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12 Jul. 2023


Renting a house in Germany: all about the search, cost and pitfalls of renting an apartment

For refugees
Cost of living


Renting a house in Germany: all about the search, cost and pitfalls of renting an apartment

Almost everyone looking for housing in Germany faces problems already at the stage of looking at available options. Find out how much it costs to rent an apartment, where to look for apartments, which cities are the best to rent in, and what unexpected additional costs are associated with renting

Issuing a Green Card policy for traveling abroad by car
Issuing a Green Card policy for traveling abroad by car

Renting an apartment in Germany, as in other European countries, can be expensive. Germany is currently hosting more refugees from Ukraine than perhaps any other European country. In some cases, they can live there for free, but this is not always the case.

We tell you how much it costs to rent an apartment in Germany, where to look for housing and what you need to know before starting your search with reference to RBC-Ukraine.

Read about the peculiarities of calling a taxi in Germany here.

Temporary protection status in Germany: benefits and legal advice - more details here.

Deposit for an apartment in Germany

The first thing to keep in mind when renting an apartment in Germany is the mandatory deposit. The landlord uses this deposit to cover any possible damage to the property during your stay.

Usually, the deposit is equal to 1-3 months of rent. For example, if the monthly rent is 1000 euros, the deposit will be from 1000 to 3000 euros.

If you move out, the deposit is returned and credited to your card or bank account, but not immediately, but after a while. Therefore, if you don't have extra money after your departure, it is better to save it in advance. On average, the money is returned no later than 3-6 months after the end of the lease term.

Paragraph 24 for refugees: eligibility for a residence permit for asylum seekers in Germany - details here.

Rental prices in big cities

Historically, renting an apartment in Germany has been much more popular than buying one. Over the past 30 years, 57 percent of all households in Germany have rented. About 43 percent of them are occupied by landlords who have previously bought real estate.

According to the latest data, the average rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment in major German cities are as follows:

● 854 euros for an apartment in the city center;

● 627 euros outside the city center

● 450 euros for a communal apartment.

How to get a residence permit in Germany - step-by-step instructions.

The above are average figures, but in some cases the cost may differ. For example, the cost of renting a 1-room apartment in the six largest cities in Germany:

● Munich: from €1,023 in remote areas to €1,366 in the city center;

● Berlin: from €907 to €1,331;

● Hamburg: from €803 to €1,056;

● Cologne: from 678 to 906 euros.

● Stuttgart: from €787 to €1,278;

● Frankfurt: from €878 to €1,143;

Remember. When renting an apartment, pay attention to whether it is offered by the owner or an intermediary real estate agent. Depending on this, prices may vary.

A few examples of possible options: landlord (Vermieter), previous tenant (Vormieter), manager (Hausverwaltung), real estate agent (Makler), subtenant (Untervermieter), roommate (WG-Bewohner).

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Mandatory additional costs

In addition to rent, you need to pay for utilities (garbage collection, electricity, heating, and water) and taxes on television and radio (Rundfunkbeitrag). The average cost of utilities for an 85-square-meter apartment is 246 euros per month. Also, a tenant in Germany is obliged to sign a contract that costs 35 euros per month.

Every household in Germany has to pay a fee to finance public broadcasting. This fee is charged regardless of whether the household watches German television or listens to German radio. The fee is charged for each dwelling and can be divided among tenants if they live in a joint property. Currently, this fee is 18.36 euros per month.

Apartments in Germany are rented unfurnished

If you are renting an apartment for a few days, it is normal to provide all the necessary furniture. However, if you are renting an apartment in Germany for a long term, it is usually unfurnished. No kitchen, no appliances, no beds - this will come as a shock to those people who are used to renting fully equipped housing. Usually there is a bathroom, but sometimes only a simple shower.

The fact is that most apartments in Germany are rented for a very long time, sometimes for a decade or more. And people who rent are used to living there as if it were their own home and buy kitchens, beds, and sofas and use them for a long time. They often invest more in furniture than the average landlord invests in rent.

Please note! Germany has a well-developed second-hand market. If you follow the classifieds in local communities, you can often buy furniture such as sofas and beds much cheaper than in stores.

In addition, if you are moving into a house in Germany, you can often buy furniture (including kitchens) from tenants before they move out. This is a more practical option than looking for furniture in a furniture store.


Where to look for housing in Germany: a list of websites

These websites make it easy and convenient to find rental housing with all the detailed information and photos, as well as to contact landlords:

● immobilienScout24 - Germany's largest apartment search platform;

● is the second largest housing search platform in Germany. It offers not only real estate agencies but also private properties. The service is free for tenants;

● WG-Gesucht, another site for finding apartments for rent, is the largest source of searching for shared housing on the German market;

● eBay Kleinanzeigen is the German version of sites like Craigslist and Gumtree. There are no real estate agencies here, only individuals;

● - here you can find detailed information about real estate and contact landlords;

We remind you that Germany has a shortage of qualified specialists in various fields. Last year, employers in the country were unable to fill more than 600 thousand vacancies. We told you more about who is being sought for what positions in our previous article.

Our recommendation for a safe and comfortable trip: 

Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;

Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;

Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;

Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;

Visit Ukraine Merch - buy patriotic clothing and accessories with worldwide delivery.

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