Monday, July 25, 2011

Renting in Germany

(very pretty houses)
Renting will be our option while in Germany ether by our selves or in a share house situation. You can usually find share houses (Wohngemeinschaften) through websites such as and private rentals.
Real estate agencies (Makler or Immobilienmakler) are good but often you have to put down a bigger deposit or bond.
You can visit the local Housing Office (Wohnungsamt) which offers information on state-run housing associations (Wohnungsgesellschaften) with flats for rent ( A social housing permit is often needed for state-run housing and can be applied for through the local Wohnungsamt)

Most rentals are let unfurnished and empty, without kitchen cupboards and appliances. The size of the property is usually stated in square metres (m²) or/and number of rooms, excluding the kitchen and bathrooms.

Rent (Miete) is paid by tenant (Mieter) to the landlord (Vermieter). A deposit (Kaution) can be legally up to three months rent paid in advance . When lease is up, the deposit as well as any interest earned on the deposit can be given back to tenant.

When looking for rentals there are a few words to look out for:
(German = English meaning)
Altbau = Old building pre-1945
Balkon = Balcony
Kaltmiete = Cold rent (basic rent only with no additional costs included)
Warmmiete = Warm rent (includes additional costs such as water, property tax, chimney sweeping, street cleaning and waste disposal services)
Nebenkosten = Extra costs
Badezimmer = Bathroom
Zentral-/Gaz-/Etageheizung = Central, gas and floor heating

A good article on renting in Germany with more detailed information that has helped me a lot.

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