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Finding a place to live in Germany

Updated 22 Jun 2015

Moving to Germany for a temporary stay can bear some unforeseen challenges. Since approximately 50 percent of Germans rent their living space – and taking into consideration that your stay is limited – you wouldn’t really consider buying a house or an apartment.

Nonetheless, there are certain unexpected challenges you need to keep in mind when renting an apartment or a house in Germany.

Apartments in Germany

The confusion starts when browsing the web for online apartment listings. Germans have a different way of proclaiming the number of rooms for an apartment. For example, if you want a bedroom, a living room and dining room, you are actually looking for a three room apartment – although the kitchen, bathrooms and hall aren’t counted as rooms.

Furnished and unfurnished apartments

Unfortunately, the number of furnished apartments in Germany is limited. A lot of them are unfurnished, which literally means exactly that. You won’t even find a build-in closet or cabinets in an unfurnished apartment.

Renting furniture and its boundaries

There are companies that rent out furniture. However, that doesn’t imply kitchen tools or other necessities like a washing machine, cutlery or bed linen.

Bureaucratic obstacles

Another issue worth mentioning is that it would be advisable to employ the services of a lawyer or legal advisor before signing a lease.

Even if you speak excellent German, the lease may be filled with legal terms and complicated sentence structure, making it difficult to fully comprehend the contract. It might even contain pitfalls like annual rent increases.

The good news is that there are several ways to find support expats can avoid these struggles and it’s possible to move to Germany without trouble and confusion.

Relocation agencies in Germany

Relocation agencies specialise in helping people move and are set up to relieve employees of the issues that occur when moving to a new country. They offer a wide range of services and provide aid in every aspect of your relocation – from visa struggles and work permits, to transport and finding housing.

Relocating without any assistance and help can quickly evolve into a matter of frustration, confusion and surrender – so try to find as much information as possible in order to find a relocation agency that fits your personal needs the most.

DIY – get info from other expats in Germany

Nonetheless, relocation agencies are costly. But it is possible to plan a cost-efficient relocation without one with the right advice from informative websites like expat blogs and forums that provide knowledge and ‘best-way solutions’ on how to manoeuver Germany’s bureaucracy jungle and deal with day to day business.

Finding an apartment in Germany online

If your company has covered all other relevant matters for your stay in Germany and your only concern is finding the perfect apartment, you should browse the internet for platforms that offer furnished apartments such as Homelike.

The whole handling process is simplified, fast and convenient because it’s all handled online without charging any commission fees. They also cover legal matters and contractual issues, and have high standards of service – a good option if you want to feel at home when you’re away from home.

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