Housing in Slovenia
Where will I stay if I ask for asylum (international protection) in Slovenia?
If you apply for international protection in Slovenia, you will be accommodated in the asylum centre (azilni dom). There are three asylum centres in Slovenia, two in the capital city Ljubljana and one in Logatec, about 30 km from the capital city. All of them are accommodations of the open type, which means you can enter and exit freely, except in cases specified by law or by the House Rules of each centre. However, officials who examine your asylum application must be able to reach you.
When you are accommodated in an asylum centre, your individual circumstances will be taken into account.
- Families are accommodated together.
- Women who are alone and unaccompanied minors are placed separately.
If you are:
- person with disability or with chronic and severe illness
- pregnant woman
- older person
- single parent with underage children
- victim of trafficking in human beings, torture, female genital mutilation
- victim of physical, sexual and psychological violence
you are considered member of a vulnerable group. Needs of vulnerable persons, including their accommodation within the centre, are addressed separately. If you have such particular needs, it is advisable to tell this to officials in charge of your asylum application, authorities in the asylum centre or persons who provide you with psychosocial support.
What will I get in the asylum centre?
In the asylum centre, your basic material needs will be satisfied: food, clothes and hygienic accessories. You will receive a small amount of pocket money (18 Euros). Basic health care services and recreational, educational (language courses) and occupational activities are also available. Psychosocial and legal help and support is provided by various organizations active in the centres.
How long will I stay in the asylum centre?
Your accommodation in the asylum centre will last until your asylum application is resolved. In Slovenia, the process should take 6 months maximum, but in reality, there are big differences between cases. It can vary from one or two months for those who are relocated and even more than 2 years in some other cases.
In special circumstances (for example, if you have health problems), you are allowed to live outside the asylum centre as an asylum seeker. You have to apply at the Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants after spending one month in the asylum centre.
Where will I stay if I do not ask for asylum (international protection) in Slovenia?
Center for foreigners
If you do not apply for asylum, you will be accommodated in the Centre for foreigners (Center za tujce) in Postojna (50 km out of Ljubljana). This is an accommodation of the closed type, which means you cannot leave. You can stay there for a maximum of one year (in practice it can take even longer). If you do not apply for international protection, you can be deported.
Where will I stay when I get international protection in Slovenia?
When you are granted international protection, you can stay in the integration house or in private accommodation.
When you are granted international protection and you have no money, you can be accommodated in the so-called integration house (integracijska hiša) for a maximum of one year, with the possibility of extending your stay for another 6 months, depending on availability. There are two integration houses in Slovenia, one in Ljubljana and one in Maribor (130 km out of Ljubljana). If you decide to live in the integration house, you will have to sign a contract. The integration house is funded by the state, so you will not have to pay for your stay (not even for the costs).
If you refuse to stay in the integration house or if it is not available, you have to find another accommodation by yourself. Association Odnos can help you search for an apartment (http://odnos.si/en/).
When you leave the asylum centre or the integration house, you have to find your own accommodation. For the first 18 months, you are eligible for financial aid from the Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants in order to pay for the accommodation.
If you attend school or integration/language courses regularly, this period can be extended for another 18 months (3 years altogether). After that, you are no longer eligible for financial aid, so you have to pay for your accommodation by yourself.
It is good to prepare for this by saving some money (for more information, see chapter Money and Finances) and by starting to search for your new house or a flat a few months in advance. It may take you some time because it is often difficult to find housing.
How to find accommodation?
The most common way of looking for a new place to live is through online advertisements. There are also real estate agencies who can look for an apartment or a house for you, but for that, you will have to pay a certain fee. Some rental offers can be found in newspapers as well.
You can find various kinds of accommodation for rent – from private houses to shared flats (where you share common areas) and rooms (where you also share the room).
Some useful links (all of them in Slovene language):
Cimri.si (rooms for students): https://www.cimri.si/iscem-sobo
FB group: Stanovanje, stanovanjce, kje si? https://www.facebook.com/groups/195726830526565/
What are my rights & obligations as a tenant?
