10 Easy steps to rent an apartment in germany

How to rent an apartment in Germany

Renting a place in Germany is not as tough as you may think.

All you have to know is how things work over here. Most of the places advertised via Facebook these days.

This is especially the case for sublets and rooms in a flat share.

So 1, 2, 3, goooo! Read the ten facts about renting a flat Germany, with some special tips for Berlin!

After that you are ready to go flat-hunting yourself. Good luck :)

Good websites for a flat in Germany

Most people find their future homes on the internet in Germany. Here’s a listing of the top websites for finding accommodation in Berlin.

Some of them are in English, so they’re especially useful for expats and students who do not speak English.

English Housing Listings: At Home, Olx, Just Landed, Easy WG, Easyflatshare, dreamflat.com

German Housing Listings: Real Estate Scout, Ebay Classifieds, WG Wanted, Immowelt

Useful Facebook Groups: Short term accommodation Berlin, WG room apartment in Berlin, room and apartment Berlin, Berlin apartment exchange

Note that more people use Facebook Groups to advertise their flats. It’s a fast and easy way to do so. This way you avoid avoidance agent fees.

Overwhelmed? Get an expert to find your German flat today. 99.6% success rate. So we want help you with all the paperwork.

What documents you need for a flat in Germany

Before you can start your contract, you usually have tolandlord). These are the documents for renting a place in Berlin, Munich, Cologne!

1) Copy of your ID or passport

According to a new law, estate agent to make a copy of your ID even if you just want to take a look at a flat. Your landlord is likely to be a copy of your passport if you sign the tenancy agreement (rental contract).

2) Confirmation of no rental debts (Rental costs freedom certificate).

This document confirms that you do not owe your previous landlord any money and that you have always paid your rent on time. If you have lived in another country before, you should try and ask your previous landlord to write a letter confirming that you have not paid the outstanding debt.

It’s important that it’s in English, it’s even better. Even if it seems a little silly, this confirmation is a vital part of securing a flat.

Remember that Germans are all about security, so they are reliable and pay your time.

3) Salary confirmation (salary)

This confirmation shows you have a fixed income. How to get this document? Your company should be a salary slip for the tax office. Just make a copy of this document. It’s ideal if you can show at least three months or more. If you are unable to pay for the bill, you will have to pay the bill.

4) Bank Statements (bank statements)

Yes, this seems like an intrusion into your privacy. However, it is common that you have to pay!
Most landlords want to see your bank account.rental fee). Amongst other interested parties.

Here you can open a German bank account online.

You may get away with showing bank statements from your bank at home. As a student, you have to give a statement of your account.

5) Documentation of your credit record / history (Schufa self-information)

Normally, a Landlord asks you for your Schufa record. Schufa is a privately held company in Germany that keeps track of people’s debts. As soon as you do not pay rent, or miss out on other invoices, the Schufa company wants to be notified of this. So landlords want to check your Schufa records to make sure he / she gets a tenant who can actually pay his bills. Fair enough, if you think about it.

If you have never lived in Germany before, you will not have a Schufa record yet. Your Schufa records will automatically start once you start using a bank account in Germany, sign contracts etc.

If you do not have a Schufa record yet, all you can do is try to show past bank statements, showcasing a regular income and that you’ve always paid your rent on time. To start your Schufa record you must open a German bank account. You should use this as your main account where you receive your salary and pay most bills.

Do not know if you have a German Schufa record?

In this case I recommend opening an account at MeineSchufa. It costs about 9,95 Euros to find out your Schufa record (Schufa Bonitaetspruefung) plus 3.95 Euros to sign up.
This way you always have access to your Schufa entries. For example, you can find out which institutions are logging entries about you. Make sure you cancel the yearly subscription service, once you sign up. It’s just a way to make more money with you …

Check your German Schufa record online.

6) A guarantor who wants to pay (Guarantor)

If you can not pay, then landlords will ask you to provide a guarantor (citizen), meaning a person that confirms that. Note that this guarantor should be German, but it can be your parents.

You do not have all of these documents?

Then do not panic.

It’s always a good idea to search for a flat in Berlin that’s further away from the center. Here it might be easier to find a flat and a landlord that is less demanding. Once you have lived in a German apartment for 6 months, you will be fine thereafter.

Make sure to get a Rental costs freedom certificate after you have finished the rental contract. By that time you should have a Schufa record, and ideally, have proof of your salary from a German company.

Remember to always pay your rent on time!

This is absolutely crucial! German bank transfers take up to 2 working days. 3 days before it is expected. If you do not pay the time, your landlord can kick you out of the flat (without the notice period!).

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Christina Cherry
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