Renting in Germany: What You Need To Know

Pavel Radyuk, Customer Success Manager at VISARIGHT
9 November 2020 · 5-minute read
In Germany, tenant selection is very specific. You have to convince the landlord of your reliability and creditworthiness. Usually, all potential tenants can view the housing, but the procedure is more advantageous for tenants. They get to meet people, assess them and draw the first conclusions.

To compete with locals for the right to rent accommodation, you will need to learn about some of the pitfalls from this article.
Renting an apartment
Finding a place to live and rent in Germany is not so easy as even locals have problems with the process.
The fact is that some cities in Germany are overpopulated, and finding a suitable apartment or house here turns into a heavy puzzle with interesting and sometimes unexpected plot twists.

It is even harder to rent housing for a person who has just immigrated to Germany. The immigrant most likely does not know the language, does not know the intricacies of renting, and is not familiar with legal nuances. Besides, not all locals are eager to rent out their property to foreigners.

To begin with, immigrants should try to find accommodation on the Internet. In Germany, there are two major sites focused on renting accommodation online — Wunderflats and Spotahome.

You can view listings of apartments and houses on these websites, but for better results, we advise you to create your account, fill it out, indicate your needs, approximate budget, and the period in which you are interested.

Do not quit your attempts to find housing by searching only on specialized websites. Use social networks because, for example, residents of Germany are active users of Facebook. You can also check out local newspapers, where you will surely encounter ads for apartments and houses.

If you have already found a job in Germany, it is worth inquiring with your HR. Often, in large firms, managers provide their subordinates with accommodation, so that employees would avoid unnecessary red tape and stress.
Don't want to waste your time on the search?
Reach out to VISARIGHT for help!
Apartment viewing in Germany
If you are interested in how the owners select tenants, it's simple. Usually, potential tenants meet the landlords at a predetermined time. They look at the housing, and if it satisfies them, leave their contacts to the owners. In their turn, they make a list of candidates, who are later shortlisted and contacted

What do German landlords focus on:
The number of people who will live with the tenant.
Whether the candidate has a job. If so, is a candidate is asked to provide proof of salary.
Confirmation of creditworthiness.
All the information above must be provided in time to increase the chances of signing the contract. Do not be late, as punctuality is very important in Germany. The landlord, by the way, may ask you to fill out a special questionnaire to get to know you better.

Potential tenants, of course, also have the right to receive the necessary information about the premises. Ask your landlord why you are renting out space because rooms in Germany are rarely vacant.

We advise you to ask the owner the following clarifying questions:
Whether the rental price has remained unchanged since the previous tenant. If the price has changed, find out why.
Ask about the average price per square meter in the city.
Find out about the neighbors, ask the landlord to characterize them.
Ask where the nearest stores and hypermarkets are.
Find out the transport schedule in the area.
Signing a contract for rent in Germany
At this stage, the tenant and the landlord enter into a contract and specify the monthly payment, the fee for utilities, additional costs (such as parking), as well as a deposit, if any. Specify the meter readings before you move in, so you don't have to pay the former tenants' expenses.

Be sure to record any damage or minor malfunctions in the house so that the landlord does not transfer responsibility for them to you afterward. Treat your property with care, and you may be able to claim damages for damage you cause. Regardless of whether you move out or still live in the apartment, you might be sued for damages in any event.
What to do if you can't find housing in Germany
If you can't find a suitable option for a long time, you should think about changing your budget and criteria. Maybe you should look for more expensive options, or maybe cheaper ones. Do not forget to expand your search area. Germany has a very developed transport infrastructure, so it is not difficult to move around the cities.

Most importantly — do not despair. The process of finding a place to live for a foreigner is probably the hardest part of any move to a new country. When you contact VISARIGHT, our specialists will try to fulfill your even the most ambitious requests.
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