How to find apartments for rent in Milan: 9 Tips

Arriving in Milan and need to find an apartment for rent in Milan Italy?

Long term renting in Milan is not easy, specially for foreign students who don’t know Italian and how renting works in Italy.

First rent apartment Milan monthly whit Airbnb, then look for a long time solution near your university.

I would recommend for you to first rent apartment Milan monthly near centre like Brera or Navigli district booking it directly online with Airbnb because its centre of Milan and almost always walking distance from Bocconi or short public transport drive away and then look for a long term solution, when you are here already, and i also I recommend to come here little earlier.

Students mainly arrive between January and February and then around August and September, before semesters start. Picking your apartment early so you can be walking distance from Bocconi or in the centre. Most places are already rented out beforehand so make sure to rent as early as possible.

Tips for searching and looking for an apartment to rent in Milan long term

We asked also one of our student client, who is renting one of our apartment here in Milan some good tips and something shes want to suggest to other renters coming to living in Milan Italy for the first time?

About when they choose the apartment they want to rent, if you would recommend to see it maybe personally before

or if it’s good also to look online, because in Milan, there can be also some scams from agencies but also from private too. And from your side, there was your mom coming to see the apartment, personally, and that was great because she found it quite similar as presented to your website. It was exactly like it was in the pictures and in the 360 degrees tour.

But for most people, I would recommend that if you’re not renting with Rental Milan, I at least go visit, or ask for more pictures that show all the facilities that are included in the apartment.

Because I’ve had many friends that rent without seeing all the apartment

It wasn’t the same when they arrived, they have no fridge, or not everything is working. And that is very bad, because they have been scammed. And also, if you’re renting a room in a shared an apartment, it’s better to see the entire apartment because you can never know.

It’s very important that if you have the chance to go and visit the apartment to meet the other roommates also, because sometimes they don’t have the same habits that you do, and that might be very problematic. I’ve seen it happen to other friends. It’s hard to come before, but I would definitely recommend it.

School can help you find an apartment.

When you want to rent directly from the owner, it’s hard for foreigners that come from outside Italy because they don’t trust you. So school can help. If you ask for their help, they can vouch for you and there can be trust… I don’t know how the term is called. And so you can be able to rent directly from the owner.

Another student experience: When I was looking for my apartment for the second year I wanted to move in with 3rd friend and suddenly at this point Rental Milan didn’t have any 3 bedrooms apartment available and we were looking around and we noticed how hard it would be because there are many hidden costs and other things you don’t expect and the good thing about Rental Milan is that you can rent for shorter rental periods.

Most things aren’t included in other places like internet so that was a problem

Internet and agency fees along with condominium. Sometimes at the end of the process you have to give back the apartment at the same state that it was and most agencies take it to the extreme for one small stain for 900 euros and you need to pay ahead for a 3 month deposit. Its great that you can rent for shorter periods from Rental Milan.

When booking the apartment and deciding departure date

I booked it before I could know when I would have my final exam, and so I booked the apartment for a certain time. Now, I realize that you need to stay a few days more, so Ineed to extend your rent and also to change your flight ticket.

I have suggestion to other students who are coming to living in Milan Italy, how to avoid this, because its a trouble, so my main suggestion would definitely be to give yourself an extra amount of time, so with the apartment, maybe just a couple of extra days, just because you don’t know when your exams are gonna be.

In my case, my exam date changed, so there’s really nothing I could do, but if I had booked a couple of extra days, that would’ve been more helpful. The same thing with the flight ticket as well. I booked it right on June 1, but I should have left a couple more days. That would have been helpful.

Where to look for an apartment on rent in Milan Italy?

Option 1: Apartments for rent from Italian real estate agencies.

Walking along the streets in the city of Milan, you can see a lot of real estate agencies offices, there is one almost every 50 meters!
If you ask them (you are lucky if they speak English!) about renting an apartment, it’s usually requested a “4+4 years” contract.
So, if you need it for a shorter stay, it’s quite difficult to get it.
If you are looking for an apartment in Milan for at least 1 year, you can have a bit more chances they could offer some solutions for you.

The 3 main real estates agencies portals in Italy:, direct link to “For rent” English version :

No English versions, you should use Google Translate:

Option 2: Apartments on rent in short term rental websites.

There are some international websites offering apartments on rent for short term.

They are mainly 2 kinds:

1. Short term rentals websites similar to the r.e. agencies, they offer a complete brokerage service, they manage the listings, they make the check-in/out and they deal with the payments. You have a “quality guarantee” for the service and the apartment.

International short term rent websites with many apartments in Milan (you pay the commission to the agency): – Apartments for rent “ready to go”, for short to medium stay – Corporate apartments for short and long therm rent
There is many more: Search in Google example: “rent apartment milan”.

