How to find apartments for rent in Milan long term

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

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

Recommendation for renting long term

First rent an apartment in Milan, monthly with an Airbnb, then look for a long term solution near your university

I would recommend you to first rent apartment Milan monthly, near centre like Brera or Navigli district, booking it directly online with Airbnb, because it’s the centre of Milan and almost always walking distance from Bocconi or a short public transport drive away and then look for a long term solution, after you have arrived in Italy.

Students mainly arrive between January and February and then around August and September, before the semesters start. Picking your apartment early will be beneficial, that way 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 finding long term rentals in Milan

We also asked one of our student clients, who is renting one of our apartments here in Milan and she has some good tips and suggestions for students who are coming to live in Milan for the first time.

Seeing the apartment in person

Is it good to also look online? Because, in Milan there can also be some scams from agencies but also from private too. It was great that you mom came to see the apartment because she found it quite similar to how the apartment was presented on the website – exactly like it was in the pictures and 360 degrees tours.

But for most people, I would recommend that if you’re not renting with Rental Milan at least go visit or ask for more pictures that show all the facilities that are included in the apartment. That way you can get a 360 degree understanding of the apartment.

Renting without seeing all of the apartment

I’ve had many friends rent without seeing the apartment and because so, there were problems encountered.

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

It’s very important to go and visit the apartment to meet the other roommates: 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 difficult to visit apartments sometimes, 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 because so, that will help you establish a trusting relationship.

Another student experience:

When I was looking for my apartment for the second year I wanted to move in with a 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. This allows an accommodation and flexibility with your stay in Milan.

Most things aren’t included in other places, like internet

Along with condominium fees there are also internet and agency fees. Sometimes at the end of the process you have to give back the apartment in the same state that it was in and most agencies take it to the extreme for one small stain that ends up costing 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 the departure date

I booked an apartment before I knew when my final exam was, so I booked it for a certain time. Now, I realize that you need to stay a few days more, so I extended the rent and also changed your flight ticket. I have suggestion to other students who are coming to live in Milan, Italy:

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 going to 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 1st, but I should have left a couple more days. That would have been helpful.

Where to look for an apartment in Milan, Italy

Check out also: 48 sites to find Milan housing for students

Option 1: Apartments for rent (Italian real estate agencies)

Walking along the streets in the city of Milan, you can see a lot of real estate agency’s 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.
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’ll have more chances that would be offered to you for some solutions.

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 for rent (short term rental websites)

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

They are mainly 2 kinds:

1. Short term rental websites: similar to the r.e. agencies, offer a complete brokerage service that manage the listings. They handle 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 are many more: Search in Google for example “rent apartment milan”.)

2. Short term rental websites where the landlord can publish directly to his listing. With pictures and a description of his property. The website is just promoting the apartments. The landlord receives the booking and the client is contacted with the 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, and 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 for 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 in Italian! So “for rent” it’s “affittasi” (“vendesi” means “on sale”). If there is no agency logo, it’s usually a private owner and you can call him on his 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 that you do not take the risk of an advanced payment (mainly if you don’t have any feedbacks from previous tenants). Renting through Rent Milan, you are renting an apartment from a private owner, not from a professional rental website. Those apartments can be “different” from the pictures and from the location published on the listing.
The owner must always give you a lease agreement that clearly states what is included in the rental fee (expenses for the usage of gas, electricity, internet, condo expenses, registration taxes, Tarsu garbage tax, cleaning services, 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, and Murillo are the best locations. 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 if the place you need to go is not in your typical walking distance. That way one can move easily in the city. You can travel conveniently thanks to the ATM website ( When you take the public transports in Milan, remember you have to buy a ticket before being able to use public transportation (through the kiosks or in the tobacco shops).

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

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

What the rent normally includes and what is left out

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 also include the condo expenses and the Tarsu (garbage tax) and 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.)

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

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

After the contract is signed with the owner,  you normally have to pay several things before being able to live in the flat:
– 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 bed linen, bath towels, cleaning products, and some kitchenwares…I recommend you use Ikea ;)

Contract typologies – codice fiscal e permesso di soggiorno.

In Italy, if the rent is staying more than 30 days the contract, lease agreement, and income revenue authority all have to be registered.

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) for both the lessor and the leaseholder.
Every foreign tenant can get his Italian fiscal code from the income revenue authority by showing his passport or ID.

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

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 to 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, sometimes it’s not the same address or even in Milan!

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

How to avoid scams

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

Here are my suggestions to try to avoid them:
– rent an apartment from an agency or a landlord recommended by a friend
– ask to the agency/landlord about some referrals
-look at the agency’s website to see how detailed the description/pictures (also from the building) are, if the price has been clearly stated and the full address matches the 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 states 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 a bank transfer. Even if it seems like the Airbnb website is trust worthy. Be careful of apartments you get from Facebook groups that offer you a rental 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. I’m sorry to say it happens to a lot of people.

As an alternative to looking for rental apartments in Milan Italy. You can start to look for rent an apartment Milan as a student either before you arrive or after your acceptance. To be efficient in searching for apartments it would be best to send someone you trust, who is already in Milan, to look into the apartment or a trust worthy representative.

Internet connection

If you are renting an apartment with internet included, you should know there are 2 different kinds of connection:

– ADSL: this uses landline cables and is unlimited and fast (main providers are Fastweb, Telecom, TeleTu, Vodafone ADSL, Tiscali…).
– with an USB key that has a SIM card inside (TIM, Vodafone, Wind, 3G…). This option is NOT unlimited and not always fast. There are different amounts of GB per month, based on what connection plan you have. 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, offers you 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 can’t be included in any of the 3 typologies, or better, we have some aspects similar to all the 3! That’s what makes different from other rental agencies.

“Risk free” rent offered

• Medium term rental, from 3 to 18 months.
• The prices you see in the website are really “All Inclusive”: electricity, gas (cooking/heating/hot water), WiFi internet, condo expenses, taxes and fees, also cleaning service every 4 weeks (2-4 hours), and lastly all 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 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 not be 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, so 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 during 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 within Milan – close to the tourist attractions and to the main public transports.
• You can live in Milan feeling like a real Milanese!

Any further questions?

Contact me

Ottavia Tagliavini

Hello, I’m Ottavia Tagliavini, your local personal assistant, the manager of this website since 2007 and the owner of the apartment called Otty. How can I help you?

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