Rent a flat in Berlin

The key to a good settlement is to find & rent the perfect flat in Berlin to live in. I would say it’s the first thing you have tick off your list along with finding a decent job. Competition has grown considerably in the past few years as the city has attracted more and more people. It’s not as easy as it used to be. Here are a few tips to stay ahead of the wave.

Rent a flat in Berlin

 

Renting a flat in Berlin : Mission impossible ?

Finding a flat in Berlin has become increasingly difficult the past years due to the general gentrification of many parts of the city. Rents are have also gone up due to the renewal of the city since the beginning of the 1990’s.  So if you have heard it is very easy to find a flat in Berlin, you might be disappointed.

It is however somewhat still easier than in other cities in Europe like Paris or London.

With a little bit of patience (between 2 weeks and 2 months depending on your money/luck/connections) and organization you should be able to find a flat in Berlin. I will only cover here how to find your own flat to rent  in Berlin. If you want more information about finding a roommate or a flat share, please go to the dedicated page this way.

If you somehow have the means to buy your own flat instead, i’ve also made a guide to buy an apartment in Berlin this way, based on my experience.

Hunting the perfect nest

Once you have found the areas you would like to settle in, there a different ways to find the precious gem. There are of course, a few dedicated websites:

Immobilienscout24, Immonet and Immowelt are sites with a lot of serious offers. I’d recommend creating an account on all 3 of them to receive daily updates about offers with your search criteria (search agent).  Some offers are not on one and vice-versa. It’s easy and it’s quite important as it allows to be fast and be the first to reply to new inserts. Speed is key in Berlin.

Speed is key in Berlin

Be aware that most of those websites are offering unfurnished flats in Berlin, so i also made a little guide on the best ways to find furniture in Berlin here too.  Those ads are also using a lot of abbreviations to describe the flat. You can find at the end of this post a little glossary of abbreviations often found on those websites. It might come useful. One more thing: don’t forget the deposit which can be worth 1 to 3 month of rent to pay at once.

As a reference for rent price, here is a map made by ImmobilienScout in 2015 to show the average price depending on the location in the city along the Ubahn-Sbahn lines. It shows the average price of a 30-year-old 70m2 flat, without utilities (kalt-miete).

Click on the picture to zoom-in (opens new tab)

 

As a rule, total costs are structured that way : Rent (Kalt Miete) + Running costs (Nebenkosten) + Utilities (Heizung & Strom).

In some cases, heating costs are included in the running costs when there is central heating in the whole building. Just be sure to include all costs when evaluating an opportunity. Remember that you will also have to open an electricity & gas contract on your own as well. It is usually not done by the landlord.

Blend in and be organized

When you have found the flat in Berlin, the pearl you would like to chase, that’s where the fun begins! If you have just arrived in Berlin, it’s going to be slightly more difficult. Most of landlords are asking this infamous SCHUFA record. However, some of them are happy to give you keys in return of a 2 or 3 months-rent-worth deposit. It is no doubt that you maximize your chance when speaking to them in German as it shows you have been/will be here for a long time. (Commitment powa!)

To be honest, it can be quite hard if you want a flat in the hippest corners of Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain. That’s because EVERYONE wants to move there. In the most wanted areas, it can be become quite intense and some potential tenants don’t hesitate to come to directly with all necessary papers to directly take the flat if they are interested. It might be a good idea to do the same.  It’s also reasonable to expect mass group visits in those areas.

A useful paper that might help your case is a “Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung” (Roughly; free of rent-related debts certificate). It is a paper provided by your former landlord that states your left your tenancy without any debts. If you come from abroad, make one in English with this long German word as a title. It it not guaranteed every landlord will accept it, but it’s better than nothing. Here is one in German for reference.

An alternative strategy might be to find people soon leaving their flat and looking for a Nachmieterto take it over, the new tenant starting a new contract with the landlord.