2. Short term rentals websites where the landlord can publish directly the his listing, with the pictures and the description of his property. The website is just promoting the apartments, the landlord receives the booking and the client contact details once the tenant pays the fee to the website via credit card. The tenant will deal directly with the owner about the lease agreement, the payment, the check-in/out.

The main international websites with apartments directly from the owners (you pay the booking fee to the website):

Option 3: Apartments on rent directly from Italian landlords.

You can find an apartment on rent in Milan directly from the owner, so you don’t need to pay the agency commission nor the website booking fee.
If you are in Milan, you can just walk along the street in the city area you want to live and you can see a lot of “for rent” posters on the buildings doors and gates. They are always just in Italian! So “for rent” it’s “affittasi” (“vendesi” means “on sale”). If there is no agency logo, it’s usually a private and you can call him to the phone number written on the poster. Many Italian people can’t speak English ;(

If you aren’t in Milan, or you prefer to search for an apartment on the web, I suggest you the 3 following websites with apartments on rent in Milan directly from the owners, in addition to the ones from the agencies:

BE CAREFUL! If you aren’t in Milan and you can’t see the apartment, I suggest you not to risk to make any advanced payment, mainly if you don’t have any feedbacks from previous tenants. You are renting an apartment from a private owner, not from a professional rental website. The apartment can be “different” from the pictures and from the location published on the listing.
The owner must always give you a lease agreement, where it’s clear also what is included in the rental fee (expenses for the usage of gas, electricity, internet, condo expenses, registration taxes, Tarsu garbage tax, cleaning service etc.).

How to find the right apartment for you?

You should consider mainly:
– the location, so where you need to go to study/work,
– how many bedrooms there should be in the apartment.

In the city of Milan, from the center, there are 3 main circular rings of streets (from ancient Roman walls).
Inside the ring “Marche, Abruzzi, Tibaldi, Murillo” is the best location, the most prestigious residential area, closer to city center.
There are many districts, the newest is Porta Nuova-Garibaldi, the most typical and international are Brera and Navigli.

In Milan there are 4 metro lines, trams and buses.
You can very easily move in the city.
So, even if the apartment is not “walking distance” from the place you need to go every day, consider how you can reach it by public transports.
You can do it thanks to ATM website:
When you take the public transports in Milan, remember you have to buy before the ticket! (in the kiosks or in the tobacco shops)

About the size of the apartment, you should consider also how long is your stay.
For a stay of just 3-4 months, maybe it could be fine also a 1 bedroom apartment with a sofa bed in the living room for 2 people who want to sleep separated, it’s not needed a 2 bedrooms apartment.

Of course it depends also from your budget!
The total monthly price is not depending from the nr of guests, so if you manage to share the apartment with some friends, it’s the less expensive solution.

What the rent normally includes, what is left out. And so the things you need to pay for yourself plus quarantees to the owner.

The monthly price of the apartments on rent in Milan you find on the web, usually includes:
– the rent fee,
– if it’s specified, it can includes also the condo expenses and the Tarsu (garbage tax), the yearly heating system checking (“controllo fumi” e “bollino blu”).

The price doesn’t include:
– electricity and gas bills,
– wifi internet,
– cleaning service,
– contract registration taxes,
– garbage tax and annual check of the heating system,
– support from the owner/agency,
– agency’s fee, if you don’t rent directly from the owner,
– apartment maintenance works (fixing a light bulb, the water pipes, the radiator etc.)

If the apartment is furnished, often it’s not fully equipped too. Probably you can find the basic kitchenware, but you have to buy the sheets, the blankets, the towels, the ironing tools, the cleaning products and clothes, the vacuum cleaner, the TV…

When you find the right apartment, the owner often needs from you some guarantees to certify you can pay the rent.
It can be a job contract or your last income declaration.

When you manage to sign the contract with the owner, to start to live in the flat you have to pay normally:
– 3 months rent in advance as security deposit,
– 3 months rent in advance to pay the 1st 3 months rent, in facts you should pay the following rent fees every 3 months,
– the fees to make the electricity and gas contracts in your name, because you are going to pay the bills.
In addition you should find a good contract for the ADSL internet connection, you can choose among few companies (Fastweb, Telecom, TeleTu, Vodafone…).
Now you can start to buy what you need at home, like the bed linen, the bath towels, the cleaning products, some kitchenwares…I recommend you Ikea ;)

Contract typologies, codice fiscal e permesso di soggiorno.

For the rents longer than 30 days, in Italy we have to register the contract, the lease agreement, to the income revenue authority.

The registration fees are usually shared 50% between the lessor and the leaseholder.
The contract can be registered only if it’s Italian and if there are the Italian fiscal codes (codice fiscale) of both the lessor and the leaseholder.
Every foreign tenant can get his Italian fiscal code from the income revenue authority, just showing his passport or ID.

