Latvian laws stipulate that the foreigners who are staying in Latvia with temporary residence permits are not eligible for the state-guaranteed social assistance and services, including a social apartment or social shelter. When arranging the residence permit documents, third-country nationals have to prove that they have sufficient means to sustain and care for themselves and their family.
When renting a home it is important to remember that a written contract or a tenancy agreement should be entered into, which has to include the following:
the amount of the rent,
the explanation of whether public utilities fees are included in the rent,
the amount of the security deposit (usually in the amount of the rent for the first and the last month of tenancy),
the provisions regarding termination of the tenancy agreement, among others, the term of notifying the apartment owner on one’s decision to move out.
There are no restrictions in Latvia for the foreigners to purchase real estate (except the prohibition to buy land in the borderland areas and protection zones, as well as arable and forest lands). On the contrary – since 1 July 2010, third-country nationals may obtain a temporary residence permit for 5 years, if they have purchased or own real estate in Latvia.
People in Latvia may search for housing using different internet resources. The most popular websites for searching housing are:
- https://www.ss.com (in Latvian and Russian);
- https://www.city24.lv (in Latvian, English, Russian, etc.);
- https://zip.lv (in Latvian, English and Russian).
It is possible to search for a housing using the social network www.facebook.com. There are the following social groups on Facebook offering people to sell, rent and hire housing:
DECLARATION OF THE PLACE OF RESIDENCE
Regardless of their home being owned or rented, all residents of Latvia have to declare their place of residence at the respective local government. This is necessary so that the state or local authorities could send correspondence to the declared address or notify on the necessary information. The law prescribes that all residents have to declare their place of residence within one month after changing of the place of residence.
You can declare your place of residence:
- at the local government in whose territory you live (in Riga you have to declare at the Population Residence Registration Department of the Executive Directorate of the relevant borough or urban district of Riga),
- electronically, using e-signature or verification means provided by internet banks (Swedbank, Seb Banka) in the portal Latvija.lv ,
- at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
If you register your place of residence in person (not electronically), you will be required:
- to produce a personal identification document – a passport or an ID card with a valid residence permit,
- to submit an application for the declaration of the place of residence, indicating the legal grounds (ownership title, oral or written agreement on tenancy) of your residence at the address indicated in the application,
- to produce a document confirming that you have paid the state fee for the declaration of the place of residence into the local government’s bank account.
If your place of residence is declared by your statutory or authorised representative, this person will need a power of attorney confirming the authority to act on your behalf in addition to his/her personal identification document. Producing of additional documents may be requested if the local government had reasonable doubts regarding the genuineness of the provided information.