When moving to Germany, most Expats find a home through a Rental Agency (known as a Makler), to offer guidance and support with rental agreements and the application process. Most agencies will charge a fee of around two months’ rent for their services.
Due to regulations to protect tenants, most rental agreements tend to be very long term (many are let on an indefinite basis). Therefore property owners can feel trepidation about renting to candidates with no rental history in the country or German credit history, so the support of an experienced rental agency can be valuable.
There are two types of rent known as cold (basic rent) and warm (which includes the cost of utilities and any additional services). The average deposit is around three months “cold” rent. Almost all properties are unfurnished (a furnished apartment or house will cost significantly more), however this often means the tenant must provide everything down to light fixtures, kitchen fittings, cabinets and all appliances such as an oven, washing machine etc. There are often second hand kitchens and furniture featured in the classifieds section of local newspapers. For those reluctant to pay high agency fees, most local newspapers also publish the latest rental listings for the local area.
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