If you are not an EU citizen, you need the “Permesso di soggiorno”, here you can find all the details:

Common scams when renting an apartment in Milan for long-term.

I’m aware Italian people aren’t famous abroad for honesty and decency, but rather for laziness, fraud and Mafia ;))
In facts some foreign people are quite prudent and cautious searching an apartment on rent.
Sometimes it’s good to be diffident, because there can be some scams.

Even if you are dealing with a r.e. agency, not with a private owner, you can make an advanced payment to rent an apartment, but when you arrive in Milan, you realize the apartment is very different from what you saw on the web, it’s not in the same address or even it’s not in Milan!

Meanwhile the r.e. agency disappears and you don’t manage to contact them anymore.

How to try to avoid the scams?

The scams don’t happen frequently, don’t worry!

Here you are my suggestions to try to avoid them:
– rent an apartment from an agency or a landlord recommended you by a friend,
– ask to the agency/landlord about some referrals,
– take an overview on the website of the agency, considering the other apartments, how detailed are the descriptions/pictures (also from the building), if the price and what is included is clear, if there is the full address and check it on Google street view,
– check on the web and on the social network more information about the agency and the agent (or the landlord) you are dealing with,
– before paying, ask for a written document where it’s clearly stated what is included in the price and the facilities you’ll find in the apartment.

Be aware of scams, Airbnb will never ask you to make bank transfer, even if it seems like the Airbnb website and be careful of people you get from Facebook groups that offer you rent an apartment in Milan with a quite cheap monthly price. When it is “to good to be true, it usually is!”. You can always ask Airbnb if it’s a valid announcement/ house, but if you send them money already, the police can’t help you get the money back. Im sorry to say it happens to a lot of people.

As an alternative to looking for rent apartment Milan Italy, if you want to start to look for rent an apartment in Milan as a student before your arrival and after your acceptance  and you can’t come yourself because can’t waste money or time or both you could send somebody you trust to look apartments for you, who is already here in Milan.

Internet connection

If you are renting an apartment with internet included, you should know there are mainly 2 different kinds of connection:
– ADSL, using landline cables, unlimited, fast (main providers are Fastweb, Telecom, TeleTu, Vodafone ADSL, Tiscali…)
– with an USB key (to insert in your laptop or wifi) with a SIM card inside, using cell phone lines (TIM, Vodafone, Wind, 3G…), so NOT unlimited and not always fast (it depends also on where it’s located in the apartment).
As it’s not an unlimited connection, you have tot GB/month included. They can be generally 2, 7, 15 etc. When you use all the GB, you can connect only if pay to renew the internet promotion.

There are always more bars and restaurants offering a free WiFi.
The city of Milan too, offers you a free WiFi in many areas:

How services are different?

Considering the apartments on rent:
– from Italian real estate agencies,
– in short term rental websites,
– and directly from Italian landlords,
I was talking about in the 1st 3 points, can’t be included in none of the 3 typologies, or better, we have some aspects similar to all the 3!

We offer total support with “Risk free” rent:

• Medium term rental, from 3 up to 18 months.
• The prices you see in the website are really “All Inclusive”: electricity, gas (cooking/heating/hot water), WiFi internet, condo expenses, all the taxes and fees, also cleaning service every 4 weeks (2-4 hours), the final one too, is included in the price!
• The reservation system is safe with credit card, thanks to PayPal payment system.
• Before booking, you can visit the apartment in a clear and detailed way thanks to the 360° Virtual Tour.
• As guarantee of the quality of the service, you can watch the video feedbacks from previous renters.
• The apartments are fully furnished and equipped, with all the costs and utilities included.
• We offer you a website where you can see all the details about the apartments and we guarantee they are exactly as you see them on the web.
• We are available via email, phone and Skype to reply to your questions, to try to clarify your doubts and to give you information about Milan in general too (documents, public transports, etc…)
• When you want to proceed with your booking, we assist you in the payment procedure and we send you the contract with the owner in English.
• Upon your arrival, we can come to pick you up at Malpensa airport by car and we make the check-in with the owner at the apartment.
• During all your stay we’ll be always available to intermediate between you and the landlord (sometimes they can’t speak English or it can be not easy to explain your needs), we agree with you about the cleaning service and we offer a maintenance service for your apartment (if you need a plumber, an electrician, etc…).

In comparison with a hotel/residence:

• In your apartment you’ll have more space, a kitchen, you can enjoy your privacy and get a more affordable price.
• Also if you are traveling with your family or they plan to go to visit you turning your stay, you/they can feel like you’re at home.
• Even groups of friends can save money, because the prices do not depend on the number of people who rent the apartment.
• All the apartments are located in safe residential areas in the city of Milan, close to the tourist attractions and to the main public transports.
• You can live in Milan feeling like a real Milanese!

What else you would like to know?

Contact me