Temporary Furnished Accommodaton in Berlin

10 Tips for Tenants: Regularly cleaning your furnished apartment saves money and frustration

Tips for tenants: Cleaning your temporary furnished apartment

Especially when working with professionals, renting a temporary furnished apartment in Berlin can be stress-free. An experienced agency will walk you through the consultation, the apartment viewing, and signing the rental agreement (available in multiple languages) in a breeze. No stress! Typically, if problems arise in a temporary rental, they’re of the “homemade” variety.

Yes, we’re talking about cleaning.

Of course, the terms are all laid out in your rental contract: as the tenant, you take responsibility for the apartment for the rental period. This agreement means—heads up to the messy ones among us—that the apartment must be regularly cleaned and tidied.

At the end of the rental period, the tenant pays an obligatory cleaning fee to cover the final cleaning of the apartment. However, if you’re keen to avoid stress with the landlord of the management, and receive your full deposit back on time, preventative measures are necessary. There’s no way around it: furnished apartments must be kept clean. If you’re short on time, just give us a call: we’ll put you in touch with a reliable company to clean your apartment on a weekly or biweekly basis.

For those who want to be self-assured and self-sufficient (and sleep easily knowing that matters with the contract, landlord, and the deposit are taken care of) here are our 10 tips for an up-to-standard furnished rental cleaning.

Putzen kann auch Spaß machen. Einfach mal ausprobieren :-)

In fact, research shows that cleaning can actually lower your stress levels. Give it a try!

Hair in the drain

Most of us can’t help losing a bit of hair in the shower. But hair that settles in the sink or shower drain isn’t just unsightly, but can also clog the drain and lead to flooding.  In this case, the landlord must take on the costs of hiring a plumber. If you are found responsible for the blockage, your landlord won’t be thrilled.

Take a minute and remove any hair from the drain with tweezers after showering or brushing your hair.

Calcium Deposits

The water in Berlin is known as being especially “hard,” meaning it contains a larger amount of calcium (also known as limestone) than normal. We recommend regularly removing calcium from appliances with vinegar cleaner, which is more environmentally friendly than chemical products.

Kettles

Calcified kettles aren’t very appealing, and coffee and tea don’t taste quite the same with flecks of limestone swimming around.  Thus, we recommend cleaning the kettle regularly. Just dilute some vinegar with water, boil it in the kettle, and let it stand a few hours. Then rinse with fresh water.

Ventilation

In the rental agreement, the tenant also takes responsibility for regularly ventilating the apartment. It’s not just about the fresh air and the smell. Actually, regular ventilation prevents mold. Always aerate the apartment after showering or bathing. In the winter, it’s best not to leave the windows open for hours, due to heating costs. Ten minutes of fresh air every few hours will do the trick.

Laundry

Wash towels and linens regularly at the proper temperatures, removing any stains. Of course, don’t use bleach on colored clothing or linens.

Oven

Even the oven needs some regular attention. Don’t wait until the final cleaning to remove any fat, sugar, or burnt bits that cling to the oven. Just use baking over spray and leave it on overnight, avoiding sharp steel brushes in the cleaning process. Hint: shaving cream also works in a pinch! Environmentally friendly cleaning products can also be used.

Washing machine maintenance

Cleaning the washing machine prevents unpleasant smells and accumulations of dirt. Just clean the lint filter by removing any debris, placing it in a bowl to catch any liquid.

Dust and vacuum cleaners

Remove dirt and hair from the vacuum brush after each vacuum. Also make sure to regularly replace the dust bag, using a suitable bag for your vacuum cleaner. Never clean without a dust bag!

Surfaces

Sticky counters and floors aren’t comfortable for anyone. We recommend regularly cleaning surfaces and floors. You’ll find all the necessary cleaning equipment already in the apartment. If not, just contact the owner. They will gladly purchase the required cleaning materials for you, because a well-maintained apartment is in everyone’s interest.

Wooden surfaces require a different cleaning product than kitchen counters, for example, so be sure to use the appropriate products. Laminate and parquet should only be slightly damp, and wooden floors shouldn’t get too wet either. Avoid microfiber cloths for kitchen cleaning, as they can scratch the glossy cabinet fronts. Microfiber cloths are ideal for mirrors and baths.

Mattress Covers

Use covers for your mattresses and if possible, for your pillows. Stained mattresses don’t look or feel great to sleep on. Clean the covers regularly with your laundry.

Take these cleaning tips to heart and you’ll be on track for a stress-free relationship with your landlord. If you have any questions about cleaning certain materials in your temporary furnished rental, just ask your landlord.

