.

Paying directly to the landlord

It can be that your landlord will tell you how much the media costs are and will ask you to make a fixed payment each month.

Advantages? There is one huge advantage of this situation: you can make a standing order and simply forget about making payments each month! Convenient. You also will not have to visit the relevant offices of the electricity, gas or telephone companies to setup the contracts in your name.

Disadvantages? The whole idea is that towards the end of your lease the annual clearance takes place. Your landlord will calculate how much water, gas and electricity you have actually used and there will either be a reimbursement or additional amount to cover the usage. It might turn out to be a big surprise to you – in a good or in a bad sense.

Also, be sure to ask the landlord to show you the bills, so you can see for yourself what are the rates so that no one can fool you.

Setup contracts in your name and pay directly

Some landlords don’t want to take the risk and cover the bills for you – you can’t blame them 🙂 Sometimes they will expect you to take out some or all the contracts in your name (e.g. gas, electricity, internet).

Advantages? You know exactly what your expenses are. You can set up your own way of paying the bills (e.g. on a monthly or bi-monthly basis) and whenever you see you’ve been using too much of something, you can cut it down the next month.

Disadvantages? Well, here it goes. It’s not only that you need to remember about the payments each month. You can make a standing order for the internet, but electricity and gas will be different each month so you need make sure you find some time to pay your bills each month.

I guess the biggest issue is that you actually have to go and sign all the contracts. Internet is easy, you just call a Polish company to come over to your house and get everything fixed for you, the contract will be signed on the spot.

For gas and electricity you need to collect the documents:

  • your ID or passport
  • copy of a lease agreement
  • inventory list with the latest meter reading signed by both you and your landlord

Then choose the supplier, find their offices and go to sign the contract! It would be perfect if the landlord could go with you. You might be lucky enough to get someone at the desk who knows English but we wouldn’t count on it!

Kasia Kubicka

An experienced landlord in Krakow. Content crafter at Property Sisters. Restaurant crawler, avid reader and keen photographer.

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