Your Guide to Finding a Home in Germany

11 June, 2024


Relocating to Germany and finding a place to live can be an exciting but challenging process. We’re here to guide you through successfully finding an apartment or room in Germany, from temporary accommodations to understanding your tenancy agreement. And remember, Jaberi Lawyers is here to help you throughout your entire journey.

 Housing and Registration

Germany offers a wide range of high-quality rental accommodations, but the demand is also high, especially in major cities. Below, we provide tips and explain what you should consider before and after moving in.

 Your First Accommodation

Before finding a permanent place, consider staying in a furnished holiday flat, hostel, hotel, or youth hostel. Note that these addresses cannot usually be registered as your place of residence. Remember, you are required to register your residence with the relevant authorities within two weeks of arrival in Germany.

 Types of Accommodation

Germany offers various housing options to suit your needs:

– Rental Flats:These are long-term accommodations (typically requiring three months’ notice to vacate). They are usually unfurnished and may not include a kitchen.

– Short Lets: Temporary accommodation for a fixed period, usually furnished.

– Flatshare (WG): Shared accommodation with flexible rental periods and arrangements. Typically cheaper than living alone, with a shared kitchen and bathroom but a private room.

– Student Residences: For students only, these are usually furnished and relatively inexpensive. They offer various options such as individual apartments, single rooms with shared facilities, and parent-child apartments. Early application is advised due to waiting lists.

Tips for Finding Accommodation

Finding a place to live can be time-consuming, especially in major cities. Here are some strategies:

– Online Searches: Use popular property search sites by typing “Wohnung + [city name]” or “WG + [city name]” into a search engine.
– Employer Assistance: Check if your employer offers peer-to-peer forums for housing tips or helps find accommodation.
– Newspapers: Local daily newspapers, particularly weekend editions, are useful for housing ads.
– Estate Agents: These professionals can help find accommodation, but their services usually cost two to three months’ rent.
– Housing Companies and Associations: These organizations rent flats to their members, often requiring a waiting list application.

When contacting landlords, be ready with housing application documents, such as payslips and proof of identity, to improve your chances of securing a viewing.

 Viewing and Renting a Property

When invited to view a property, check its condition thoroughly and discuss any renovation needs with the landlord. Always ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to understand the building’s energy consumption.

 Required Documents for Renting

Landlords typically request recent payslips, proof of identity, and possibly a Schufa report (creditworthiness). If new to Germany, alternatives like a bank reference or employment contract may be sufficient. Be prepared to provide a tenant self-disclosure form with personal information.

Understanding Rent

Rents vary based on location, size, and amenities. Check if the rent is inclusive (Warmmiete) or exclusive (Kaltmiete) of utilities. Be wary of paying any rent or deposit before signing a tenancy agreement and receiving the keys.

 Tenancy Agreements

In Germany, tenancy agreements must be in writing and include key details like the term of tenancy, notice periods, and rent specifics. Ensure you understand the terms before signing.

Moving In

– Registration: Register your residence within two weeks at the local Residents’ Registration Office (Meldebehörde) with a valid ID and tenancy confirmation letter (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung).
– Utilities: Register separately for electricity and gas if not included in the rent. Use comparison sites to find suppliers.
– TV and Radio Licence Fees: Pay a monthly fee (~€18) to the public-law contribution service for TV, radio, and internet services. This fee is mandatory for all residents.

House Rules and Waste Sorting

Respect house rules to maintain harmony with neighbors. This includes observing rest periods, proper waste sorting, and getting permission for pets and long-term visitors.

 Jaberi Lawyers: Here for Your Journey

Navigating housing and legal requirements in a new country can be daunting. Jaberi Lawyers is here to assist you with every step of your relocation journey to Germany. Whether you need help understanding tenancy agreements or registering with local authorities, we are here to ensure a smooth transition.

Contact Jaberi Lawyers today—we’re here to help you make Germany your new home.

+49 (0)40 413 499 87