Think social too

Another tip is to make sure to belong to as many expat related Facebook groups as possible where many offers are published everyday. It may give you access to offers you may never see on other platforms. It’s quite difficult to be refreshing your news feed in the hope of uncovering a gem, but the search function with the right keywords will generate relevant results in those groups too. If you master any other language than English, you can apply the same principle in french, spanish, italian, turkish, polish, etc groups. Some groups to consider:

The golden road to finding a flat in Berlin

Several full-services agencies are also offering fully furnished rentals with an extra fee. They usually don’t make you pay anything until you sign the contract. Then the fee is included in the rent. The rent is higher than average but it does sometimes comes with cleaning & other services. This might a good solution for the first few months of your life in Berlin or if you come only for a short-time for a project or something. This is also a good solution to get around the evil circle of  “no-flat -> no anmeldung -> no bank account -> no-schufa -> no-flat” issue. Landlords don’t require SCHUFA records with those platforms.

They often speak English can make it easier for you if you need a fast solution to find a flat in Berlin. They often don’t require a SCHUFA record (or credit record)

A good solution to get around the evil circle of  “no-flat -> no anmeldung -> no bank account -> no-schufa -> no-flat” issue.

Tip 1 . Do not hesitate to first move in a temporary rental for the time you rent a flat in Berlin, it’s very easy to rent out a room for 2 weeks to some person going on holidays for example. You’ll be then more efficient. You can of course go with AirBnB or consider Wimdu, which is a German competitor to AirBnB.
Update April 2016: Those services are now regulated in Berlin. Hosts now need a license to be able to list their property on those platforms or alternatively, only rent a single room while still having residence at the same address. In any case, the guest can never be fined in case they stay at non-permitted listings. You can still use those services with peace in mind.

Tip 2 : As of October 2015, the owner of the flat has to pay any agency fees when renting out a flat and not the other way around. Good news for tenants.

Tip 3 : You will find that inserts have sometimes strange abbreviations to describe the place. Here is a list of the most common ones.

 

House types

  • Whg (Wohnung) = flat
  • App. (Apartment) = studio
  • DG (Dachgeschoss) = flat located under the roofs
  • WG (Wohngemeinschaft) = well, we explained that there 🙂
  • Maisonette =a flat with 2 floors
  • MFH (Mehrfamilienhaus) = multi-flat building
  • möbl. Zi. (möbliertes Zimmer) = furnished room
  • zur Miete = for rent; z. verm. (zu vermieten) = for rent
  • zum Kauf = for sale

Flat size – Layout

  • Zi (Zimmer) = Room(s), without bathroom & kicthen
  • qm or m2 (Quadratmeter)= square meters
  • ca. (circa) = approximately
  • Wfl. / Wohnfl. (Wohnfläche) = living space
  • Nfl. (Nutzfläche) = usable space
  • SZ (Schlafzimmer) = bedroom
  • Bad (Badzimmer) = bathroom

Rent & Utilities

  • Miete = Rent
  • jährl. (jährlich) = yearly
  • JM (Jahresmiete) = annual rent
  • MP (Mietpreis) = Rent price
  • mtl. (monatlich) = monthly
  • K or Kaut or KT (Kaution) = deposit, 3 MM Kaution =3 months worth of deposit
  • KM (Kaltmiete) = the base rent before nebenkosten
  • WM (Warmmiete) = cold rent plus all additional costs
  • NK (Nebenkosten) = usually water, sewage, trash collection, Hausmeister service, etc.
  • Prov. (Provision) = commission paid to the agent
  • Nachmieter : someone that is looking for a new tenant after him/herself
  • zzgl (zuzüglich) = excluding (internet or electricity for example)
  • incl./inkl. (inklusive) = including

Flat features:

  • EBK (Einbauküche) = kicthen with all necessary items
  • TG (Tiefgarage) = underground garage
  • Bad mit F (Bad mit Fenster) = bathroom with window
  • Parkett =  Hardwood floors
  • Laminat = Fake hardwood floors made with synthetic composites
  • Spülm. (Spülmaschine) = Dishwasher
  • WaMa (Waschmaschine) = Washing machine
  • möbl. (möbliert) = furnished
  • Aufzug = elevator
  • Blk. (Balkon) = balcony
  • Terr. (Terrasse) =Terrace
  • ISO (Isolierverglasung) = insulating glass
  • Kabel (Kabelanschluss) = cable TV – Internet
  • off. Kamin (offener Kamin) = fireplace
  • F-Raum (Fahrradraum) = bike storage room
  • AR (Abstellraum) =  storage room
  • Wanne = bath tub
  • Du  (Dusche) = shower
  • ren.-bed. (renovierungsbedürftig) = needs renovation
  • renovierte = renovated
  • kpl. san (komplet saniert) = totally renovated
  • AB / Altb. (Altbau) = older building (usually before 2nd world war, which is obviously rare in Berlin)
  • NB ( Neubau) =  new construction
  • Bj.  (Baujahr) = year of construction
  • EB  (Erstbezug) = first tenancy after renovation or new build
  • Hell / Helles = light
  • sonniges = sunny
  • mod. (modern) =  modern
  • grosszugig geschnitten = the layout is generous. there is a lot of space

Heating:

  • HZ / Hzg. (Heizung) heating
  • FW (Fermwärme) district heating piped-in from a local heating plant
  • FB-Hzg. (Fußbodenheizung) = ETH (Etagenheizung) = in-floor / radiant heating
  • GZ-Hzg. (Gaszentralheizung) = central gas heating
  • E-Hzg. (Elektroheizung) = electric heating
  • ÖZ-Hzg. (Ölzentralheizung) = central oil heating
  • ZH (Zentralheizung) = central heating

Location:

  • EG (Erdgeschoss) = ground floor
  • 2 OG (2nd Obergeschoss) = Second floor
  • 1. Etage = First floor (i.e., one above ground level)
  • 2. Stock = Second floor
  • UG (Untergeschoss) = basement floor
  • VH (Vorderhaus) = front building
  • HH (Hinterhaus) = back building
  • PLZ (Postleitzahl) = Postal code
  • Seitenstrasse = side street
  • rhg (ruhig) = quiet
  • Uni-Nähe (Universitätsnähe) = near university
  • Umgeb. (Umgebung) = area, neighborhood
  • Verk.-Anb. (Verkehrsanbindung) = access to public transportation
  • Zentrum = city center

Others :

  • NR (Nichtraucher) = non-smokers only
  • WBS erford. (Wohnberechtigungsschein) = subsidized housing only rented to holders of a special permit (WBS)
  • Tiere (Tierhaltung) = pets allowed
  • ab sof. (ab sofort) = sofort frei = available immediately
  • ab. 1 Mai = ab 1.5 = Apartment is available from 1st May
  • bezugsf. (bezugsfrei) = No current tenants in the flat

 

60 Comments

  • Reply Cheila 03/03/2017 at 15:41

    Me and my boyfriend (we’re from Portugual) want to move to Berlin, but we own 2 cats.
    Are landlords OK with pets in Berlin? How difficult would it be to rent an unfurnished 2 bedroom, having 2 cats? (I read in another website that if it’s furnished don’t even try)

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/03/2017 at 17:23

      Hi Cheila. Some landlords are ok with it and some are not. This is usually mentioned in the description of the flat. It’s probably not helping but it’s not impossible.

    • Reply Dima 03/03/2017 at 17:25

      Cats are considered to be a “small pets” here, so you don’t have to notify landlord about them. Dogs are not.

    • Reply donna 04/03/2017 at 11:05

      Hey. Just came across your message. Pets can be an issue. We moved here almost 3 years ago and had to really look to find a place that would allow pets, we have a dog. We’re moving out of our Berlin Mitte apartment end of March. Our landlord doesn’t mind pets. If you are interested we can connect you to him. Details of the apartment are here: https://housing.justlanded.com/nl/Duitsland_Berlijn/Te-Huur_Appartementen/Altbau-Berlin-Mitte

  • Reply Fan Barry 02/11/2016 at 05:55

    This website has been a life saver. Thank you for all of your hard work and updates.