If you live in a rented flat, you are a tenant (najemnik). Tenants rent their flats from a landlord (lastnik), which is the company or a person that owns the flat. You and your landlord should sign a contract. You will need this contract in order to register your new address and temporary residence.
Living in an apartment building and in a neighbourhood, you will have to follow certain house rules (See the chapter Living in the community and neighbourhood). Residents who do not follow the housing rules might lose their right to the accommodation (they might be evicted).
All building residents and neighbours have to show consideration for one another. In order not to disturb your neighbours, try to make as little noise as possible. Remember that sounds of running, slamming doors, loud music or loud voices on TV or computer, drilling or hammering nails or having parties can be disturbing to others.
These are just some examples, but generally, you should avoid noisy activities especially between 10 o’clock in the evening and 6 o’clock in the morning. If you do not follow the housing rules, other residents can call the police and you might get a fine.
In addition, you should take care of the interior and the exterior of your new home. This means that you should keep your home tidy and clean, and if you do happen to damage something (which of course happens sometimes), you should inform your landlord about it. You also need to ask the landlord for permission for any renovations you want to do (painting, removing the old furniture etc.).
It is recommended to put your full name on your mailbox as soon as you move in to your house or an apartment so you can receive mail and important notifications.
The rental contract defines your rights and obligations as a tenant. Most likely, you will have to pay your rent monthly, according to the contract.
You have to pay rent and utilities bills regularly. Utilities include electricity, water, gas, maintenance, TV/internet etc. If you do not pay these bills within a month, you will receive a formal notice from the provider and a penalty for late payment will be added to your next bill (for more information see the chapter Money and Finances).
If something stops working or breaks in the flat (e.g. a refrigerator or a cooker), the landlord must repair or replace it. As a tenant, you do not have to pay for such repairs – unless you were the one who caused the damage, in which case you may be obliged to pay.
Normally the tenant and the landlord inspect the flat together before moving in or out, in order to make sure that there are no damages.
If you want to move, you, as the tenant always have a right to cancel the contract for your flat. However, you have to inform the landlord in advance (usually the notice period is defined in the contract) or you may have to continue paying for the flat for a period defined in your rental contract, even if you no longer live in the flat.
Your landlord can also terminate the contract if you:
– do not pay the rent or utilities within the agreed deadline;
– transfer or sublet the flat without the landlord’s permission;
– disturb the other residents;
– have guests for a longer period of time without informing the landlord about it;
– use the flat for other purposes than it is intended (e.g. extensive business activity);
– cause damage;
– make changes to the common residential areas without prior written consent from the landlord.
In these cases, if your landlord wants to cancel the contract, he/she needs to give you a written warning and specify in what time you have to remove the damage.
What if I do not have a place to live?
If you can no longer live in the apartment or a house you were living in and do not have any other place to go, there are some temporary options. You can contact the nearest Social Work Centre. The social worker can help you find a temporary housing in the shelter.
There are shelters where you can stay overnight and have one meal. Keep in mind you will have to share the room. These are only temporary options offered to people in need. You can stay in the shelter until you are able to afford new accommodation for yourself.
Do I need to change my documents when I move?
When you move to a new apartment, you have to report a change of address at the nearest administrative unit (Upravna enota). You need to bring your ID or a valid passport. If you are a tenant, you also need to bring your rental contract. After registering to a new address, you need to change your ID.
Further information & links
- Law of international protection: http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/47f1fdfc2.pdf
- Government Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants: http://www.uoim.gov.si/en/
Who can help me find accommodation?
If you have been granted international protection, Association Odnos can help you search for an apartment (http://odnos.si/en/). There are also real estate agencies who can look for an apartment or a house for you, but for that, you will have to pay a certain fee.
Where to turn to if my rights as tenant are violated?
If you feel your rights have been violated you should try to settle any misunderstanding with the landlord. If this is not possible, you can turn to the court of justice.
What are the costs of renting an apartment in Slovenia?
Prices of apartments vary and depend on the city (they are cheaper at in the countryside and suburbs and more expensive in the big cities), type (flat in a block of apartments, house), size of flat and the condition they are in (old, furnished, with or without parking).