For the first few weeks until you have found an apartment to rent or buy in Germany, you have various options to find accommodation.
- Hotels cost an average of around 70 - 90 Euro per night and person. Pensions are significantly cheaper.
- For an overnight stay in youth hostels you usually pay between 20 and 30 Euro per night and person.
- You can also rent a room in private apartments through online portals.
- An inexpensive alternative is to move into a shared apartment. This can be particularly interesting for young people, as it offers the opportunity to make contacts quickly. Please look on the internet for a nationwide search
- For a furnished 2 to 3 room temporary apartment, you should calculate around 500 to 1,200 Euro per month, depending on the location and region. In addition to specific websites, you will also find many other commercial internet portals that you can use to search for housing in a targeted manner.
The apartment advertisements usually provide information on:
- Rent amount (net rent (excluding running costs and costs for heating and hot water supply) and advance payments for operating costs)
- Size in square metres m² (living space),
- Number of bedrooms,
- Bathrooms (number and equipment),
- Balcony (is calculated at 50% of the living space),
- Total number of rooms (without bathroom and kitchen),
- Energy rating (energy consumption of the building),
- Year of construction in which the building was constructed,
- Last renovation or refurbishment if applicable
As a rule, properties in Germany are rented unfurnished.
Although rent increases are common, the landlord must follow certain rules. An increase in rent is only permitted if your rent is cheaper than the rent of comparable apartments in your area. The rent of comparable apartments can be determined for many places using a rent level survey. The rent level survey shows the usual rent depending on the size, location in the city and the equipment of the apartment. Inform yourself on the internet.
There must be at least 12 months between moving in and the first rent increase, as well as between individual rent increases. If the tenant pays a relatively low rent today, it must not be raised to the comparable rent level in one fell swoop. There is a limit after which the rent may increase by a maximum of 20% within three years. In some Federal states this limit is 15%.
Please note: If you are faced with a sudden rent increase, it is important that you seek advice, for example from a tenant protection association.
Some leases provide for the rent to increase automatically over a period of time (staggered rent). In the case of graduated rents, no additional rent increase is permitted.
It is very difficult for landlords to terminate a tenancy. Tenancy law usually protects the tenant and therefore provides high formal hurdles for landlords. Tenancy law obliges the landlord to give reasons for the termination, whereby only certain reasons for termination are permitted.
Basically, the law distinguishes between the ordinary and the extraordinary (immediate) termination of the lease.
- The reason for a ordinary termination for private landlords is essentially personal use. That means that the landlord can for example terminate the tenant if the landlord needs the property for a reasonable reason for him or herself, for close relatives or members of his or her household such as a caregiver.
- Reasons for an extraordinary and therefore immediate termination of the tenancy by the landlord are:
- Repeated late or incomplete rent payments by the tenant,
- Non-contractual use of the rented property, e.g. overcrowding of the apartment, unauthorised subletting, animal husbandry etc.,
- Disturbances of the peace
The listing is not exhaustive.
If you are interested in an apartment and would like to apply for it, it is important that you can present the following documents or proof:
- An application form, which is usually handed out when viewing an
- Copy of your identity card
- Proof of income, typically this is the payslip for the last 3 months.
Please note: If you have just started a job in Germany, you can also submit proof from your employer that certifies the position and salary. Do not hesitate to contact your employer and ask if they can help you find a place to live.
- Landlords often require trainees to provide a rent guarantee. This is an informal letter that guarantees payment of the rent up to a defined amount. This means that in the event of insolvency, another outsider (usually your parents or relatives) will pay for your outstanding rent and related costs.
- Certificate of freedom from rent debts: This is a certificate from the previous landlord that the rent was always paid on time. Such a receipt is very meaningful and a strong proof of your reliability. However, you have no legal right to it.
- If you have your own property in your home country, you should also state this.
- Proof of your creditworthiness, e.g. whether you are debt-free (e.g. or other adequate proof from your home country).
If you do not have all the documents, e.g. because you have just arrived in Germany, you should state the reasons for this in your application.
In order to avoid surprises, you should inquire whether the rental price specified in the tenancy agreement is the cold/net rent or the net/gross rent.
The net rent is the basic rent of the apartment. In addition, there are numerous ancillary costs or operating costs, which can increase the rent considerably. The ancillary costs include the costs for hot water, heating, rubbish fees, garden maintenance or caretaker.
The gross rent includes all utilities and is therefore the decisive price you have to pay every month. The electricity costs are usually not included in the rent. You have to conclude a supply contract with an electricity provider separately.
In addition to lawyers who specialise in tenancy law, you can get advice from tenants’ associations. In order to receive free personal advice from a tenant association, you must be a member and pay a membership fee. The amount of the membership fee is determined independently by the tenant associations. On average, it is currently between 50 and 90 Euro per year. Rental legal protection insurance is often included in the premium.