1 month security deposits are usual and set against the last months rent. The lease must be in writing and signed by the parties. The contract should be in Russian, as well as your native language, in order to be legally enforceable.
The lease period does not necessarily need to be specified in the contract. In this instance, the contract is regarded to be for an indefinite period. It can be cancelled by either tenant or landlord at 3 months notice.
In a contract with a fixed period, the tenant can terminate at any time, with 1-3 months notice. The landlord cannot terminate a contract early unless the tenant is in breach of contract (i.e. if the tenant fails to pay rent for 6 months). In court, a tenant can be given up to a year to amend the violations that led to the contract cancellation.
Usually, rent is paid on a monthly or a quarterly basis. In the elite housing market, rent can be denominated in dollars and payments in cash are common.
With the permission of the landlord the tenant has the right to assign, sub-let or otherwise transfer his rights to the apartment. The tenant can also make alterations to the property.
Rent contracts for 1 year or more should be registered in the State Registration Office. This is a long procedure requiring the cooperation of both the landlord and tenant.
Property Insurance in Russia
Most apartments in Russia are uninsured, unless it is an elite property at a very high price. You can take out insurance at 0.5%-1% of the apartment’s cost.