Questions & answers about renting housing in Germany
Experience shows that anyone planning a move has many questions.
In our FAQ list we have compiled some information worth knowing about important topics:
The planning and living space inspection
How soon in advance should I start my home search?
Approximately 6 to 8 weeks prior to the planned move-in date.
How are the properties found?
We use the established web pages where most of the properties are advertized. Beyond that, we have a network of real estate agents and landlords.
When is the best time for property viewings?
We recommend a viewing during daylight hours. The recommended days are weekdays in order to get a realistic impression of the surrounding area, i.e. traffic, noise, silence etc.
Rental contract / termination / rent deposit
Once an offer is made, how long will lease negotiations take?
Generally, lease negotiations take 5 to 10 work days.
Which documents are required to apply for a lease contract?
The owner usually requires, at the minimum, a proof of identity, proof of income and possibly a credit report for Germany (Schufa-Auskunft).
Is a security deposit required?
Yes. Generally the deposit is 2 to 3 times of the monthly net rent. The deposit has to be in the owner’s account prior to or on the day of handover.
What is the normal length of a lease?
Most landlords require a minimum lease period of 1 or 2 years for unfurnished properties.
For most furnished properties, the minimum lease period is 3 to 6 months.
Both depend on the individual landlord and the city in Germany.
What is the usual cancellation period for a lease?
Unless otherwise agreed in the lease, the legal cancellation period for rental properties is 3 months towards the end of a month. The cancellation has to be submitted in writing and with personal signature (letter, recommended to be sent by registered mail – “Einwurf Einschreiben”).
Furnished or unfurnished?
What does „furnished“ mean?
A “furnished” rental property is usually equipped with furniture, small and large electric appliances, partially also with towels and dinnerware.
The individual amenities will be noted in an inventory list during the handover.
What does „unfurnished“ mean?
An „unfurnished“ rental property is completely empty (except for sanitary installations in the bathrooms also not included are the light fixtures, curtains, washer, dryer, etc.). In major cities, more and more owners are willing to install a built-in kitchen, but this normally comes with an increase in the monthly net rent.
Further interesting facts
Who is responsible for insuring the property?
It is highly recommendable that tenants set up a private liability insurance (if needed, including key loss) and a household goods insurance.
Who should I contact about any issues with the property after move-in?
Please contact your landlord or the authorized property management company.
Will my appliances work in Germany?
The German electrical standard is 220 volts / 50 cycles. It is recommendable to check prior to the move, if the appliances from abroad will work.
Are pets allowed in the rental property?
It is very important to mention any pets before the start of the home search. The number of pets, along with the type and size will be important information to give.
Small pets, such as caged birds, hamster etc. may be kept without permission of the landlord. For all other pets, a written approval from the landlord is needed. The approval has to be given in the lease contract, i.e. for dogs and cats.