Could someone tell of things to know/be aware before renting a flat/studio in Germany?

  • Could someone tell of things to know/be aware before renting a flat/studio in Germany?

  • admin

    Renting apartments is much more accepted as a long-term practice in Germany than in the U.S., where homeownership is often perceived as the goal. Because of this, many professionals rent properties for a very long time, making initial lease agreements critical negotiations.

    As with any rental, you should ask about common storage spaces, utility payment, heating costs/types, laundry facilities, recycling, where to store your bike, security deposits, etc. and who is responsible for what.

    In Germany, it is typical for the renter to be responsible for all upgrades and improvements to the property interior. Also, since many buildings are ancient and made of concrete, care must be taken not to hammer or screw into the concrete walls to hang things or cause holes in the wall. This is why separate furniture is often used in old buildings, rather than built-in cabinets.

    After your lease expires or you choose to leave, you will be expected to return the property to its ORIGINAL condition. If you added kitchen cabinets, or cabinet closets, for example, you'd need to have them removed or remove them yourself. Even though you consider these “improvements,” your landlord or rental manager may not. Check with the rental manager to be sure, before beginning any improvements.

    Rents are typically pretty low, compared to other countries, such as the U.S., so don’t expect the kinds of improvements you might see stateside. I’ve seen some tenants pay for exterior window upgrades (to improve heating efficiency), pro-rated per apartment/number of windows, which would save money in the long term.

    Many renters stay for many years, so these issues become paramount.