If you are indeed moving to Berlin, or at least planning to stay a little longer than just a few days, you might want to consider looking for an apartment to rent.
Most Berlin apartments arerental apartments. Even though buying an apartment has become increasingly popular in recent years, renting is still the standard. Buying is considered an investment – renting is for living.
Renting an apartment in Berlin is still relatively cheap - at least when you compare the average rent in Berlin with the rent in other cities like Paris, London or New York. But finding an affordable apartment has actually become more difficult than it used to be. But if you don't insist on living right next to one of the more popular hotspots and are willing to make one or two compromises regarding the size or location of your future accommodation, you should find space for a reasonable monthly rent.
But be aware that many small details can be different, work differently than you might be used to. When you rent an apartment, you have to take care of many different things: fromOrganize and recycle garbageTooperation of the heater.
Rent an apartment in Berlin
The rent is usually calculated by square meters. The larger the apartment, the lower the price per square meter is usually. Therefore, small apartments can be relatively more expensive than large apartments. So it might be a good idea to team up with some other nuBerliners and rent a bigger space. Shared apartments were widespread and popular - and still are. But not all landlords will like the idea of renting to a group of people instead of just having one tenant.
The new Rent Cap Act, which you may be keen on, has had a somewhat positive impact on Berlin's apartment rents - but the impact is actually smaller than official statements might read. In fact, over time it has turned out that the rent cap law has probably had no effect at all - but of course it is difficult to say what the situation would be like if the rent cap law had not existed. However, there is a lot of room for speculation.
The monthly rent usually does not cover costs for heating and electricity - it is usually called "Kaltmiete", which means "cold rent". Even the cost of running the home isn't always mentioned in the initial listing, so the cost can add up even if the "per square meter" price looks ok. The difference between "net cold rent" and "gross rent including heating" can easily be 20 to 40 percent of the starting price "per square meter".
Most landlords require a security deposit (“deposit”) – usually three times the monthly rent (net). So if the regular monthly net cold rent was 500 euros, for example, you should be prepared to have an additional 1500 euros on hand. The most common procedure is to open a current account - most Berlin banks know this practice and offer special accounts for it. This type of bank account is called a “deposit account” or “rental deposit account” – and while the bank account and the money in it basically stays with you, the tenant cannot access this money during the rental period of the apartment until the lease ends.
kitchen and furniture
Berlin rental apartments are usuallynotfurnished flats. A kitchen sink and stove should be present, but could be missing. Don't expect closets, cupboards, cupboards or anything like that. Sometimes even the lightbulbs are missing. Usually, a rental apartment in Berlin is just the apartment itself - empty rooms - unless furniture is actually mentioned in the original offer.
To rent an apartment you need to sign a contract. Typically, these contracts are standard contracts that you can get at your local stationery store. However, you must of course read and understand the contract before signing it.
You should also go through the apartment with the landlord and note "the condition" of the apartment - or at least anything that seems "suspicious" to you, such as damaged doors or broken sinks or similar. This is common practice and is intended to help both tenants and landlords avoid misunderstandings.
Where can you find a rental apartment?
In Berlin, as in many other large cities, there are various options where you can look for a rental apartment. First you should probably try to decide where you actually want to live, how much you want to pay and what type of apartment you want to live in.
If you are already in Berlin, you can of course look for a rental apartment in Berlin yourself. You probably already know a few details about the individual districts - and maybe you already know exactly where you want to live. However, if you are trying to find an apartment remotely, things can get a bit complicated. You may consider hiring a real estate agent (broker) to help you find housing. Of course, this can be a bit more expensive - the fee is usually around two months' net rent - but it can be well worth it. Let's take a closer look at some of the options:
- My absolute favorite way to find an apartment to rent in Berlin is probably not practical for everyone, but still: Ask someone. If you happen to know someone living in Berlin, they probably know someone who knows someone... and suddenly you have a network of dozens of potential "housing agents" at your fingertips.
- Of course, if you happen to be in Berlin already, it can be much easier to ask people. Some people put up notes"Looking for an apartment” in areas where they would rather find rental space. Others look up the property management phone number of a specific house they want to live in.
- Then, of course, there are the classifieds. While a few years ago you might have been lucky enough to find an ad in the Sunday edition ofdaily mirrorAndBerliner Zeitung, today these ads have become quite rare. Instead, there are online ads. You've probably already checkedberlin.craigslist.dealready - or have you? You could try tooEbay ClassifiedsAndSecond handAndquoka. These are basically "the obvious" options.
- Then there are basically two big web portals that have apartment offers for Berlin:immonet.deAndimmobilienscout24.de. Both have hundreds if not thousands of apartments listed but in my opinion the apartments listed on these websites are... overpriced...? I don't know... It's worth checking out - but don't be disappointed if you don't find your dream home at a great price.
- Last but not least: You could of course also hire a broker (“broker”). While this is probably the most expensive option, it's also probably the least stressful option. And especially if you're planning your Berlin stay from afar, this could be a pretty handy option. Once againimmobilienscout24.de has a listingyou are welcome to have a look.