Moving out: A tenant’s guide to the final cleaning

Move-out cleaning for your temporary furnished rental: how to get your deposit back.

Everyone deserves to move in to a comfortable and well-cleaned apartment, and no tenant wants their first experience in a new apartment to be picking someone else’s hair out of the shower drain. Out of consideration to those moving in, then, all temporary furnished rentals require a thorough final cleaning.

Cleaning your apartment before moving out.

There are a few different options for who does the final cleaning (Endreinigung, auf Deutsch.) In most cases, the landlord or property management will organize the final cleaning with a professional company. Still, the tenant isn’t completely off the hook. So, what should you consider before handing in your keys?

(Of course, you should clean your apartment more than once! Unlike in a hotel, the tenant should leave the apartment in a well-maintained state. According to the rental agreement, the tenant is responsible for regularly cleaning and tidying the apartment. If you’ve taken care during the rental period, you’re on your way to a stress-free move out.)

What responsibilities does the tenant have before moving out?

Before moving out, tenants should follow these cleaning tips:

Laundry

Don’t leave a big pile of sheets and towels in the laundry. Otherwise, the cleaning service will need to wait out several wash cycles, or send the dirty laundry to a laundromat, at the cost of the tenant.

We recommend washing all linens prior to your departure and leaving only one set of sheets and towels per person unwashed. After all, everything is still technically in use until the time of the move.

Finally, don’t forget to check the laundry for stains. If there are any, don’t use any bleach products to remove them, or the linens will have to be professionally cleaned or purchased new.  As a last resort, get in touch with your landlord and purchase extra bed linen yourself before moving out.

When you leave, take out any laundry from the washing machine and hang everything up to dry. Leave the washing machine clean, with the door open.

Oven

Leave behind a clean oven, with any crust or grease removed. In difficult cases, you can leave some cleaning product on overnight.

Tidying

It’s best to leave the apartment in a tidy condition. Move any furniture (e.g. lamps or side tables) back to their original place. Clean your dishes and put them back into the cupboard. Any open food in the fridge should be tossed in the garbage or taken with you. Finally, empty the garbage and dispose of all bottles.

Can I do the final cleaning myself?

Sometimes, a tenant asks if they can do the final cleaning on their own. Most, though, are glad to see someone else take over. After all, you’ll be busy enough during the move.

Based on our experience, we recommend that tenants follow the previously mentioned steps, and leave the rest up to professionals. Everyone has different expectations regarding cleaning, and your landlord is more likely to be satisfied with the results of a cleaning that they’ve organized themselves. Of course, you should take care to leave the apartment in good condition when you leave, but we advise against hiring your own cleaning service for this. The reason being that you’ll have to double check afterwards to ensure that the apartment was cleaned properly.

Your landlord’s top priority is likely planning all moves in advance, and most furnished apartments are rented immediately after the departure of a tenant, with move-ins taking place sometimes even the same day, or late at night. The landlord needs to know in advance that the apartment will be in an acceptable state for a new tenant, and organizing a last-minute cleaning is difficult, especially at the end of the month. If the apartment has only been superficially cleaned, esentially, the new tenant’s move is jeopardized. The landlord, then, has many good reasons to organize the final cleaning themselves.

Interest on Deposit for Furnished Apartments

Does the tenant of a furnished apartment get interest on the deposit?

A tenant doesn’t usually collect interest on a deposit for a temporary accomodation. This may sound negative at first, but with exceptionally low interest rates (0.02-0.2%) and a rental period of a few months up to a year, you’d stand to lose less than a euro. And this is probably no reason to complain. 😉

 

interest deposit on a furnished apartment

Who gets Interest on the Deposit?

If an indefinite tenancy agreement is concluded in Germany, the landlord must deposit the security deposit – a maximum of three renting periods net – separately from their assets. Alternatively, tenants and landlords must agree on a form of investment.

This makes sense, of course, if you live in an apartment for 10 years or more. The landlord or the tenant establishes a deposit savings account for this purpose. When the tenant establishes it in their name, they pledge the security deposit to the landlord. This means that the deposit may only be paid by the bank when the landlord has given their consent. For a temporary rental, this model is rather complex and prevents fast and efficient processing. Usually, the final cleaning is always paid with the deposit. But with a pledged bank deposit, this is no longer possible. Landlords also have to set up separate accounts for each tenant and, in addition, have to calculate interest separately. For shorter rental periods, this isn’t worth the effort.

