EXPECTATIONS OF THE LANDLORDS
When applying for an apartment in Germany you should make sure to meet the landlord's expectation.
This depends a little on his individual situation as well as on the property itself.
One can say, that for furnished apartments, the landlord is willing to accept fewer information on your financial solidity and personal appearance since it is assumed you are only staying short-term. Thus the maximum damage you coudl cause is limited to a certain rather short period. As a consequence, it is much easier to rent an apartment which you have never visited. On the other hand, since the apartment is furnished, the risk of damage thereof is higher. Some landlords have made unfortunate experiences and developed prejudices over the time which may be, for some nationalities, a real problem.
If a landlord is a private person it is often important for them what kind of person you are and whether they do personally like you. They want their house in loving and caring hands. Knowing this, you should leave the right impression when meeting with them. When searching for you, we therefore need a good picture of who you are. We will create a sympathetic story around you based on the facts you have given us.
After all, renting out property is an economical decision. Most attention is paid onto your financial solidity. And since the real estate market is a landlord's market you will need to provide a lot of background on your finances.
There are further some expectations with regard to the relation of your regular monthly income and the monthly rent you are spending. Not more than 1/3 of your net income should be spent for cold rent. If you spent more, the landlord will fear you may not be able to live the kind of lifestyle you want and end up in not paying the rent or paying late. If you spent less, the landlord will assume that you will be searching for more space within short and most landlords are interested in long-term tenants. And long-term means 5 years and up. When searching on your own you should consider this treshold.
Children in Germany usually have their own and separate room - even if they are still toddlers. Hence, you may end up not getting a two-room apartment as a family of three, because the landlord will not understand that in your country it is common that children and parents share a room.
Usually you need to provide copies of
- your passport(s)
- your employment contract(s)
- your last three salary slips
Further, you will be required to complete a statement on your financial situation called "Selbstauskunft". The form of this paper varies, some are limited and ask about your education only, others are ore complex and ask for your prior landlords telefone number and permission to give him/her a call.
Just be prepared to have all this information ready to provide as the application needs to be handed in very, very quickly.
PROCEDURE AND THE BEST TIME TO START THE SEARCH
We are often asked when to start looking for an apartment or house. We believe that a good period is around 6-8 weeks prior to your presumed moving date, but there is of course no right or wrong time and it always depends on the market.
The usual cancellation period for housing is 3 months. The landlord also needs some time to consider the cancellation and prepare the exposé so it often takes a month's time. The best available properties on the market are sometimes offered for just one day or even a few hours only. But normally you will find them online until a lease agreement is finally signed. The market changes very quickly in some cities and if you start searching 2 weeks before your moving date, a lot of properties will be gone already. On the other hand, the real estate market is not as tight as so often proclaimed. It is true only for very limited top-notch areas. The most difficult market is assumed to be Munich, followed by Frankfurt and Hamburg. There is always property available, it just might not fit 100 percent to your wish list. Sometimes you also have to accept that you have to increase the amount of money you want to spend for renting. We will help you to find the best place for you the market can offer and so far we never had any client who did not find a new home he was happy with.
Below you will see an example how the procedure normally goes - from identifying a suitable property to finally moving into the apartment:
- Expose identified
- Real Estate Agent or Landlord contacted & visitation appointment agreed
- Visitation Appointment
- Provision of "Selbstauskunft" and documents required within the same day
- Review and consideration by the landlord (usually between 2 days and a week)
- Pre-approval by the landlord (not legally binding)
- Provision of a draft lease agreement (usually together with approval)
- Review of the lease agreement (within a day) and clarification of any unclear stipulations
- Signing by the tenant of all originals (within a day) and sending as scanned pdf
- Posting the originals
- Countersignature by the landlord
- Agreeing on the handover date
- Arranging the deposit and first rent (prior to handover)
All in all, the minimum duration is usually 2 weeks.
I found the perfect place!
We support you compiling the requested documents, complete your personal statement paper, communicate with the landlord or agent (we know a lot of them personally) and forward you your lease agreement.