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Knights of the Vine RUSSIA


In Which Currency Should I Conclude the Lease for My Apartment?
By Andrei Sado Director, Elite Residential Rental, Penny Lane Realty

ince the beginning of time, people have been asking: “How would you like me to pay for your rent?” People have always rented properties. Right from cavemen times when there was the dilemma between paying in different kinds of meat as rental payment.

Nowadays we call our caves apartments. They give us the ability to isolate ourselves from the world. A little island of happiness and joy, in the middle of ever-rising corporate domination, pollution and stranger hostility. Egoistic as it may seem, we like our privacy, as well we should.

When we arrive in new countries and encounter new cultures, our sense of self-protection is heightened to the level of satellites orbiting the Earth, and we look down in hope that nothing can reach us or even bother us. We want and search for “peace of mind”, but before we get that, we have to sign a rental agreement.

The real question is: what currency do Russian landlords wish to save money in? This is a question which needs to be answered, because it is directly related to what currency Russians wish to sign rental agreements in.

In the past Russians have had to deal with several money reforms, where money was suddenly taken away from them without prior notification. The last such action was in 1998; known as the “default”. This was the last drop in the ocean of distrust towards the ruble. The paradox is that Russians do not visit the USA very often, but prefer to get their salary in US dollars and then exchange it into rubles. Trust towards euros only began a few years ago, because the currency was new and somewhat unstable. So now Russians have both euros and dollars as currencies for their savings.

The majority of Russians prefer to sign their agreements in USD, but everything depends on the relationship between the US dollar and the ruble. When the value of the dollar rises people tend to sign their agreements in dollars, and vice versa.

We always suggest that agreements should be signed in that currency in which you receive your salary payments. This makes it much easier to calculate a budget and helps you to decide whether or not the rent is too high or just right. We also suggest setting limits. When you sign an agreement which makes references to the Central Bank exchange rate, you should set limits. For example; you should set a restriction which limits the amount a currency can move up and down, within 15%. If the currency moves further than that, then you have the right to renegotiate the conditions of the contract. In this way it will be much easier to get a “Yes” from the landlord during the negotiations. The landlord will feel that you care not only for your own interests, but also for his as well.

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