Interest incurred is always written off for the tenant. Even in 10 years’ time, there won’t be any giant sums, but perhaps a small tip (which does not equal the inflation rate). Moreover, interest income must be taxed, if it is above the taxable amount. With the deposit for temporary accommodation, the amount of the tax allowance is never exceeded, but no one knows, of course, whether, and if so, what other sources of income the tenant may have.

All of this is useful for long-term rental, but not for a shorter rental period. If a tenant had the same expectations for temporary rentals, their chances of finding an apartment would be rather low. It would be unrealistic for the landlord to establish a new account for each tentant. In the worst case, this would leave the landlord opening a new account – and closing it again – every two months. With a temporary rental, rather, the priority is an efficient and uncomplicated turnover for both parties.

As we said – a rental deposit account. For amounts of over 2,000 euro a notice period and a processing fee are required, meaning that the tenant waits longer for their money. This isn’t worthwhile when, for example, a deposit of 3,000 euro gets you one euro in interest.

Does a lease deposit account for temporary living make sense?

No. The establishment of a rental deposit account costs between 12.50 and 20 euro. It stands in a relation to the interest profit of less than one euro. In the deposit account, you often have no choice between different banks, because many banks provide deposit accounts for deposit customers only.

In addition, there is a notice period for amounts of more than 2,000 euro (approx. 3 months) and usually a processing fee is charged. In other words, the tenant would have to wait longer for the deposit to be repaid. With an interest gain of one euro, this is really not a convincing business model. 😉

How can the deposit be sensibly managed?

Your landlord will probably pay your deposit for the temporary apartment rental on a revolving account, or park it in their own savings account. All in all, interest on the deposit isn’t the most important issue during short-time rental. Instead, focus on the essentials, like proper cleaning and maintenence of the rental, to get your full deposit back on time.

Documenting the payment of the deposit

You should receive a voucher for cash. This should show who paid, when, how much, and to whom. If you move in on very short notice, a cash payment may be useful.

If you pay by bank transfer, the transfer document is the proof of your payment. It’s best to transfer the first month’s rent and the deposit separately.

If you pay by other means, you should have the deposit confirmed by your landlord.

 

More information on the topic ofdDeposit: 10 Tips: How the refund of the deposit for short-term accommodation works

 

Lost keys, locked out: How to get back into your temporary apartment

You’re standing at the door of your rented apartment and suddenly, you can’t find your keys. Did you lose them, misplace them, or were they stolen? Have you locked yourself out? One thoughtless moment is all it takes. What now?

Whether it’s your own home or a rented temporary apartment, if you lose a key, it could cost you a lot of money — not to mention effort.

The best advice, of course, is to take care and take appropriate measures beforehand. This will at least prevent you from having to pay for new locks or entire lock systems, and increase the chances of finding the key again.

In our experience, it all starts with the determination to avoid a situation like this. Most temporary tenants will be more attentive and look after their keys carefully. :-)

 

Lost a key for a furnished apartment?
5 tips to prevent the worst

 

1.) Take out liability insurance

Everybody should have liability insurance. If you don’t already have it, take out a policy as soon as you rent a furnished apartment. Make sure that key loss is insured in addition to any damage caused by the tenant. The insurance company will then cover all costs resulting from the key loss.

Of course, always read the fine print, especially the information on the liability level. Details can differ from company to company.

 

2.) Check the key rings for rented furnished apartments

Many keys to temporary apartments are provided with address hangers. Remove this immediately after taking over the apartment. Inscriptions such as e.g. “2nd Floor, 45 Goethe Str.” make it very easy for key thieves.

Rather, choose a distinctive key holder which you can easily describe. Photograph your keys and make sure that the brand and the key number are visible. Without a key hanger and without knowledge of the key number, it may be difficult to identify keys at the lost-and-found office.

 

3.) Register your apartment keys

There are many private lost-and-found offices specializing in lost or retrieved keys. For a small fee, you can order a key holder with the contact details of the supplier and register your keyring. If you lose the keys and they are found, the finder simply throws them into the next mail-collection box.

After moving out of the furnished apartment, you can continue using the key holder. You just need to change your delivery address, as well as the key numbers.

 

 4.) Keep the number of the key service or locksmith at hand

Save the number of a reliable and fair key service. In case of emergency, always ask about price beforehand.

 

5.) Notify the landlord, management, and police

If you lose your key, always inform your landlord or the management of the apartment. In the case of theft, you must also submit an affidavit to the police.


Lost keys, locked out

What if the key to your furnished flat is lost?