  • Reply Bob 25/10/2016 at 20:41

    Really great article – very helpful info!

    What are the chances of a landlord not providing the necessary rental contract and refusing to fill out the Anmeldesformular / Wohnungsgeberbestätigung IF you rent a place for 3-4 months through Wunderflats or Air B N B? Since the booking /payment are done online, I can ask ahead of time but realize they might not commit to doing this.

    I have similar situation to many newcomers. I plan on arriving at the end of the year and my #1 priority will be to do anmeldung in order to start working, open a bank account and start my schufa file. I am OK to pay extra so that I can get all that done ASAP and it seems Wunderflats or Air B N B are the best options. Please let me know if you feel it’s unlikely that people who use these sites to rent out flats will provide an actual rental contract and fill out the necessary info / forms I need to register. If you have any tips on how to rent a place quickly and get all the necessary info for registration, please do share.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 26/10/2016 at 10:33

      Hi there Bob. Wunderflats is very aware of this problem and they make sure that all the landlords they work with are willing to let you register. It’s all very legit.

  • Reply Maria Edling Andersson 22/10/2016 at 18:03

    Hallo! Me and my friend have just moved to Berlin from Sweden and Norway and we are trying to find a apartment. We are learning german at a language school and later on we are both planing to go to university in Berlin. We have been trying for a couple of weeks to find a apartment that we can rent for a minimum of four months. The things is that we don’t know anything about what one needs to know or have to rent a apartment in Berlin (your blog has been a great help by the way). We have written to a lot of places through immobilienscout24.de, but we don’t get a lot of replies. We went to look at one apartment, but we felt very clueless about what to ask about or what to do. The landlord handed out some papers, but not to us, which probably has to do with us not speaking german. We are aware of both having to registrate our residence in Germany and if we do that then we can get SCHUFA. Do you know if it is okay that only one of us has a SCHUFA or do both of us need it? Is there anything else we need to know?
    Mit freundlichen Grüßen und vielen dank,
    Two confused scandinavians

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 24/10/2016 at 09:42

      Hi Maria. It can be challenging when first moving here and the language barrier does not help. Concerning your SCHUFA record: It’s not such a problem to present only one as long as one of you is the main tenant, with the name on the tenancy contract. If you want both to be on the contract, you will need both. Have you tried services like Wunderflats to rent a flat for the first months to give you time to figure out the long-term bit?

    • Reply Kris George Manimala 25/10/2016 at 11:04

      Hello!

      Please try coming-home.org too. They are super friendly, speaks English and very hassle free. Even the SCHUFA part they will take care. Me and my wife found our apartment via them very recently.

      Good luck!

      Kris

  • Reply João 03/10/2016 at 15:25

    Is is safe to send info about me to offers in those sites before visiting the apartment and meeting the landlord? I’m moving to Berlin mid October and I already have a place for a month. Should I start looking now or is it better to do as soon as I get there so I can visit the places? I’ve been looking for flats already but I’m a bit reluctant to send my id…

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 03/10/2016 at 20:35

      I think you are here soon enough so you want to make sure you will start seeing flats as soon as you get here instead of starting your search then. I don’t know what you mean by your “iD”. Reaching them via email is largely safe if you don’t fall in those traps for example.

  • Reply Ingrid Howard 28/09/2016 at 17:45

    Are the rents shown on your map monthly or weekly?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 28/09/2016 at 17:54

      Monthly.

