The struggles of finding a new home are always pretty rough, and Germany comes at the top of the list when we talk about accommodations for students. Germany has 2 insane and extreme versions of apartments which entail furnished, which will be way above your budget definitely and unfurnished, which means LITERALLY UNFURNISHED WITH ZERO AMENITIES. If you are thinking it might give you the basic things like cabinets, closets, beds or light fixtures, you should hang on to this article while we startle you with some real house hunting facts in Germany.
Only Apartments, No Houses!
The list has just begun, take a backseat and read on. Germany has a brutal real estate market, individual houses are exorbitant to afford, also if you are a student you are probably on a budget with a small passive income to earn from (if you have any), the only option you have is to look out for apartments. Since these apartments are pretty small in size, you need to pay a handsome amount of money if you want a bigger space.
Tip: Expect absolutely no options for having any sort of front yard or back yards unless you are willing to pay hefty amounts.
Compromise On Either The Location Or Apartment Size
The only way you can get a spacious apartment is by renting one on the outskirts or less popular areas of the city. Places like Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg are famous for their trendy apartments and high cost of living expense. Keep a broader perspective when you search for accommodation in Germany since you’ll have to leave out on some or the other “must-haves-in-an-accommodation”.
Whacking Security Deposits
Let’s talk money now! The minimum security deposit is equivalent to 2-3 months of the actual rent, sad, is it? Some companies do offer you this amount in the beginning if you have a background of Germany already, but if you are brand new to the place, you will have a rough time figuring out an accommodation with a nominal security deposit. Also, the legal agreements usually can not be cancelled before their end date so your security might go in a burn hole if you have uncertain future plans.
Yes! Architecture in Germany can get pretty uncomfortable for people who are used to good ventilated apartments with gardens and open balconies. The bathrooms have either 1 small window or absolutely no windows even for an exhaust. There are no showers, sink or bath tubs provided by default in a lot of cases, hence you should be prepared to take up the expense for the same.
Ground floor and top floor flats are easier to find
Germans are pretty conservative and private, they banish out the ground floor houses from their search if they are street-facing. This can work in your favour if privacy is not one of your major concerns, also it is a common belief that ground floor flats are more prone to burglary, so you can take your chances. Filter out which areas are safe and have ground floor flats available.
For the top floor attic it becomes pretty humid in summer time and claustrophobic at times which makes them undesirable for a greater population. However, you can get them for cheaper rates if you are fine with the aforementioned conditions.
Alright, this might sound astounding but it can save you a lot of money. Often apartments in Germany do not come with equipped kitchens. You will waste a lot of time searching for accommodations with pre-installed kitchens, and it will cost you more. The best option is to have a small apartment with no default fitted kitchen and then buy your own kitchen. If you intend to stay for a longer period of time you can actually recover the money you spent on installing it first hand by either taking it with you or selling it to the next tenant.
Strict House Rules
Each apartment block has a set of rules called “The Hausordnung”, this entails the rules for keeping pets, bulky automobiles, the “quiet times”, laundry time, barbequing on balconies and communal areas. Germans are pretty strict when it comes to following their rules and regulations, ensure that you check with the landlord beforehand to be clear and concise on the matter.
Make sure that you read your legal agreement carefully since it cannot be terminated early unless on exceptionally extraordinary circumstances. Bring in references from your previous landlords and owners, get it translated into Germany, this will hold more value than your employment letter from a company. Landlords are extremely cautious before taking in a tenant since the German laws protect both the parties equally and therefore it becomes difficult to evict a tenant during their course of stay.
Read your agreement carefully as it might not cover important things such as notice periods, renovations, but these are by default covered under the German law. It is advisable to hire legal services before you sign a lease document since it might contain pitfalls such as increasing rent every year.
Tips: When You Are Looking For Accommodations In Germany
- Seek the permission of your landlord to have pets in the house.
- Stick to the rules and regulations of the apartment block.
- Avoid being loud during 1pm to 3 pm and 10pm to 7am from Mondays through Sundays.
- Have a good security system at your house to be safe from robberies.
- Maintain cleanliness and hygienic conditions of the house.
- Talk to your landlord if you wish to make any changes in the house connections such as installing cable lines, Wi-Fi, kitchens, extra shower or even a tile.
These are some of the struggles that you will be facing while looking for an accommodation in Germany, make sure you follow these tips and find a suitable apartment for yourself in time. To make it easier, make a list of what are the “must-haves” and the “adjustable” needs for you when you look for an apartment, check how relevant and important they are. Mix and match on some compromises and needs, and get a house on a budget that fits your pocket.
Study abroad aspirant & Team Macha Blogger