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Weekly house rental in Almaty - deposits?

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:47 pm
by itfcfan
My mixed Kazakh/foreign family are looking to rent a house for 15 people for a week in Alamty this summer. We've done something similar in previous years in Borovoe (much of the family is based in Astana) and its worked out really well. Unlike Borovoe, we don't have many contacts in Almaty and finding a good way to secure a house for the week is proving difficult. We've found (what look to be) some good options for 80,000KZT/day with individuals using websites like krisha.kz, but each of them are looking for substantial deposit to be paid beforehand without much guarantee in return of the property being held.

Does anyone know of any cheap/easy escrow services in Kazakhstan? Something like escrow.com would be ideal (the lack of Russian language or KZT currency support on this website probably make it a non-starter though).

Alternatively, can anyone suggest some good services/agencies? We've used Airbnb for this kind of thing in other countries, but the options shown in Almaty (for houses of this size) don't have any reviews and look to be used as an advertising method more than a real way of booking a property.

I appreciate there might not be a good solution for this problem - but I thought I'd put it out on the forum in case someone has some good experiences?

Re: Weekly house rental in Almaty - deposits?

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:07 pm
by thl989
I wonder if you could take over a small hostel, there seems to be an overabundance of them maybe one without any bookings for the time period you're looking at.

Re: Weekly house rental in Almaty - deposits?

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:30 pm
by itfcfan
thl989 wrote:I wonder if you could take over a small hostel, there seems to be an overabundance of them maybe one without any bookings for the time period you're looking at.


Thanks for the suggestion thl989, but we're really looking for somewhere we can stretch out and enjoy the property to ourselves rather than having staff around. Most of the houses we've seen have a good outdoor area where the children can play, etc - the kind of thing that's less likely in a hostel (usually in an apartment block).

Re: Weekly house rental in Almaty - deposits?

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:38 pm
by thl989
I meant if you could kick the staff out and ask the hostel to rent the whole property. The reason is because most housing here is in apartment blocks, and hostels may be more likely to have some kind of larger common or outdoor area. I'm not sure where you would find a house unfortunately, hopefully someone else can chime in. I could only guess it would be something pretty expensive up near the mountains, not sure your budget.

Re: Weekly house rental in Almaty - deposits?

Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:13 pm
by itfcfan
thl989 wrote:I meant if you could kick the staff out and ask the hostel to rent the whole property. The reason is because most housing here is in apartment blocks, and hostels may be more likely to have some kind of larger common or outdoor area. I'm not sure where you would find a house unfortunately, hopefully someone else can chime in. I could only guess it would be something pretty expensive up near the mountains, not sure your budget.


To give an idea, properties like this have agreed to our budget (80,000KZT/day):
https://krisha.kz/a/show/22995395
https://krisha.kz/a/show/48836083

The issue we have, is finding a reliable way to reserve the property / provide a deposit. When we've done this before (in Borovoe) we've had personal recommendations. In this case (in Almaty) our contact is simply directly over the internet. Some of the properties look genuine, others are listed in multiple locations with the same photos, etc so are probably more risky. So some kind of escrow system would be ideal - but I don't know if anything like this is commonly used in KZ.

Re: Weekly house rental in Almaty - deposits?

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:53 pm
by steven
Afaik something like that doesn't exist in Kazakhstan

Re: Weekly house rental in Almaty - deposits?

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:58 pm
by itfcfan
Thanks for the feeback. If I find a good solution, I'll post it on here.

Something trying to solve this kind of problem is a start-up called pillowz.kz. It looks like early days for them and I'm not sure if they're 100% functional yet, but possibly something for the future...

Re: Weekly house rental in Almaty - deposits?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:02 am
by itfcfan
We're just back from our stay in Almaty. Although all of the 6 houses we contacted initially requested some kind of deposit be sent, 2 of them eventually suggested/agreed we send ID/train tickets to prove we were genuine instead of deposits. It became easier the closer we got to the date of the trip (home owners were more ready to compromise when they knew the house would otherwise be empty on those dates).

For reference we paid 70000KZT/night for a large but fairly ramshackle house in the western suburbs, about 10mins by taxi west of Moskva metro station. It had plenty of space for 15 of us and probably would have accommodated more than 20 if people were happy to use all the sofa beds. It had a filtered swimming pool, sauna and large outside area with dining areas and outside kitchen. Our other option (for a very similar price) was a house in better condition, closer to central Almaty but without a swimming pool and smaller outside area. Given how much the kids enjoyed the swimming pool we were happy with our choice!

We saw lots of duplicate ads online for properties where the same photos where shown in multiple locations. Many of the ads we phoned seemed to be less than genuine.

Hopefully Airbnb gets more options or pillowz.kz starts operating properly in the future. Until then time, patience and lots of talking with home owners is required to get a feel for whether a home is genuine and to negotiate a price.