  • Reply Max Winstanley 11/09/2016 at 15:49

    Hey, I move to Berlin next Sunday to study a one year course in Friedrichshain. Do you have any advice for me in regards to finding apartments. Cheers

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 12/09/2016 at 09:46

      Hi there Max. What advice in particular are you looking for that is not on this page already? (It would help me improve this article)

  • Reply Josephine 28/08/2016 at 11:19

    Hi there,

    I’m currently searching for an apartment for my daughter who will start studying in Berlin, I got confused about some stuff like the Schufa what is it exactly and is it a must that we get it?? how much shall we pay for the apartment in advance a month or 2?? what are the hidden costs of the rent?

    Thanks so much for your help

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 29/08/2016 at 09:29

      Hello Josephine. Here are links to other posts of this blog that should help : About SCHUFA, About rent. You need not pay for the apartment in advance, unless that is the deposit. Paying in advance is something that can be recommended if you don’t a SCHUFA record yet. Happy reading! 🙂

  • Reply Anne 14/08/2016 at 10:35

    Hi there – thanks so much for this website. It is really helpful, but also makes me realise how clueless I am and how much i need to do. I have just moved to Berlin to study and will be going between here and UK, but will mostly be resident here. I am lucky enough to have some savings and so have booked 2 places through air b and b, one up to 1st October and then another place from October to February. I read all the stuff about air b and b becoming illegal and was a bit worried but both the hosts assured me that as this is longer term rental it is ok. I need to register and am a bit worried about turning up and saying i am in air b and b apartment. Do you know anything about rules for longer term rentals with air b and b? I have read various articles and all i can see is that renting whole apartments is now illegal and have seen nothing about this not applying for longer term.

    I can see on the air b and b website that apartments in Berlin now seem to be available for minimum 60 days.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/08/2016 at 18:18

      Renting a flat out on Airbnb is NEVER illegal for guests. That’s what the law says. It is only illegal for hosts if they haven’t applied for a license with the city. So even if your hosts were lying to you, you are on the safe side of the law. In any case, i doubt the Bürgeramt will have access to that kind of information. You can register safely.

  • Reply Stephen Robertson 13/08/2016 at 18:21

    A very very open question and without a definitive answer… but I am wondering how much I should roughly look to set a side each month for rent, running cost and utilities. I’m looking to move into my own place so only need one bedroom and the only furnished part i would need is a fitted kitchen and a bathroom. I have a net income of just over 2000 euros. Any guidance? any help is really appreciated.

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 14/08/2016 at 18:13

      Hi Stephen. It depends on too many things man; location, size, altbau/neubau, central heating or not, etc. It’s really quite difficult to say. Your best bet is to look on sites like ImmobilienScout or Immonet and enter your criteria there to get an idea.

      • Reply Stephen Robertson 15/08/2016 at 17:46

        I knew it was too open a question haha, just so many things going on in my head but i appreciate the reply and the advice. Thanks, Stephen

        • Reply AKINSHINA 08/09/2016 at 17:54

          Hi Stephen,
          i see your query dates back Aug 2016.
          i have exactly the same criteria! Was wondering if you managed to find the pearl..
          did the recommended sites ImmobilienScout or Immonet help?

          thank you!
          jenia

      • Reply Ram 18/02/2017 at 11:09

        Hi Stephen,

        I am also in exactly same criteria. Did you find anything? Please help to find out..

        Thanks
        Ram

  • Reply Minouka 12/08/2016 at 22:47

    Dear Settle in Berlin,

    Thank you so much for this website, it has really helped a lot!
    I have a question: My girlfriend and I are currently looking for a small apartment for two. We have already had a “Besichtigung” and contacted at least 20 Immobielen. I speak German, so language is not a barrier but cultural difference kind of is. It is still very difficult for us to get many responses because we do not have settled jobs yet and owners seem to prefer people of older age. Furthermore, we don’t have Schufa because we are coming from the Netherlands, etc. Do you have any tips for us?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 13/08/2016 at 17:10

