Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Third of Moscow Landlords Now Say They Won’t Rent to Non-Russians

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 29 – Moscow is anything but a welcoming city as far as those seeking housing are concerned, given that approximately a third of all landlords on the periphery of the Russian capital now specify in their advertisements that they won’t rent to non-Russians, and particularly people from the Caucasus and Central Asia.

            To make it easier for outsiders nonetheless to find an apartment, the HomeApp reality company has studied some 800,000 advertisements by landlords in order to identify which Moscow neighborhoods are most hostile to outsiders and which are most welcoming (

            Its findings are presented on a map on its website, In reporting this story, the Dallol portal notes that Moscow is anything but a friendly city and that a third of the city’s landlords on the periphery as of today “openly say that they are not prepared to rent their housing to ‘non-Russians.’”

            In fact, the survey suggests that that the real number of landlords ready to discriminate against non-Russians is likely higher given that many of the owners have other ways to avoid renting to non-Russians than simply declaring that in rental advertising. They may exercise “a hidden nationalism” and give preference to ethnic Russians or offer them better deals.

            The most hospital part of the city is inside the Garden Ring where such open declarations are “close to zero.”  Slightly further out, the share saying they won’t rent to “’persons of Caucasus nationality’” or people from Central Asia rises to ten percent. And still further out on the periphery, the figures rise to a quarter to a third.

            In the Yeltsin period, many Russian activists and international human rights groups were outraged by such open discrimination against “’persons of Caucasus nationality’” and it receded into more hidden forms. But now under Putin, such discrimination has become more blatant and apparently acceptable as a way of doing business.

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