This apartment rental guide for St. Petersburg (or Russia in general) is presented in the form of questions that you really should know the answers to, prior to booking self-catering or serviced apartments in St. Petersburg Russia, an explanation is also given as to why it can be an important consideration: -Does the apartment (flat) have an independent modern boiler providing a reliable source of hot water for bathing and/or heating?
Legacies from the Soviet days - hot water for bathing and heating, numerous apartments, in St. Petersburg are still supplied from huge district boiler stations...
Apartment rental during summer months: For some unknown and illogical reason during the hottest season the local authorities always shut down these boilers – for the whole of St. Petersburg! This annual act is supposedly for maintenance but the hot water supply to supplied apartments is cut off for several months!
Apartment rental during winter months: Once again without independent heating you are at the mercy of local authorities – they have control over apartment heating in St. Petersburg. If there is a late summer, and the heating comes on - you will fry, if there's an early winter and the heating is off and you will freeze.
It all sounds unbelievable, but this is how it works! Ensure your chosen apartment in St. Petersburg Russia has its own boiler - and that it works!
"Western" or "European" managed is a phrase used to express that there is a non-Russian somewhere involved with the apartment in St. Petersburg, or at least the company dealing with it. It sounds disrespectful, but if you do want customer service then this factor could prove important.Are there any recent photographs of the St. Petersburg apartment? (Every room if possible)
The terms "Western" or "Euro" renovation, are used to describe the apartment (flat) has been gutted of any ex-Soviet style decor and totally re-modelled. However, landlords, and property management companies tend to liberally use it and apply the term to any apartment that has had any slight alteration from its original decor.Does the apartment for rent have an inventory?
While its standard practice to rent apartments in Saint Petersburg Russia as furnished don't assume the apartment has all the expected basic items; ask for a full specification of the apartment's interior.
Beds - because of the restricted sizes of many Saint Petersburg apartments, Russians tend to use temporary fold-out divan beds – these can be extremely uncomfortable. For a good night sleep it's worth ensuring there are adequate proper beds.Does the apartment have modern double-glazed windows? And do they have anti-mosquito nets fitted?
Windows and their fixtures obviously play a very important role in both winter and summer.
Mosquitoes are a nuisance and generally find their way into apartments via open windows. This is not the case if there are appropriate mosquito nets or screens fitted on all opening windows. It's worth verifying that there is protection, and that they are in a good state of repair i.e. no holes.
More about mosquitoes in St. PetersburgIs the apartment fitted with suitable light blocking curtains/blinds?
St. Petersburg Russia experiences White Nights - a period when it never gets completely dark. If you're a sensitive sleeper this could be a difficult time for you without them.
About White Nights in St. Petersburg.Do the bedrooms face the street or a quiet court yard?
It's great to get a centrally based apartment unless you are a light sleeper. St. Petersburg streets are noisy throughout the night. Although good glazing will eliminate the majority, it could still pose a problem for some.Does the apartment in St. Petersburg have a secure entrance?
Many entrances to apartment blocks in St. Petersburg are left wide open to abuse - stray dogs to the passing drunkard use them!
Ensure there is a form of door security - and it is working!Where exactly is the apartment in St. Petersburg, and is the location classed as a nice safe area?
Every city has its very bad, bad and good areas, St. Petersburg is no exception. Streets are long and may start in a nice neighbourhood but end in a nightmare.What level is the apartment on, and does the apartment block have a working lift?
Apartment blocks in the centre of the city can have up to seven floors, that's a lot of steps. Ensure there is a lift - and it is working!