      This is a familiar situation for newcomers. The best tip i can give you is quite common as well; try to look for Zwischenmiete or WGs which would let you register at an adress for a few months, just the time you need to do the anmeldung, open a bank account and a schufa record. Once you are more settled and have whole of that, you can look for something more permanent. It’s even trickier as a couple. So good luck guys ! 🙂

  • Reply Katerina K. 12/08/2016 at 12:51

    Hello I found this apartment: http://berlin.craigslist.de/apa/5706179840.html
    And the owner asks me this: “make transfer of the security deposit and the rent fee from your country with your friends or relative s name as the sender and your name as the receiver which will make the transfer available to receive by you in Germany which a confirmation will be made on the transfer done to check if he or she is capable of paying the rent before arranging for a viewing or to retain the flat till your arrival and also stop other people from viewing the flat and to be sure that after seeing my flat on your arrival i ll get paid after because i wont afford to come in vain or come twice on basis of the rent.”
    [the rest edited here by SiB since it was long for a comment]

    Can you give me your opinion?

    • Reply Bastien - Settle in Berlin 12/08/2016 at 14:06

      Clearly scam. Stay away from it.

  • Reply Lynn 28/07/2016 at 09:45

    I’ve been looking for an apartment. Would prefer an apartment in a new building, with modern layout and fittings and hopefully is efficient on energy consumption. Not quite a fan of altbaus or walk ups. Is there a website which searches only on those criterias? Any tips would be helpful!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 28/07/2016 at 16:15

      I don’t think there is a website only focused on those criteria, but you can tick off boxes to filter existing results on Immoscout or other similar websites.
      Once you have entered your preferred location and size, click on the “Suche anpassen” option and type in your preferred “Baujahr” (construction year) to avoid Altbaus and pick your preferred “Energieeffizienzklasse” for energy efficient flats. Hope this helps.

  • Reply EVY VELASQUEZ 13/07/2016 at 08:59

    HI,I AM ALREADY IN BERLIN . I AM GETTING CRACY BECAUSE I CAN NOT RENT A ROOM BECAUSE EVERYBODY ASK ME FOR A BANK ACCOUNT . BUT I NEED AN ADDRESS TO OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT.
    I BEEN CHECKING AND APPLYING IN MANY WEB SITES TO RENT A ROOM.
    ONE GUY ANSWER MY EMAIL, AND WHEN I TOLD HIM THAT I DI NOT HAVE A BANK ACCOUNT HE SAID I COULD TRANSFER ONE MONTH RENT +THE DEPOSIT TO HIS FATHER WHO LIVES IN LONDON, BY ONE MONEY TRANSFER COMPANY,
    HE DI NOT LET ME GO TO SEE THE ROOM AND ALSO HE DI NOT GIVE ME HIS PHONE NUMBER TO CALL AND TALK. HE JUST SEND ME PICS AND THE ADDRESS AND IT REALLY LOKS GREAT AND CHEAP. (Budapester Strasse 20, 10787 WAS THE ADDRESS AND IT WILL COST ME 300 INCLUDING EXPENSAS)
    I THINK IT WAS A SCAM OR AM I WRONG?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 14/07/2016 at 22:17

      Probably spam. Do not reply. Also, please never write all CAPS when commenting. It’s visual abuse. 😉 No need to “Yell” at people.

  • Reply Zeeshan Mushtaq 02/07/2016 at 13:10

    Hi, I am moving to Berlin for studies. I am looking for the apartment in Berlin online. I met a landlord via one of the facebook pages. She has send the apartment images, it looks nice and is located in Kreuzberg, 10963 Berlin Kreuzberg Hedemannstrasse 7. Now the landlord wants me to transfer deposit and first month rent to her account. She has send me contract and scan copy of her passport as proof of identity. But she is not currently in Berlin.

    Could you please suggest in this regard. I would be highly grateful.

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 04/07/2016 at 00:16

      Go away. This is clearly scam.

    • Reply wary_renter 07/07/2016 at 11:46

      Hello,
      I am in contact with the same “Landlord”, I think it is a scam as I have been in contact with her since the 3rd of July, and you just one day before. I have also received the contract and photos that you have likely received. This was very helpful to see.

