Housing and Accommodation

Bratislava residents can now rent out their flat through the City Rental Agency


Bratislava is the first and thus far the only municipality in Slovakia that has founded a Municipal Rental Agency. Thanks to it, several families have already found decent housing in the capital city over the past year, even though it has thus far only operated in pilot mode. From May, the Municipal Rental Agency has launched its services for the general public, as well. The aim is to help more people find affordable and stable housing. The service, however, also brings benefits to the owners of flats, relieving them of many of the worries related to renting while guaranteeing them regular rent payments and maintenance of their flats.

The possibility of having decent housing is a very important matter for every person. Finding affordable housing in our capital, however, is still a big problem for many people and often an unachievable goal. Therefore, we at City Hall have initiated several measures for the support of housing. These include the reconstruction of neglected city flats and the construction of the city’s own rental flats, but also changes land planning and the setting of new rules for cooperation with developers, thus creating a prerequisite for the construction of up to 3,000 new flats, including rental flats.

We are also improving the accessibility of housing for families and people in housing need in cooperation with flat owners through our Municipal Rental Agency (MNA), whose activities are covered by the Bratislava Housing Organisation. With its help, we are able to supplement the insufficient number of city flats and improve the availability of housing for vulnerable groups of Bratislava residents.

“I’m very glad that some time ago – thanks mainly to the great initiative of Deputy Mayor Lenka Antalová Plavuchová – we started the process of founding the Municipal Rental Agency. I am even more pleased that after just over a year we can present a successful year of its operation with tangible results. Thanks to the Municipal Rental Agency, 39 people, including 17 children, have thus far found a roof over their heads in 13 flats, and I believe that the number of stories in which children can for the first time experience the feeling of a real home with their parents in pleasant spaces will only increase,” said Matúš Vallo, Mayor of the capital Bratislava.

“The availability of housing in Bratislava is very low, and we responded to this fact and took it into account in our Urban Housing Policy Concept, which not only names the state of low housing availability, but also speaks about solutions and ways of helping to improve the situation for people who are either in difficult life situations, are low-income families, or are at risk of losing their housing. In this context, I can also say with pride that last week we completed rough construction on our first building of rental flats on Muchovo námestie, where 103 flats will be added. The Municipal Rental Agency can be a big help in improving the availability of housing,” said Deputy Mayor Lenka Antalová-Plavuchová.

The Municipal Rental Agency has been functioning in pilot mode for the last year, but from May it is launching its services for the general public, too. “The MNA functions as an intermediary between flat owners and sub-tenants,” explains Laura Kovácsová, coordinator of the Municipal Rental Agency. “Our goal is that the entire process be managed without complications, and for owners of flats to have as little work as possible with their rental. We also cooperate with families who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to find adequate housing on the real estate market. In this way, we create a service thanks to which owners have the certainty of a rental guaranteed by a reliable partner in the form of the city. And on the other hand, we provide a home for a family with children who could otherwise experience their childhood in inadequate housing,” she adds.

Along with a stable roof overhead, the MNA also provides social assistance in cooperation with the social support team in housing from the city’s Social Affairs Section. MNA clients are primarily families with a lower income or single mothers, for whom the prices for renting in Bratislava are too high, despite the fact that they are doing the best they can.

The most important partners of the MNA are Slovenská sporiteľňa a Kooperativa, thanks to whose help launching and maintaining the MNA services was made possible.

“Slovenská sporiteľňa and Nadácia Slovenskej sporiteľne (Slovenská sporiteľna Foundation) have long and systematically supported the development of affordable housing for disadvantaged groups of the population,” says Barbara Henterová from the Slovenská sporiteľna Foundation. “We are proud that we have been a partner of the Municipal Rental Agency since its inception and have thus contributed to families in Bratislava fulfilling their dreams of finding their own home. Therefore, the cooperation of our 4-year-old company Dostupný Domov j.s.a. with the MNA was a completely natural development of our work.”

During the pilot phase, Slovenská sporiteľňa provided 10 flats to the Municipal Rental Agency. What’s more, for the second year, in the case of need, it partially contributes to paying the rent, so that it is also available for clients in difficult situations. The Slovenská sporiteľna Foundation, in turn, covers part of the personnel costs for social workers.

“We note that in modern European cities, similar projects have their justification and social significance. From the project’s beginning, we have supported this initiative with a total of 80,000 euros. The funds we provide are mainly used for regular rent adjustments, a start-up allowance upon moving in, and also to cover extraordinary expenses that could otherwise put families in financial distress and endanger their ability to pay rent,” said Vladimír Bakeš, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nadácia Kooperativa (the Kooperativa Foundation) and also the Chairman of the Board and General Manager of the Kooperativa insurance company. “In the past year alone, the lives of eleven families have improved thanks to our support, and we want to continue this meaningful assistance. We also welcome the current call for owners of vacant flats in Bratislava, who can thus join the joint effort to help families in need of housing,” he added.

Testimony to the meaningful work of the Municipal Rental Agency is the many emotional moments experienced by the MNA team when finding residents for the 13 flats that the MNA thus far takes care of. For example, grateful parents who, thanks to the timely intervention of a social worker, did not lose custody of their young son and were thus able to be present for his first spoken words, or a disabled girl who stood on her own feet for the first time in an MNA flat.

The chance for a new start is exceptionally valued by the families themselves, who take care of the flats as if they owned them. “The flat is beautiful and exceeds our expectations. Tasteful, spacious, cozy,” one client of the Municipal Rental Agency says in assessing her flat. “Getting a flat means a new beginning for us. A new life... Finally, we have a chance that we will take and not disappoint your trust.”

After the testing phase, the MNA is now launching a campaign with the aim of acquiring new flats, so that more families can acquire stable housing. “Our service not only helps the sub-tenants, but the landlords, too,” says Kovácsová. “The MNA relieves them of many worries associated with renting a flat. If I put it simply, they basically don’t have to deal with anything, because the MNA takes care of everything. If, for instance, the sink in the flat gets clogged or an appliance breaks down, we will take care of the maintenance. The landlords have a guarantee that they will always be paid on time for the rental of their flat, and that they will get their flat back in good condition.”

A municipal rental agencies is a social innovation that has been operating in many European countries for years. The city of Bratislava is the first municipality in Slovakia to have launched one. Its main goal is the lowering barriers in the availability of housing, which will gradually lead to a higher quality of life in Bratislava.

You’ll find more about the Municipal Rental Agency ↗︎.