Renting on Kefalonia

Renting your first place on Kefalonia is not difficult, you won't have the same red tape as in the UK this is unless you go through property agents here. They however are an option open to you also. If you ask around pretty soon you will find something. One thing to understand is when we say 'house' we literally mean a house, if we say apartment, we mean just that. However to the Greeks here it is all the same. So if you are told there is a 'house' in 'so and so' village, be aware that this is most possibly not a 'house' as we understand it. What it 'possibly' will be is an apartment! But the best way to find out is go and look at it!

Knowing what's what

Gentleman's agreements are all fine and well, but really do you want to take a risk? So you have been to the apartment and it looks just fine. Ask these questions straight away :Most importantly : Do you get a contract? Will you get rent receipts? You will be wise to take a contract* I will explain why later! Does it have guests in the other apartments in summer? Is there a separate Electricity meter to this apartment? Is there a phone line into that apartment Can you put a washing machine in?

To Explain: Why should you ask these questions: Firstly the Contract is a safeguard for your benefit and for theirs. Normally they are for 1 year This contract is important also for Tax purposes. If you are offered a house which is a holiday home in summer then there is two things to note here. 1) The Electricity supply may be at 'Commercial Rating" I have been caught out on this and so have many others. You will pay a lot of money for your electricity in this instance. If this is a Holiday property is it legally allowed to be rented to you as a residential dwelling? If there is no contract available...Ask why? If you are working here in the system then your accountant will ask you for those receipts. My accountant went crazy when I told him in my second apartment there are no receipts. I also got ripped off heavily with Oil, and electricity. Protect yourself. On the other hand if you wish .to go bare back and do it all without receipts, then very good luck to you! As far as you are concerned if you are paying a sum of money for rental and it could be anything from around 300 euros plus for a rental ,then you are legally entitled to the Contract, the Electricity bill in your own name. Water bills check this too. Water is generally very cheap here. Are you responsible for Septic Tanks? If there is oil central heating, is it a shared system? If not and you are the only person using it, put a lock on it. It is not common but a fair few people have had oil drained from their tanks. I am one of those.

Get someone to read the contract with you, even better get it totally translated. Understand what they put into the contract and your and their responsibility EG.: Plumbing: Roofing etc. And what you can and can't do within the house. Most landlords are very good they give all of the above and more. You can decorate and do whatever you wish. But there are those that won't let you move a curtain rail 3inches.

Getting it straight

To get the bills in your name: You will need a tax number first ( really easy to obtain) as I explained in Working on Kefalonia The Electricity Board is DEH on the front in Argostoli. If you are in any doubt about the rating of the property ( it is calculated on the sq. meter of the property) check with them. Your bills are around every 2 months. You generally get one estimate: then one reading.

OTE is the main telephone provider but there are now spin off's that you can use, but OTE will still need to provide you with your line. They too are in Argostoli just pass the theater. Express a sense of urgency with your phone line. Bills are about every 2 months again* A tip if you like to walk around with a phone then you will also need one with a cord for our frequent power cuts, which you can plug in when the power goes. Lot's of candles are a good purchase too. And also the little gas burners good stand by for your cuppa!

Oil is delivered by most garages. Check the prices. Also worth knowing, There are two prices for oil. In the summer it is more expensive they have a summer price and a winter price. Generally it goes up at the beginning of May. So if you want to get the tank filled, 'forewarned' as they say!

If there are any questions you want ask please will happily post the answers here if I know them of course!


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