So, you received bad news, right? The dorms in Leiria are full and you now have to look for a home yourself, right? Please don’t worry, because I have top tips in this post! I will explain the best options to search for a house in this great city, to ensure you don’t finish your Erasmus homeless.
Normally, the best thing to do is to find a room on the internet. We usually have some websites we use to find rooms, apartments or houses.
OLX is the most famous. Unfortunately, it’s only in Portuguese, but I can help you navigate through the website. If you want to find a room, search for “alugo Quarto”. If you want to find an apartment, search for “alugo apartamento”. In the location, you just need to put your Erasmus city (Leiria, Caldas da Rainha or Peniche), to search for what you want.
You might find your future house in the results! Open the ads that you might like and see the description. It’s best to use Google Translate in this phase, because the description will have a lot of words and, by not knowing Portuguese, you will not understand anything.
But, if Google translate is not working, please locate the following words:
- Mobilado – Furnished;
- X casas de banho (wc) – number of bathrooms;
- X quartos – number of rooms;
- Despesas incluídas – utilities included (might not include internet bundle).
Then you just need to call the number if you like the room. Remember that you need to put (+351) before the number because you are calling a number from another country.
It’s not usual to contact them by e-mail. Some of them don’t know how to use it very well or might flag it as SPAM. Some landlords also don’t know English, so take that into account! Also, it’s normal if you receive a no, but don’t worry. From my experience, it’s sometimes hard to find a landlord that accepts Erasmus students, because they might feel better renting to a Portuguese student instead.
If you are having trouble finding a room, why not rent a whole apartment? It will be perfect if you are coming on Erasmus with your friends or people from the same school.
Custo Justo is just like OLX. Like in OLX, you just need to search for the correct words and it will show you interesting rooms or apartments. Again, it’s like OLX in the descriptions, so I don’t have anything to add.
Prices for rooms range a lot. In the hottest places (not in temperature but in interest) you might expect to pay 150€/month for a room, while other less interesting areas have a price of about 130-140€/month. If expenses are included, you might expect to pay a maximum of 200€/month. If expenses are not included, you might pay about 20-30€ depending on the electricity/water/gas you use.
The Polytechnic of Leiria has a website specially made for finding a home to stay! It has a map to help you find the perfect room near the school you want and, of course, a detailed description and some pictures.
However, even if you are navigating in the English version of this website, please note that “what’s included in the price” is in Portuguese. If you don’t understand what is there, please use Google Translate.
Local Realtor Agencies
A realtor agency is sometimes a good option because they will speak English and will help you in any situation, in the name of the landlord. Try ERA, ACI, Remax, Novilei, Sousa & Tomas, Arcadas do Liz and Petro Domus to find your ideal apartment. Don’t forget to check if the apartment is in a good area, close to the main attractions.
The Not So Good Option
If you didn’t find a place to stay and the date of arrival is in a few days, you can always book a hostel or hotel to stay a few days, while you are finding an apartment.
If you choose that option, you always have out local newspapers (Jornal de Leiria, Diário de Leiria, and Região de Leiria) that have houses for rent. However, the ads are all in Portuguese, so please be sure to find someone that can help you. You also have local coffee shops near the school where you can get some phone numbers.