German Language Blog

Renting an Apartment in Germany Part 2 Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Uncategorized


After having a great response from my last post (which you can find here), I’ve decided to write another one on this topic. In this post I’ll go more into detail what happens when you find a flat, and what you can expect in the contract.


Photo by jvoss on Flickr. (CC BY SA-2.0)

My own experience finding an apartment in Munich

If you’re looking for a place in a big city, you have to act very quickly. When my boyfriend and I found the right apartment we filled out the form (along with photocopies of our passport/ID – I suggest making a few photocopies of them so you always have them ready) and sent it on the same evening we had the viewing. We did it straight away as the deadline for applying for the flat was the next day anyway! The next day we got a call saying we got the flat and a week or two later we met up with the Estate Agent to sign the contract and to pay die Provision.

die Provision

The Comission

If you do find a flat that has Provision, it means you have to pay extra for the Estate Agent. How much you have to pay varies as to where you are living, cities like Berlin, Cologne and Munich are so popular that the Estate Agent fee is higher. For our flat in Munich we paid two months Kaltmiete (“cold rent”) and 19% tax, which totalled to over 1000 euros just for the Provision!

Update: As of June 2015, the person who hires the Estate Agent has to pay the provision! This means if the Landlord hired an Estate Agent you wouldn’t have to pay the Provision – the Landlord would.  This is a new law that helps protect the Renter. You would only have to pay if you personally hire an Estate Agent yourself.

die Kaution

The Deposit

You will always have to put down a deposit on a flat. You get this back when you move out if there is no damage to the flat. The usual deposit is three months Kaltmiete. This is your rent without any Betriebskosten (utility bills). See my other post to see further details on the utility bills. You usually pay this to your landlord on the day you move in.


House rules

These come with your contract, they are just a list of what they expect you to do and not to do, for example whether you can have Haustiere (pets) or if you have to clean das Treppenhaus (the stairwell) and so on.

Hausordnung (click to enlarge!). Own photo

der Staffelmietvertrag

Literally translates to: Relay Rental Contract

For this type of contract, you agree that your rent increases as you live there. The Landlord isn’t allowed to increase the rent within the first year you live there, and they have to say in the contract when the rent will be increased and by how much. For example every year your rent will be increased by 3%.

Moving out of your flat

If you are living in a flat and decide to move out, you usually have to give drei Monate Kündigungsfrist (three months notice). This means from the time you officially say you are moving out, you will still have to pay for the next three months, whether you are living there or not! As we moved into our new apartment a month after of signing the contract, I found an Untermieter (sub tenant) for my old flat for the last two months.


die Provision                                                                     the comission

die Kaution                                                                        the deposit

die Hausordnung                                                         the house rules

der Staffelmietvertrag                                                  the relay rental contract

drei Monate Kündigungsfrist                                   three months notice


Thanks for reading and if you have any further questions drop me a comment below!


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About the Author: Larissa

Hello I'm Larissa. I live in Germany and I am half German and half English. I love sharing my passion for Germany with you through my posts! Apart from writing posts I teach fitness classes in Munich.


  1. Lorraine:

    Hi Larissa, as of last June, no more Provision! The law got changed to protect renters a bit


    Ps love your blog posts

    • Larissa:

      @Lorraine Hi Lorraine,

      Thank you for your comment! You’re completely right, the renter would only have to pay provision if they hire the estate agent themselves. Whereas before you would find the flat yourself (online, in a newspaper etc) and the estate agent would be included – whether you like it or not! Thanks for making me aware of this new law, I’ve updated the post 🙂


  2. yaldez Hashem:

    Hello Frau Larissa;
    Thank you for the informative message.I am an egyptian lady eye doctor (Augenaerztin), wishing to do one month “Guest Aerztin or Observer” in Germany. I have e-mailed many hospitals; but Muenchen Hospital is the first one to answer me. They asked me to wait and re-apply on next August 2016; as all the places for the observership are already occupied till next August. However, they can not be responsible for my accommodation.I do need a private place, most important near the Munich hospital, where I can go by foot to the hospital.A single room with a private WC, shower,& a small refrigerator. A kitchen corner is also preferred, if possible. Please can you advise me how to find such a room?. Thank you

  3. Raúl:

    Thank you very much, Larissa, for your great posts!!!
    Do you know if all those details when looking for a flat apply to Austria/Viena too? Thank you!