Accomodation

You do not yet live in Baden-Württemberg? Look for your new home in good time. It is especially difficult to find somewhere to live in cities as more people look for flats here and it might be necessary to do several flat viewings at a time. 

Flats are sometimes let 3 months before moving in - South Germans like to plan in advance. Please bear that in mind when looking for a place to live. 

There is a huge number of rental advertisements on the internet. Helpful providers are "Immobilienscout24.de", "lieblingsmieter.de" or "wohnungsboerse.net". Likewise, many local newspapers include rental advertisements and there is possibly less competition with these. Advertisements without photos do not necessarily mean poor quality, but there are less potential tenants. 

Next to flats and houses you can also rent a single room in a so called "WG" (flatshare). Above all, young people prefer "WGs" as an alternative. Sharing a flat is also a means of connecting with others. Frequently, "WG"-rooms are being rented out on a short-run and can be found more easily. It is worth a try to look on "wg-gesucht.de" or in groups of a city on facebook. 

For a start a temporary flat might be the right solution. Such flats are furnished but more expensive. In return you may then look on site for a long-term place to live. 

You already have contacts in Baden-Württemberg? Ask them for help! In many cases rental contracts are a result of private contacts. Your employer may also support you. Estate agents are helpful but you need to pay them. Another possibility is to make a housing request. In that way landlords can contact you directly. 

Rents can be differentiated between warm rent and cold rent. Warm rent includes utilities such as heating, electricity and water, with cold rent these utilities have to be added to the rent. Utilities are charged according to consumption but usually advance payment is required. Internet is generally not included in warm rent. In Germany, flats are mostly rented unfurnished, sometimes the tenant even has to build in their own kitchen. The key delivery comes with a deposit which may amount to 3 month’s rent (cold rent). 

The general rule is: in your enquiry let your landlord get to know you. This makes you likable and you can mark yourself out from other applicants.

Commonly landlords invite tenants for flat viewings. If you do not hear back from your landlord in a long time, chase them up. 

You should be punctual for the flat viewing and your clothes should be neat and tidy. The following documents are often asked for: 

 

  • Proof of income: Your landlord wants to know, how much money you (and your family) earn. 
  • SCHUFA-reference: Schufa documents any loans you did not pay back in Germany in the past. As a foreigner you can only get this reference if you have a bank account in Germany. 
  • Residence permit: If you are no citizen of the EU a residence permit verifies your landlord that you may stay long-term in Germany. 
  • Bailment: If you do not have a regular income, you may ask a person close to you for bailment. 

The landlord wants to know who lives in his flat. If your whole family is to live there, it is best to take all of them with you to the flat viewing. 

A rental contract often seems complicated but this is only to prevent any issues in advance. It also protects the rights of both contracting parties. You are doubtful if your rental contract meets legal guidelines? Inform yourself or take legal advice- possible providers may be found online. 

You have leaped the first hurdle when you have got a flat. Next thing is the move. You can organise your move by yourself or with movers. 

Organising the move by yourself, you probably need to hire a vehicle. Some providers are specialised in moves and offer hiring by the hour. In cities there are also car-sharing services where you can hire a car on any day of the week once you are registered. 

New furniture can be quiet expensive. On portals such as "eBay-Kleinanzeigen" or "Quoka" private individuals sell second-hand furniture for less money. That might be an alternative for you? 

If there is any mending or repairing necessary in your new flat speak to your landlord about it. Defects can be recorded on a handover certificate. If you have agreed on a deposit, the landlord can confirm the receipt on your rental contract.

Electricity, water or gas - all are prerequisites for your move into your new abode. Find out in advance whether you have to see about these things yourself. The contract of the previous tenant can often be taken over. This not being the case book someone to install these right in the beginning of your move. 

There is compulsory registration in Baden-Württemberg. This means that you have to register with the so called "Bürgeramt" (Register Office) of your new town within 2 weeks of your move. A personal registration during opening hours is necessary. Take your ID and enough time with you. Also, inform yourself on the website of your new municipality. 

For further information on the topic accommodation and especially rental contracts see service-bw.