Ten things to know before renting an apartment in Germany
1. The German rental market is competitive, so be prepared to search for the perfect place. There is no statutory minimum rental contract in Germany, which means that landlords are not required to offer a minimum lease term.
However, it's essential to remember that most landlords will need a minimum lease term of 6 or 12 months. If you're looking for a shorter-term rental agreement, it's best to inquire with the landlord about their policy before signing the lease.
2. In addition to a competitive rental market, housing in Germany are also subject to a "cold rent" (Kaltmiete) and a "warm rent" (Warmmiete). The "cold rent" is the base price of the apartment and the "warm rent" is the total monthly rent which includes the cost of utilities and other fees (Nebenkosten).
The Warmmiete is the closest to the total price of the rent, as it may also include internet, laundry services, and housekeeping. However, before signing the lease, make sure to know what comprises the fees, so you don’t have any surprises at the end of the month.
3. Before signing a lease, it's essential to ask your landlord about any house rules or rental laws specific to Germany. For instance, in many cases, landlords may expect tenants to pay rent on time each month, or they may charge an extra fee for late payments. Additionally, house rules may vary from place to place, so it's important to inquire about quiet hours, guest policies, and pet regulations before signing the lease.