DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE - YOU ARE LEAVING GERMANY WITHIN SOON.
You will probably say Goodbye to Germany with one laughing and one crying eye, as we Germans say. The past was wonderful and the future promises to be positively challenging. Now a lot of things need to be considered to not leave a mess behind when emigrating - which for sure will at some time catch up with you at the most inappropriate timing. The Red Relocators developed a checklist of things to remember when leaving Germany.
How to get out of your lease agreement:
- Check your rental contract for a waiver of cancellation right; it is normally a three months' notice period.
- Prepare a cancellation notice. The recipient is the nominated party in the lease agreement. Be careful to choose the right one if there are two parties named. If you aren't sure, address both separately.
- Cancellation Notice: If there are two tenants notified as contract party, both tenants need to send a cancellation notice, unless not otherwise agreed.
- Send the notice by registered post so you can prove the counterparty has received it on time.
- In case there is a waiver of cancellation right - or you agreed to a limited lease term -, and there is still considerable time to go, then you need to have important reasons to move out prematurely, AND you need to present a successive tenant to the landlord. Best way to do so is either contracting the services of a real estate agent or post the apartment, i.e., at www.immobilienscout24.de. An important reason may be such as a new assignment basically decided by your employer, or you have lost your job. You will need a statement from your employer that he assigned the new job to you.
- Your parking space contract is probably linked to your lease agreement. It needs to be cancelled separately.
- Check the number of keys in your possession against the notes in your handover protocol and your contract. Make sure you bring all of them when you move out.
- Pre-check: Remove the big furniture like sofa, cupboards, pictures, mirrors from the wall and check if you see shadows. If you do, you very likely have to whitewash the apartment.
- Invite your landlord to a pre-visit and let him tell you what he expects to be repaired or renovated.
- Arrange the return and make sure the landlord or someone authorized is witnessing and signs on behalf of the landlord. If he does not want to sign a protocol (he is not obliged to), ask an independent third person to inspect the apartment together with you, make a lot of photos and compare to your old handover protocol if anything has been there before you moved in.
- Note the counters for water, gas, and electricity, best make a photo.
- If you feel uncertain as to whether your landlord will bring a template for a handover protocol - we The Red Relocators can provide one.
- How do you protect your rental deposit? Tenants want to get their deposit back as soon as possible, but the landlord has a lot of time until he needs to pay it back (read more about the legalities of the deposit).
- Since it may take a year to receive the last bits of your deposit, make a note in your calendar, reminding you to chase your money.
- Notify your utility providers of your counter readings. It is not always necessary to write them because the new tenant's registration for the same counters will automatically end your contract. But you don't know when the landlord actually decides to re-rent the apartment and how many visitation appointments had to be made during winter time (i.e., costs for heating and electricity).
- Once you receive your bill, review it carefully against last year's side cost calculation and check if it is reasonable. It is also recommended to double-check on the counter readings applied.
REMOVAL OF GOODS
- Estimate the cubic meter of your furniture. Online tools are facilitating this.
- Inquire prices with a couple of moving companies
- Compare with a ballpark number provided by The Red Relocators
- Where necessary inquire for short-term storage facilities and discuss with your moving company on how to handle the pick-up
CANCELLATION OF CONTRACTS & MEMBERSHIPS
- Make a list of all contracts and memberships you have. Most of them will be for a fixed period of time, and you won't be able to get earlier out of your contract by just sending them a simple cancellation notice.
- Request a statement from your employer confirming you were assigned to a new job in another country. Once done, send a copy of your deregistration confirmation to the counterparty as registered post ("Einschreiben mit Rückschein").
- Request a confirmation of receipt by the counterparty. Once received put down a note in your calendar to follow-up with your cancellation and check if any deductions are still made from your account.
- Expect a release message from your internet and phone provider stating you have to pay for 3 further months after the date of deregistration.
TERMINATE SOCIAL SECURITY AND OTHER INSURANCES
- Compile a list of insurances you have contracted.
- Seek advise with regards to your new country's social security scheme, speak to your insurance broker in Germany and decide what to do with your healthcare insurance. Under certain circumstances, it may make sense to hold it in abeyance.
- Request a status report from the social security - you will need it when you retire
- Have a look into your health insurance coverage when you are abroad - they may still apply.
- Gather the necessary template from your city's website, fill it out and send it back together with a copy of your passport.
- A personal visit is mostly not required.
- If you had your original driving license converted, you may request it back. Arrange an appointment with the local authority, and bring your German license.