  • Reply Sarah 18/04/2016 at 19:07

    Hello! Thanks for your useful blog. I saw this on craiglist, do you think its a scam? http://berlin.craigslist.de/apa/5483200340.html
    I contacted the tenant who says I can visit the flat but talks of going to the UK which is why he is looking for someone and he’s phone is uk number. What do you think? Thanks! S

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 18/04/2016 at 21:08

      Perfect pictures that look too perfect + someone who is not on location + really cheap rent = looks dodgy.

      • Reply Sarah 19/04/2016 at 13:49

        Thanks for your response! Shame it looked ideal!!!!

      • Reply Sarah 24/04/2016 at 00:25

        Hi there! Me again! is 13597 Berlin Spandau far away from the city centre or is it ok? Is it a nice area? Thank you so much! S

        • Reply settle_in_Berlin 24/04/2016 at 10:20

          City centre is quite relative in Berlin: Mitte is the geographical center of the city but by not necessarily the most attractive/interesting. I guess it depends where you work/study. If you work/study within the Ring, you shouldn’t be commuting more than 30min really.

  • Reply Dima 25/02/2016 at 11:35

    Thanks for very useful article. Ithink it would be nice, if you mention, which sites have English version. For guys like me, who doesn’t know German.

  • Reply Emma 07/02/2016 at 13:24

    Hello there!

    I would like to ask your opinion about getting the Anmeldung…
    Me and my boyfriend have been in Berlin fro 6 months, moving from one WG to another,
    and we finally just found a more permanent place.

    However, we are subletting this one too from the tenants, and even though the Agency who owns
    the flat knows about us and said it was no problem to stay here, they refused to sign the papers
    for our Anmeldung. (I’m sure you know, you have to have a signiture from the landlord / Agency directly,
    and then take that form to the Burgeramt where they register you under the address.

    So, my question… is there any way, any hope to get a German bank account / tax number without having an Anmeldung?
    Please let me know if you know any information about this, thank you very much!
    🙂

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 07/02/2016 at 16:32

      No, you need to have done the anmeldung to be able to do any other administrative task. Insist with them, they simply cannot refuse to sign those papers, even as a subtenant. If they don’t want to, there might be something dodgy. If the flat’s rent is subsidized by the city for example & no subtenant is allowed, they might be trying to get away with it.

  • Reply CINDY 18/01/2016 at 23:44

    Hi, one thing that isn’t mentioned: what about one has no debt, can show proof of savings, can pay upfront a really big deposit and has records of having paid the rent on time for years, but one doesn’t have a job (yet)? Can you suggest any papers or guarantees from another person that could allay the fears of potential landlords?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 19/01/2016 at 10:58

      I think i mentioned replying to one of the comments somewhere. In a nutshell, you can try to gather evidence of your good records and it might work, but probably a lot of landlords don’t want to bother with anything else but Schufa records. So if you can, get a paper from your previous landlord saying that you left the tenancy without debt, in german it’s called Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung, that might work. http://www.immonet.de/umzug/wissenswertes-rechtliches-mietrecht-mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung.html

  • Reply Hannes 03/11/2015 at 19:32

    Thanks for the information, very helpful! I tried to look for some temporary accommodation through your listed agencies, but they were all quite expensive.
    I ended up renting a cool flat in Neukölln through a website called nestpick which a friend from Paris recommended.

    I rented it out through them for 2 months to look for a new one from one of the other websites, but eventually ended up just staying there until now :D. Price is alright so I don’t mind, but definitely recommendable when you look for a temporary flat (or in my case a longer one) so I would include that one in the list (however you also have to look quite a lot to find a affordable place there).

    Worth noting is also that I experienced 2 scams via Wg-gesucht, where someone wanted me to transfer the rent before even moving in, so watch out for scammers people!