1. Door slammed shut and you can’t get into your apartment

If the door slammed shut on you and left you locked out, there are two possibilities:
You can contact the landlord or the property agent. Avoid making a personal call to your landlord late at night, though. If you cannot reach the landlord, a locksmith is your last option.

But be careful: ask in advance what it will cost. Unfortunately, there are black sheep in this industry who will ask for several hundred euro for picking a lock. During the day, opening a lock costs less than on weekends, on holidays, or at night. For this reason, it may be more convenient to spend the night in the hotel than to call a locksmith at a late hour.

If the key is inside the lock, though, call the locksmith immediately.

 

2. Lost keys

If you’ve lost your keys, of course, consider when and where you last saw them. Look along the paths you could have walked, check again, and double-check your pockets. Many a key believed to be stolen or lost has often been hidden. 😉 If the key can’t be found, you must take action. A locksmith definitely comes in handy in these situations.

If you don’t have a spare key, or if you have lost not only the key, but also a bag with personal belongings, which might point to the address of your temporary apartment, the lock must of course be replaced. Normally, tenants of a temporary apartment aren’t allowed to change the locks without the consent of the landlord. In this case, however, you have no other option because you have to act immediately.

Nevertheless, you have to inform the landlord no later than the next day. The landlord does not have to accept your new lock and may require it to be replaced before you move out. Especially if it is a key of a locking system. The property management often decides to replace the entire lock system when a key is lost. This can be very expensive. Again, a liability insurance policy comes in handy to replace any damages due to lost keys.

 

3. Keys stolen

Were your keys or possibly a bag with a wallet, identity card, etc. stolen? First, consider whether a thief can track your address. If so, act quickly. Fill out the police report and change the locks immediately.

 

Your keys are still gone. What now?

1. 1. Is it worthwhile to keep looking for a lost key?

Yes. Even if the apartment lock was replaced in the mean time? Still yes! The landlord of the rented temporary apartment can, of course, require that you re-install the original lock before moving out. In this case, it’s to your advantage to return all the keys handed out to you, even lost keys.

So, it definitely is worthwhile to keep searching for lost keys.

 

 2. Berlin lost-and-found office – never lose hope!

Perhaps your lost keys have been found. Personal items found in public transportation, for example, land relatively quickly in the Berlin lost-and-found office. As a rule, it only takes a couple of days, but it can take much longer at other lost-and-found offices. As a searcher, you will already be very lucky if the lost key even turns up there.

Calls to the office are not very effective. Phones are seldom answered. You can only search online. You should enter only the key mark in the search mask. If you don’t know the mark, you’ll get an infinite number of hits and won’t be able to limit the search.

 

3. Key holders registered at private retrieval offices

If you have lost a key, private retrieval agencies can also help. These companies sell key chains with coded information. This allows found keys to be easily traced to the owner. Found keys can simply be deposited in the nearest mailbox without postages and are then sent back to the company that sold them. Here the keys will be traced to the owner and the owner will be contacted. Shortly afterwards, the found key will be sent to the owner.

This service is cheap (about 10-20 euros per key holder). The probability that a finder will deposit a key into a mailbox is greater than
someone handing it in at the lost-and-found office.

Some suppliers: Schlüsselfundbüro Knorr (in Berlin), Code no.com Schlüsselanhänger
More providers are shown in the test comparison
Crocodilian, July 2017

Subletting an Apartment in Berlin

Contents of the article:

  • Can I sublet a private apartment in Berlin’s rental market?
  • What do tenants look for?
  • Opportunities for private apartments on the furnished rental market

 

We often see private apartments offered as sublets, that is, apartments that will be rented out for a specific period of time because the owner or primary tenant will be away temporarily for some time — this can be years, or just a few months. Whether you are an owner or tenant, watch out: f you want to sublet your own apartment for a considerable legnth of time, you should advertize it at an early stage. Despite the general housing shortage in Berlin, it is not always easy to find a sub-tenant. And agencies are not always the right people to talk to.

 

 

Good private apartment for subetting in Berlin

1. Which apartments sublet and let easily?

Most apartments offered on a temporary basis are apartments that have been furnished for temporary rental. Please note that this means temporary rental, and not vacation accommodation. These apartments are rented to people who come to Berlin to work or to further their education (e.g. through a language course.) This is very important, because renting to tourists is (mostly) illegal.