Mietspiegelabfrage / Interactive Apartment Rent Index Tool
If you want to know how much an average rented apartment in Berlin costs, you can, for example, consult the city of Berlin's rent index tool. You "only" have to enter your address, the year of construction and the size of the apartment and the tool will spit out the average rent for a comparable apartment in this area:
Residential area map / Berlin Apartment Rent Index Map
The Rental Index Map can help for a first insight. It's obviously less complicated to use than the rent index tool, but it still gives you an idea of what rents to expect in different parts of the city. The map shows residential areas in Berlin colored in three categories: The rents there are above average (red), average (orange) or below average (yellow):
> Back toBerlin accommodation
Do you have any thoughts, suggestions, additional recommendations or comments? Please don't hesitate to leave your comment below. Thank you very much!
How much is an apartment in Berlin to rent? ›
How much is the rent in Berlin? The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Berlin ranges from €800 to €1200. A one-bedroom apartment is €1,150 per 72 square meter in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin. The average rent for a 59 sq m apartment in Mitte and Wilmersdorf is more than €1,200 per month.How can a foreigner rent an apartment in Germany? ›
- Your ID or passport.
- A Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung—a document to prove you don't owe previous landlords money. ...
- Three recent pay slips to prove you're earning enough to pay the rent. ...
- Bank statements from the last three months.
It's really hard. You must send hundreds of applications to find something. It can take months to find an apartment. During your search, you might need a temporary place to live.Where is the cheapest place to live in Berlin? ›
Most Expensive and Cheapest Neighborhoods
In Berlin, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg has the most expensive properties to rent, while Marzahn-Hellersdorf has the cheapest.
Can I get an apartment without a job? There's no legal reason why you can't get a flat without a job. However, landlords will certainly want to check that you're able to pay the rent for the duration of the lease. As such, if you don't have a job yet, you might need to offer additional proof in order to rent.How much money do you need to live comfortably in Berlin? ›
Summary about cost of living in Berlin, Germany: Family of four estimated monthly costs are 3,481.6$ (3,269.4€) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,035.6$ (972.5€) without rent.What is a good salary to live in Berlin? ›
This means that you need to earn just above the minimum wage (€1,503 net) to live comfortably in Berlin! But earning the average net salary of €2,636 would mean that you could set aside roughly €1,000/ month or afford a bigger flat in one of the best neighbourhoods.What is the average monthly rent in Berlin? ›
|City||Average Monthly Rent|
The cost of rent
As seen in the list above, you'll pay a monthly rent of almost €20 per square meter in these cities (as of September 2022). For a 50 m2 apartment, this rent would be €1,000, compared to €250 in Plauen. Along with rent, there are other factors to consider, especially energy and other housing costs.
Cold rent means that you pay basic rent for the residence and there are no extra costs included in your monthly payment. Warm rent means that your monthly payment includes the basic rent for the residence and additional costs - called Umlagen or Nebenkosten.
Why do Germans rent instead of own? ›
The answer seems to be that Germans kept renting because, in Germany, rental housing is kind of nice. Economists think German housing policy struck a much better balance between government involvement and private investment than in many other countries.Is moving to Berlin a good idea? ›
Did you know that Berlin is the cheapest western capital in Europe? Just another reason to move to Berlin! In a city where even beer is cheaper than water, you can easily get the most out of living in Berlin with little money. With a cost of living of nearly €1,700, you will live comfortably in Berlin.Can you move to Berlin without a job? ›
Whilst it's possible to move to Berlin without a job, avoid doing it without any money in the bank. Ideally you need to have enough to pay for a deposit and a few month's rent, bills and food so that you can stay afloat until your first pay packet.Can you just move to Berlin? ›
If you are planning to move to Berlin permanently, you must register your Berlin address within two weeks of arriving in the city. You can do so at a Berlin citizen's office. There are more than 40 citizen's offices in Berlin where you can register your address—and you must complete the process in person.Is it cheaper to live in Germany or USA? ›
When considering the cost of living in Germany vs. the U.S., you'll find that the cost of living in Germany is nearly 19% lower. Munich is the most expensive city in Germany, and yet consumer prices are 32.5% lower than in New York City and 14% lower than in Los Angeles.Where do American expats live in Berlin? ›
Wilmersdorf for expats
Often grouped with the neighboring district of Charlottenburg (to make up the aptly and imaginatively-named district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf), this area has historically been a home for many English-speaking expats in Berlin.
Spandau. Separated from the rest of Berlin by the Havel River, Spandau is one of the most charming and safest areas in Berlin. It's a tranquil, green area known for its waterways and meadows, and your time here will most likely be spent outdoors.Can you rent an apartment in Germany as an American? ›
Renting in Germany can be a challenge to everyone, and especially internationals. However, if you just master the key terms, budget-friendly areas, as well as the renting guidelines and documentation, you will be alright.How long can I stay in Germany without residency? ›
A residence visa is required if you intend to stay in Germany for more than 90 days for work or study or if you intend to move to Germany permanently.Is it better to buy or rent in Germany right now? ›
There is ample evidence that buying a house leads to greater wealth, especially in Germany 1. Those that own their own home in Germany are far better off.