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 04/11/2015 at 10:00

      Nestpick is a great service that make it easy to find flats to foreigners and i did contemplate mentionning them in this post but given their really high prices compared to market average i decided to go against it. I guess if you have that kind of money, why not ?

      • Reply Hannes 04/11/2015 at 13:50

        True that, most of their flats are priced quite high similar to those short term agencies like coming home where I looked, but I found mine there for 410€ per month which I think is not bad for a 1,5 Bedroom in Kreuzkölln. I have to say the furniture is not that great but the bed is quite large so I can live with it :). They should include more unfurnished flats! I saw a couple of those 2 weeks ago when scrolling through their website, but they were gone for a year straight away… Anyway thanks for the help on your blog, it is very helpful!

        • Reply settle_in_Berlin 05/11/2015 at 11:15

          Cool. Thanks for that feedback.

  • Reply Jacintha 08/10/2015 at 15:35

    Hey,
    Concerning the Schufa-record, it seems to me that they should as well accept a proof of you having no debts obtainend in your own country right?
    At least I hope so -_-!

    Any information on that?

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 08/10/2015 at 18:23

      I’m not sure it would work with every landlord, but worth inserting in your application i guess.

  • Reply Marta Padrão 01/09/2015 at 16:54

    Hello,
    My name is Marta Padrão, a 23-year-old girl from Portugal. I study Architecture in FAUP (Oporto) and I’m moving to Berlin in an exchange programme – ERASMUS – to TU Berlin with a friend that is also architecture student. We arrive on 31st August and we are looking for 2 rooms with furniture in a shared flat starting beginning of September until the end of March. We prefer central area but we don’t really care as long as there’s public transportation near by. We are honest, social people and we would like to share a flat with nice people. I’m learning German and Diogo is fluent but we also speak Portuguese, English and Spanish. In case you got something available, I’d be extremely thankful you contact me at my e-mail address: [email protected].

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Marta

  • Reply Evgenia 01/10/2014 at 14:09

    Hello! Please tell me can you help me find apartment in Berlin with 2 bedrooms, fro 2 adults and 1 child

    from 11-25 october?

    thank you and will wait the answer

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 03/10/2014 at 10:36

      Hi Evgenia, thanks for your message. Unfortunately i cannot help you as i receive too many requests like those to fullfill them all. You are on your own. Hope you understand. 🙂

  • Reply ken 09/02/2014 at 15:29

    It scary to think that it’s going to be difficult to find an apartment to live or to rent in berlin. I used to live in berlin before my family and I moved to the UK, and that was good seven years ago, but as time went by my wife grew a lot more home sick, and now we are left with no other choice but to return home. The idea is kinda overwhelming especially for the kids who have knows none other that UK living. Now reading about all the possible difficulties one could encounter in the process of searching for a flat to rent makes it even more thrilling and nerve recking. Can anyone reassure me that all will be well when we eventually come back?.

  • Reply ken 09/02/2014 at 15:12

    It scart to think that it’s going to be difficult to find a place flat or an apartment to Gent in berlin. I user to live in berlin before my family and I lover to the UK and that was food seven testa ago, bit as time went by, my wife in particuar grew a lot more home sick, and now we are left with no choice but to return home which i must say is quite overwhelming for everyone and especially for the kids. Reading all about the difficulties encounted in searching for a flat to rent makes it even more thrilling. Can any reassure me that all will be good when we eventually come back?

  • Reply katarina 21/09/2013 at 00:13

    do they ever consider a fact that some people just arrived to Germany and obviously, have no any credit check records ? is it quiet difficult to go through this? i mean, get a flat to rent ? thank you.

    • Reply settle_in_Berlin 23/09/2013 at 12:37

      In my experience, checking Schufa records is not something that every landlord does yet. I don’t think it will decrease your chances so much. Just try somewhere else if your first attempts don’t work out.

  • Reply Cat 23/01/2013 at 21:36

    Nice overview, helped me a lot to get started!

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