Cheap, modern apartment, located in a green area and just ten minutes by bus from the city centre. The ad for the 60-square-metre apartment available for rent in the Remete district for only 350 euros has been viewed more than 2100 times since Monday. For a good reason, since it is one of few such apartments available in Zagreb. However, it is not available for everybody, reports Večernji List on April 5, 2019.
When a journalist called the owner pretending to be a mother of a two-year-old child, she was immediately rejected. Children are not welcome in this apartment. The same thing happened with about twenty other internet ads that the journalist came across. When asked why they did not want kids, owners gave different answers. The apartment is allegedly more suitable for students and workers, schools and kindergartens are not close enough, neighbours are mostly without kids so they would be bored.
Owner Jakov Buljević does not want children because they could damage his apartment. “Of course, you should not admit a family with children in a newly-renovated apartment, perhaps only if it is a modest and not renovated flat,” he said, which has been confirmed by other apartment owners, as well as parents who have spent months searching for apartments for themselves and their families.
Romana Tahirović has been trying to find accommodation for herself and her child since June but without success. “My child is about to start school, and I want to find an apartment close to a school, but as soon as I mention having a child, the person on the other side starts explaining that the apartment is too small or not adapted for the kids. And if I mention I am a single mother, they start asking how I am going to pay for the apartment, despite having a regular income,” she explained.
The most common reason for the rejection is the owners’ fear that they would not be paid. “I had a family with children, and they did not pay me for half a year. I could not force myself to have them evicted, but I do not want to go through that again,” one of the landlords said.
Boro Vujović, the director of a real estate agency, confirmed that families with children have a difficult time finding an apartment. “While living in an apartment, the family has a hold over it. Owners cannot just evict them by force, but they have to sue them, which can take years. People do not want the risk, and therefore they reject families with children,” he explained.
Rental rates are another problem. The average rent of a 60-square-metre apartment is about 600 euro, or a little less than 4,500 kuna. The highest rent is in the city centre, Ravnice and Maksimir, where it reaches up to 800 euro per month, while the cheapest ones are in Sesvete, Dubrava and Gajnice, where a 60-square-metre apartment costs about 400 euros. This is much higher than it used to be when the average rental price of a flat of 60 square metres was about 350 to 400 euros.
The reason for the lack of rental apartments is the growth of flats offered for daily rent. But the better days are coming, claims Vujović. “There has been hyperinflation of daily rental apartments. But people will soon realise that it is not worth it and they will against start renting them for the long-term, and this will bring the rates down.”
Translated from Večernji List (reported by Hana Ivković).
More Zagreb news can be found in the Lifestyle section.