Having found a place
Before moving in, please take the following into consideration:
Contractual obligations are taken very seriously in Germany. Once you have signed a contract, your landlord expects you to fully comply with the duties. Make sure that you understand all the points of the contract, e.g. are you liable for cleaning the staircase or do you have to renovate the rooms when you move in or out? In case of doubt, it is advisable to have someone to help you understand the contract before you sign it.
All apartments require a security deposit of two to three monthly rents. This amount is to be refunded at the end of the leasing period, if you leave the place in good condition.
Transferring your deposit - watch out!
Be cautious when it comes to transferring deposits.
Please be extremely cautious if:
- You are asked to arrange a payment through Western Union or make another international transfer. This usually means that it is not possible to find those who receive the money.
- The landlord offers to send the keys via mail. This is not a common practice in Germany.
- The landlord does not agree to arrange a viewing of the accommodation.
Only pay the deposit when:
- You have seen the accommodation;
- You have signed the rental contract;
- You have received the keys.
In case you cannot go to a viewing of the accommodation yourself, you could ask a friend or acquaintance to check the offered place for you.
Most of the rooms offered for rent in shared apartments will be unfurnished. Kitchen and common areas will normally be furnished. Furnished rooms are marked as "möbliert".
If you decide to rent an apartment for yourself, please note that most apartments available for rent will be unfurnished as well. Even the kitchen will often not be equipped with appliances like a fridge, etc. unless specifically indicated. Therefore, please always double check what furniture is included.
When you move into your new apartment or room, take a good look around and write down all small damages, if there are any. Have your landlord sign this list. It will be added as an addendum to your rental contract. In this way, when you move out, you will not be held responsible for damages you did not cause. Your landlord can deduct money from your deposit to fix any damages that occurred during your stay.