If you intend to settle in Germany, you will probably have queries on the types of accommodation available and on rent prices. Here are some tips to guide you.
Finding accommodation in Germany is not easy because of expensive prices and restrictive renting conditions (payment of several months' rent deposit in advance, restrictive legislations, many supporting documents to provide etc.)
In general, rents' prices vary according to the region, city or neighborhood in which you choose to settle. In Bavaria, for example, prices are much more expensive than elsewhere in Germany and as far as the rental market in concerned, Munich and Dachau are deemed to be the most expensive cities in Germany. By contrast, rents' prices in Berlin and eastern Germany are much more affordable.
To start searching for accommodation in Germany, visit real-estate agencies online or on site, consult real-estate sections in newspapers, especially in weekend supplements of major German newspapers. If you are looking for a flat to share ("Wohngemeinschaft" or "WG"), many dedicated websites are also available on the web.
German apartments are usually unfurnished and often very poorly equipped. The rent, payable on a monthly basis, generally does not include gas or electricity. However, it may include water, heating and maintenance fees. Note that in Germany, waste separation for recycling purposes is mandatory. Everything must be clearly stated in your rental agreement in any case.
In general, there are no fixed-term leases in Germany, though a minimum period of occupation of one or two years may be required. Termination notice is of three months. Fixed-term leases are possible resulting in more expensive monthly rents. In case your rental agreement requires from you a minimum period of occupation but you have to leave Germany before term, you will legally be bound to your lease until the minimum occupation period ends. In other words, you will have to pay rents and maintenance fees until termination of the required minimum period term.
Once you have found accommodation in Germany, a three months' rent deposit is generally required. The landlord may also require from you financial statements as well as proof of employment. Make sure that an inventory is done, and if not, make an inventory list as exhaustive as possible, especially if the accommodation is furnished.
Remember to submit the "anmeldeformular" to your landlord in order to file your residency certificate application!
For more information about rental agreements in Germany, visit the Deutscher Mieterbund (German rental board) website.
Expat.com - Accommodation offers
Scout24 - real-estate www.immobilienscout24.de
Immonet.de - real-estate mieten.immonet.de
WG Gesucht - flat-sharing www.wg-gesucht.de
At Home www.athome.de
Deutscher Mieterbund - German rental board www.mieterbund.de