Where to live in Germany as an American? ›
- Heidelberg. Although Heidelberg has only approximately 150,000 residents, it is a university town. ...
- Berlin. Berlin is, of course, the number one place to find expats in Germany. ...
- Hamburg. ...
- Munich. ...
- Good quality of life. If you are looking for an enjoyable lifestyle, then you will thrive in Berlin. ...
- Low cost of living. In comparison to other major European cities, Berlin is relatively cheap to live in. ...
- No university fees. ...
- Expat friendly. ...
- Delicious food. ...
- Very safe. ...
- Great nightlife. ...
- Full of tourists.
As far as the cities themselves, they each have their own compelling charms. Berlin is quirky, artsy, and interesting. Amsterdam is healthy, gorgeous, and creative. Both cities have a similar cost of living, but it's the quality of life that expats should consider first when choosing between the two.How much tax do I pay in Germany? ›
It's a progressive tax: if you earn more, you pay a bigger percentage of your income. If you earn less than 10,908€ per year, you don't pay income tax. The median income tax rate is around 18%. The maximum income tax rate is 45%.Is rent high in Berlin? ›
The German capital, Berlin, a city once known for its low rent, now faces a housing crisis, driven by a sharp increase in rent prices and unsuccessful policies.What is the cheapest German city to live in? ›
- 1# Cost of Living in Bielefeld City of Germany.
- 2# Cost of Living in Frankfurt City of Germany.
- 3# Cost of Living in Halle City of Germany.
- 5# Passau City Germany.
The price of Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat in Berlin is €559. This average is based on 11 price points. At this point it is only a guess. Latest update: February 21, 2023.How much is rent in Berlin in US dollars? ›
|1 bedroom flat (40 m2) rent per month||900.00 USD|
|1 bedroom flat (40 m2) utilities per month||190.00 USD|
|2 bedroom flat (80 m2) rent per month||1,227.00 USD|
|2 bedroom flat (80 m2) utilities per month||280.00 USD|
We've coined the term “permanent rental” to describe the rental properties investors plan to hold on to long-term, maybe even bequeath to their estates.Is it hard to find an apartment in Germany? ›
Finding an apartment in Germany is not easy, let alone if you are not German and can hardly speak the language — and two years of global pandemic haven't made things easier either. You might have faced bizarre replies during your search, like "we prefer a German" or "is your language too loud" (erm, what?)
Can a foreigner buy an apartment in Berlin? ›
There is no restriction on foreigners buying property in Germany, no matter whether they live in Germany or elsewhere. You can, therefore, buy property as a non-resident with the expressed purpose of renting it out, or you can choose to rent out your own home if you move away from Germany.Are apartments permanent? ›
When it comes to apartment vs house, an apartment gives you the freedom to easily move whenever you want. Many apartments offer short-term leases. These lease arrangements can range from 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months. If corporate living options are available, you have even more flexibility.How long is a long term rent contract? ›
So, how long is a long term tenancy agreement? In short, a long-term let is anywhere from 6 months onwards. While long term tenancies don't offer the same flexibility or increased rates as short term agreements, they do perform better in several ways.What are the three types of rent? ›
Categories of rent
In general one can distinguish three different kinds of rent, which can also occur together: differential, scarcity, and entrepreneurial rent.
Long-term rentals are anything longer than one month and also include when tenants rent a property for months at a time. For example, apartments for rent are considered long-term rentals.Why do most Germans rent? ›
The answer seems to be that Germans kept renting because, in Germany, rental housing is kind of nice. Economists think German housing policy struck a much better balance between government involvement and private investment than in many other countries.How much is deposit for apartment in Germany? ›
In Germany, the Kaution, also known as the Mietkaution, is a security deposit that renters must pay to their landlords upon signing a rental agreement. It is normally equal to three months' rent and is meant to safeguard the landlord in the event that the renter causes property damage or fails to pay the rent.Can an American citizen own property in Germany? ›
Unlike in other countries, such as Denmark and Switzerland, there are no restrictions to foreigners to purchase real estate in Germany. Currently, many foreign purchasers acquire properties in large German cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.Is it OK to live in an apartment forever? ›
Trend Shifting to Rental Apartment Living
And for people that love where they live, they may never want to move out and stay in the same apartment for as long as possible. So, assuming you pay your rent on time and your lease renews, there is a good chance you can live in your apartment forever.
Most flats have a lifespan of 75-100 years and with proper maintenance, they can last longer.
How many years can you live in an apartment? ›
To get a little technical, the average life span of a concrete building is 80-100 years. Whereas the average lifespan of an apartment is 30-40 years.