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Accommodation in Germany

Germany, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and excellent educational and professional opportunities, attracts people from all over the world. However, amid the excitement of moving to this dynamic country, finding suitable accommodation can present a significant challenge. From understanding the rental process to knowing your rights as a tenant, there are numerous challenges to overcome. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the common challenges encountered when seeking accommodation in Germany, covering various types of housing, average rental costs, the rental process, legal considerations, and more.

Types of Accommodation:

 In Germany, you can find various types of accommodation, including:

  1. Apartments (Wohnung): These are the most common form of housing, ranging from single-room studios to multi-room apartments.
  2. Shared Apartments (WG – Wohngemeinschaften): Shared apartments are popular among students and young professionals, where multiple individuals share the rent and living space.
  3. Houses (Haus): Houses are less common in urban areas but can be found in suburban or rural areas.
  4. Temporary Accommodation: Temporary options like serviced apartments or short-term rentals are available for those who need a place to stay while searching for permanent housing.

Big city? Expect higher rents! But don’t worry, many companies offer assistance in finding affordable housing.

Average Rental Costs:

Rental costs vary significantly depending on the location, type of accommodation, and amenities provided. Here’s a general overview of average monthly rents in some major German cities:

City Average Rent (per month)
Berlin €800 – €1,200
Munich €1,000 – €1,500
Hamburg €900 – €1,300
Frankfurt €900 – €1,400
Cologne €800 – €1,200
Stuttgart €800 – €1,300


In smaller cities or towns in Germany, rental prices tend to be lower compared to larger metropolitan areas like Berlin, Munich, or Frankfurt. This is because demand for housing is often lower in smaller cities, leading to more affordable rental rates. Additionally, the cost of living in general can be lower in smaller cities, which can also contribute to lower rental prices.

Rental Process:

The rental process in Germany typically involves the following steps:

  1. Searching for Accommodation: Use online platforms, newspapers, or real estate agents to find available properties.
  2. Viewing Properties: Attend viewings to inspect the property and assess its suitability.
  3. Application: Submit an application with necessary documents, such as proof of income and references.
  4. Signing the Rental Contract: Once approved, sign the rental contract and pay the deposit and first month’s rent.
  5. Moving In: Arrange the move-in date and receive the keys to the property.

How to Rent

Estate agents or online portals? You’ve got options! While estate agents can be convenient, online portals like Immobilienscout24 or offer a wide selection without hefty fees.

Some reputable real estate companies in Germany include:

  1. Deutsche Wohnen
  2. Vonovia
  3. LEG Immobilien
  4. TAG Immobilien

These companies manage a range of properties and offer professional services to tenants.

Finding accommodation in Germany can be challenging, but with thorough research, understanding of the rental process, and awareness of your rights, you can navigate the housing market successfully.

Rental contracts

Rental contracts in Germany typically include various clauses and terms that outline the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant. Here are some common inclusions:

  1. Identification of Parties: The contract should clearly state the names and addresses of both the landlord and the tenant.
  2. Description of Property: The rental property should be described in detail, including its address, size, and any specific features or amenities.
  3. Duration of Lease: The start date and duration of the lease should be specified, including whether it is a fixed-term lease or a periodic lease.
  4. Rent Amount and Payment Terms: The monthly rent amount should be clearly stated, along with the due date for payment and any acceptable payment methods.
  5. Security Deposit: Details regarding the amount of the security deposit, how it will be held, and the conditions for its return should be outlined.
  6. Maintenance Responsibilities: The contract should specify which party is responsible for maintenance and repairs of the property and its fixtures.
  7. Utilities and Additional Costs: Any additional costs such as utilities, maintenance fees, or property taxes should be clearly defined.
  8. Usage Restrictions: Any restrictions on how the property can be used, such as prohibitions on subletting or operating a business from the premises, should be included.
  9. Termination Terms: The conditions under which the lease can be terminated by either party, including notice periods and any penalties or fees for early termination, should be specified.
  10. Renewal Terms: If applicable, the process and terms for renewing the lease should be outlined.
  11. Insurance Requirements: Any requirements for tenant insurance or liability insurance should be mentioned.
  12. Pets Policy: If pets are allowed or prohibited, this should be clearly stated.
  13. Furnished or Unfurnished: If the property is rented furnished, a list of included furnishings and their condition should be provided.
  14. Legal Requirements: The contract should comply with all relevant laws and regulations governing rental agreements in Germany.

It’s essential for both parties to thoroughly review the contract before signing and seek legal advice if needed to ensure that their rights and obligations are clearly understood and protected.

Tenant Rights:

 German tenants enjoy robust rights, including protection against unjustified rent increases, eviction without cause, and discrimination. Tenants have the right to a habitable living space, privacy, and reimbursement for necessary repairs.

Legal and Illegal Renting:

 It’s essential to be aware of legal renting practices to avoid scams or disputes. Renting from reputable real estate companies or private landlords with proper documentation ensures legal compliance. Illegal renting, such as subletting without permission or renting unregistered properties, can lead to legal consequences.

Official Rental/Subletting Processes:

Official rental processes involve signing a rental contract (Mietvertrag) with the landlord, which outlines the terms and conditions of the tenancy. Subletting (Untervermietung) requires permission from the landlord and may involve additional agreements.

Options with or without Registration:

Registering your address (Anmeldung) with the local authorities is mandatory for all residents in Germany. Renting without proper registration can lead to fines or legal issues. Ensure that your rental agreement includes the address for registration purposes.

Cost of living in Germany

The cost of living in Germany can vary depending on the city or region you reside in, your lifestyle choices, and individual circumstances. Generally, Germany is considered to have a moderate cost of living compared to other Western European countries. Here’s an overview of typical expenses in Germany:

  1. Accommodation: Rent is one of the significant expenses in Germany. The cost varies greatly depending on the city, with larger cities like Munich, Frankfurt, and Hamburg having higher rents compared to smaller cities or rural areas. On average, you can expect to pay between €600 to €1,200 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center, while outside the city center, the cost may range from €400 to €900 per month.
  2. Food: Grocery expenses can vary based on where you shop and your dietary preferences. On average, a single person can expect to spend around €200 to €300 per month on groceries. Dining out at restaurants can be more expensive, with a meal at a mid-range restaurant costing around €10 to €15.
  3. Transportation: Germany has an efficient public transportation system, including trains, trams, buses, and subways. Monthly transportation passes vary depending on the city but generally range from €60 to €100. Additionally, owning a car comes with expenses such as fuel, insurance, and maintenance.
  4. Healthcare: Health insurance is mandatory in Germany, with contributions split between employers and employees. The cost of health insurance can vary depending on your income and the type of coverage you choose. On average, expect to pay around 7-8% of your gross income for health insurance.
  5. Utilities: Utility costs, including electricity, heating, water, and garbage, vary depending on the size of your accommodation and your consumption habits. On average, utility costs can range from €150 to €300 per month.
  6. Miscellaneous: Other expenses may include communication (internet, phone), entertainment, clothing, and personal care items. Budgeting around €100 to €200 per month for miscellaneous expenses is reasonable.

Keep in mind that these are average estimates, and your actual expenses may vary. It’s essential to research specific costs in the area you plan to live and to create a budget based on your individual needs and circumstances.

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