While accommodation in Azerbaijan is plentiful, the standard of housing varies. Accommodation is also likely to be an expat’s biggest expense, so those relocating to Azerbaijan should ensure that their employment package is enough to cover this.
For many expats, the cost of living is affordable and rent in city centres is much lower than in major European city centres. Nevertheless, house hunters looking for luxury living can expect to pay a premium for top-quality accommodation. Large international hotel chains offer excellent facilities and services, and this may be a more suitable option for expats on short-term assignments.
Most expats who relocate to Azerbaijan find themselves staying in Baku, the commercial hub and capital city. As the city has grown, housing and building standards have also developed. Thanks to this, expats have access to better, more modern housing than what was previously available.
Types of accommodation in Azerbaijan
There are both long-term and short-term accommodation options available in Baku. Short-term options are mostly offered by hotels with designated suites that are rented out. Furnished and serviced apartments are also available and usually work out cheaper than hotels.
Accommodation in Baku is mostly in the form of apartments in high-rise buildings. Many new, modern apartment blocks have sprung up in the post-Soviet era, and these generally offer better facilities and are more expensive than older Soviet-style blocks.
The closer one moves to the centre of Baku, the more expensive accommodation will be. Apartments close to the metro are also more pricey. Still, expats working in Azerbaijan who are compensated with a decent employment package can find city-centre living quite affordable.
Some expats living in Baku are accommodated in housing compounds associated with their company. These compounds usually offer large houses or villas with gardens. They are secure and have modern communal facilities such as entertainment areas, tennis courts and swimming pools.
Finding accommodation in Azerbaijan
Many expats moving to Azerbaijan on a corporate package have their accommodation arranged and provided for by their employer, so it’s best to confirm this before arrival.
The classifieds of local newspapers and online platforms have property listings which will give house hunters a good idea of what is on the market. Nevertheless, the most common method of finding a property to rent in Azerbaijan is to go through a rental agency.
A real estate agency will likely secure an expat the best value for money, while also helping the landlord and tenant overcome any language barriers. It’s a good idea to visit a potential rental property with an estate agent or trusted associate, as most landlords are unlikely to speak or understand English.
Renting accommodation in Azerbaijan
Rental agreements are usually signed for a one-year period. When renting a property in Azerbaijan, we recommend expats do so through a reputable agency.
Landlords in Baku have a reputation for being neglectful of their tenants and their properties, so expats are strongly advised to ensure that a proper rental contract is in place and that the responsibilities of both parties are clearly defined.
Expats will have to pay a security deposit, which is usually between one and three months' rent.
Water, gas and electricity are not normally included in the rental cost and are for the tenant’s own account. Expats moving to Azerbaijan will need to budget for this cost.