The biggest obstacle and challenge for newcomers to any German city is finding an apartment. In this text, we will describe what is important to find a cheap furnished apartment in Germany, more precisely in Berlin. Take a look at our 6 tips on how to find an affordable furnished apartment in Berlin.
Renting An Apartment in Germany: A Difficult Mission
One of the most difficult things you have to do when you arrive in Germany is to rent an apartment. To someone who has not lived abroad, this must sound strange. Because what can be so complicated about that? You respond to the ad and look at the apartment. If you happen to like it, you make a deposit, pay the rent for the first month – and you can move in. Yes, that’s how things work in other places, but not in Germany. In Germany, that includes a little more complex procedure. And we have to say, a much harder one.
A Demand Bigger Than The Offer
First of all, the demand for apartments in big cities, especially Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, etc. – is bigger than the offer. This means that for one apartment, especially if it is in a more attractive part of the city – 30 or more interested people appear in the sightseeing period. Secondly, in Germany, for various historical and economic reasons, most people, about 60% of them, do not own real estate – but rent an apartment.
Can You Find An Apartment In Berlin?
Let us give you a few words of encouragement. Namely, a cheap, furnished apartment for rent is not easy to find – but it is far from impossible. Many people have already been in that situation, and today none of them are homeless. Some were lucky and found the apartment quickly, some struggled a bit – but whoever sincerely searched and tried, in the end, found what suited him. So just embark on this adventure bravely and decisively.
Why Is It Hard to Find an Apartment in Berlin?
Two main reasons make the search for an apartment more difficult: Lack of supply and the amount of rent. The lack of supply is easy to understand – Berlin as a city is growing at a rapid pace, and construction simply cannot keep up. The amount of rent is a painful item for those who previously lived in a rented apartment, and especially for those who have never paid rent. It is not easy to get used to the fact that you suddenly give half the salary just for housing. However, this is a completely normal thing here, and the sooner you get used to it, the better.
Does The Law Regulate The Status Of The Parties In The Lease?
Due to the large number of people who rent apartments, the law governing the relationship between landlords and tenants is very detailed. In some parts, the law is even restrictive towards landlords. For example, a landlord can terminate a rental agreement only if he or one of his immediate family members will live in it. However, they must prove that for a fact. That can also happen in case of some serious problems that the tenant is making, or if he doesn’t pay the rent regularly – but then it goes to court, so it takes a year and a half until the actual eviction. This means that landlords in Berlin are quite careful when concluding a rental agreement.
Tips For Finding An Apartment in Berlin
How to start the search for an apartment? There are several dozen real estate sites, most dailies have either their sites or collaboration/integration with major ad platforms. You can see more about cheap furnished apartments in Berlin on this link, but you can also use other web places that are dealing with real estate leasing. You can find apartments and houses for rent and sale. There are also special sites where apartments are advertised for time-limited, that is, short-term rent. This can be useful if you are unable to find an apartment in a short period as a temporary solution or for a start until you manage.
1. Rent And What Is Meant?
We all know what rent is, do we? However, the total amount of rent consists of several elements:
● Kaltmiete (Cold rental)
This is the actual rental amount. The amount of money the owner wants for his property. Most owners are guided by the average price per square meter of that settlement (ortsüblichen Mietpreisspiegel).
● Warmmiete (Warm rental)
Kaltmiete + additional costs (Nebenkosten). Hot water, heating, garbage collection, cleaning of stairs and driveways, insurance, chimney sweep, etc. – are things you can’t do without. They make the so-called. Nebenkosten and the sum of Nebenkosten and Kaltmiete is the amount that is usually meant when we talk about the rental price.
● Parking Or Garage
Also, an additional item on the rental amount if you decide to rent one or the other.
Another thing worth noting: When we talk about a two-bedroom apartment in Germany, we mean an apartment that has 1 living room and 1 bedroom. The living room counts as a room. The three-bedroom apartment has 2 bedrooms and a living room, etc.
2. Sightseeing Apartments For Rent
When you find an apartment in Berlin that suits you in terms of location and price – send an inquiry to the agent. Then, you can make an appointment for a tour – or make an appointment for an already announced date. Sightseeing of apartments is often on weekdays before noon – that is. during working hours, During the tour, in addition to the agent, there are sometimes current tenants – so this is a good opportunity to inquire about some details that are not listed in the ad.
3. You Need To Choose The Right Apartment And The Right Landlord
As soon as you see an ad that suits you, it is recommended that you pick up the phone and call. If language skills are an issue, seek help from someone who knows German to call on your behalf and help you. It pays to ask for help here because coming to see the apartment and not being able to talk to the owner, write a request, or make a phone call is pretty bad.
4. Fill Out The Selbstauskunft
What is Selbstauskunft? It is a simple document that lists your personal information and in most cases your economic and housing situation. We most often come across the term Selbstauskunft in search of an apartment. With this document, the landlord wants to be informed about your marital status, ability to pay, and to see possible problems or legal cases against you. Questions about your private plans, how many children you plan to have, and the like, about religion, party affiliation, sexual orientation, nationality, health status, and other private issues for which the landlord has no legitimate interest are not allowed by law.
5. You Must Give Accurate Information To Your Landlord
If the landlord realizes that you have provided false information, the chance of getting an apartment is minimized. And if he realizes that after signing the contract – there is a possibility that he will terminate the lease agreement without a notice period. Therefore, you must provide your potential landlord with accurate information.
As with everything else, it pays to be a good negotiator. A few tips about it:
● Be Honest, But Play Smart
What would you like to hear from someone who comes to see your apartment? Do not mention the money, or agree to the rent or not – because the possibility of bargaining is very small. Don’t be surprised when you are told that you have to pay 3 “cold” rentals in advance for a deposit.
● Be Authentic
The worst thing is to realize that the person is acting or covering something up. We are all human beings – and we are looking for an apartment because we need our accommodation. There is nothing wrong with telling your own story, your anecdotes – or to have a little “small talk” with the owner. It is important to tell your story authentically, try to connect emotionally with the interlocutor – and leave a positive and honest impression.
● Be Prepared Not To Get An Apartment
I want this apartment, but it is not the last in the world. If we set ourselves up like that from the beginning, you will be more relaxed and everything will go easier.
We hope that these tips will help you find a cheap furnished apartment in Berlin as easily as possible. The quest is now before you. We wish you good luck.