Renting a room or apartment in Almaty can be surprisingly expensive. On the upside, there is rarely a deposit to be paid and you can call one day and move in the next.
The most expensive apartments are located in the center, and southwards, on the higher grounds closer to the mountains. Cheapest rooms are to be found down from Rayimbek avenue and in the west of the city.
Below are listed the options for short and long-term rental.
Long-term apartment rental
Krisha.kz has the biggest number of listings. You can select by region of Almaty. You can rent a whole apartment starting from 1 month to a year. There is also an option to rent rooms (комната), living with other people or the owner of the apartment. It will be cheaper than renting the whole apartment.
Bills are paid by the tenants. Check that there is a mark: хозяин или его представитель, which means you will be dealing with the owner, not an agency. They of course add a commission on top. Prices vary of course, but on average, you can find a 1 room apartment from 300 usd, a 2 room apartment from 400-500$ and a 3 room apartment from 600$.
Everyone is happy to get foreign tenants. If you are outdoorsy, you can also rent a dacha on Krisha.
Agencies usually take 10% of the monthly rent. Smaller realtors take a fixed fee, perhaps 15 000 tenge for a signed contract. Just showing apartments costs money too, perhaps 2000 tenge per apartment. The good part about going with an agency is that you can trust their landlords more than the ones on Krisha, where you never really know what kind of a nutcase you might end up with as a landlord.
Almaty Real Estate has been in business since 1992. They speak English and do long and short term rentals.
Scot Holland is another professional outfit, well regarded in the community of business people & expats. They have high standards and will definitely show you some good apartments.
Athome.kz does long and short term rentals.
Cores.kz also does long and short term rental. They seem to have a good client list of embassies and multinational companies.
Light-house.kz seems to also be a reliable company that does long and short term rentals.
Short term rent
AirBnB is the most famous short term rental site for foreigners, but they don’t have so much choice yet.
Booking.com also has a selection of apartments.
Lessor Apartments owns several apartments in the city centre, and receives good reviews on booking.com
Krisha.kz also has short term rentals. On the site, select Я ищу ” посуточно”, that would be payment per day.
Finally, “Arenda po sutochno” offices exist around Almaty. They are easily recognised by a LED-billboard with a flashing key. Find them for example near Atakent, on the corner of Timiryazeva and Auezov street, and on the corner of Makataev street and Pushkin street, close to the Green Bazaar.
Generally these places have a good choice for small budgets, but beware that you could end up with “one night stand appartments”. Go for these ones only if you really don’t have time to look for a better option. You will also find ladies jiggling keys near TsUM and the Turkestan Hotel. These are also cheap but often used by people cheating on their significant others.