These apartments are available without any time limit. This does not mean, however, that tenants can rent for an unlimited time. But with these apartments, it is possible to conclude a lease for a certain period of time and perhaps extend it later, often even several times. The temporary tenant therefore should be flexible. Projects often take longer than expected, or you may not find your own unfurnished apartment in Berlin all that quickly.

Previously, about 6 years ago, it was reasonably easy to find a tenant for a private apartment which would only be rented for a certain period of time. Since then, however, the market has changed. Nowadays, one finds almost only “temporary rented apartments.” And since the prohibition on vacation apartments, there has even been an oversupply of temporary-rented apartments, since many apartments now offered for temporary renting were offered as vacation accommodation in the past. So oversupply should again be considered in context. There are many offers, but quality is still in high demand and good apartments at a reasonable price still rent out very well.

Apartments that are easily rented are:

  • Equipped and furnished in such a way that a particular target group will be interested.
  • Modern, tastefully and stylishly furnished — no mix of old and new furniture.
  • or, as in the example above, a style that is not necessarily considered modern should be uniformly revised. There is also a demand for high-quality accessories, as shown here. Less, however, than for modernly furnished apartments, which appeal to a younger audience.
    .

2. Disadvantages for tenants renting a sublet

2.1. Limited-time availability

From a prospective tenant’s viewpoint, the time-limited availability is a disadvantage. Tenants want to be flexible. For this reason, they often rent for a shorter period of time, e.g. for 2 or 3 months, but with an extension option. If an apartment is only available for 4 months, most tenants will not be interested, since no tenant wants to move more often than necessary.

For example, if you go away for exactly one year and are looking for a sub-tenant over exactly this period, it can also be difficult to find someone who is looking to rent for a year as from exactly the month in which your apartment becomes available, and then also wants to rent specifically your apartment. If they want to rent your apartment one month later for one year, your apartment will not be available, because it is only available for 11 months. Therefore, it is always better if the landlord is flexible and offers the apartment for shorter letting periods as well. This implies that more effort will be needed. The handover, final cleaning, etc., need to be organized, and you will need someone who will take good care of your apartment.

 

2.2. Sublets lack “neutral” furnishing

Typically, apartments furnished for temporary rental look more like hotel accommodations: modern, furnished in a uniform style, clean, elegant, without personal items (e.g. books, CD collections, plants etc.) Nothing against books and CDs, but these do not necessarily add value for the tenants during temporary renting. Rather, they make the tenant feel more like a guest living in another person’s world. Not everyone likes that. Especially if there are enough other alternatives.
.

2.3. Extra “processing” work

Suppose a landlord offers a private apartment for subletting for 4 months, from December 1st to March 31st. Many people spend the winter months in regions with a warmer climate.

The problem is as follows:

  1. December is the worst month. There is still some demand, but significantly less than during the rest of the year. Almost nobody starts a job in Berlin in December, because before the middle of the month, everything and everybody is already in the Christmas and end-of-the-year mode. For this reason it would be more realistic to find a tenant from the beginning of January.
    If, however, the landlord has already left at this time, someone in the vicinity has to take care of the apartment and do some checking in. Then questions will follow, and possibly the landlord is also still in a place without reliable internet connection. In doing so, the person responsible for the apartment must be able to reach the apartment during the entire rental period. For example, if there is water damage (not that the tenant should be to blame), the landlord has to act quickly.
  2. There usually is more to discuss than for a “neutral” apartment — bed linen, towels, etc. Does the tenant bring their own, do they use the landlord’s (then everything must be new and unused), or must everything be bought new? Which items have to be removed, bought or supplemented? Often, the mailbox must also be emptied or plants watered.
    In addition, the landlord rents their own home and has a more emotional connection to it than to an apartment which serves only as an investment object.
    All of this makes the processing work more time-consuming.

3. Opportunities: sub-renting a private apartment

Of course, how easy a sublet apartment can be rented depends on the apartment. In most cases, only the following private housing can be sublet as temporary housing:
– family apartments with several bedrooms in a good location, especially centrally in the city
– preferably in summer months (then also for a shorter period)
– high-quality, rather designer-oriented furnishing
– apartments without private linen, towels, etc.

 

3.1. Lower rental price

The disadvantages from the tenant’s point of view have already been mentioned. For these reasons, for most private apartments, it does not necessarily make sense to include a profit on or to add a surcharge for the furniture. The goal should be to cover your own costs. With a short sublet of only a few months, this is sometimes not possible. Here you should decide whether you want to rent out and to minimize your own costs and possibly not offer your apartment for sub-letting for a few months. During the winter months, it is always more difficult — the chances of renting your apartment are much higher in the summer. We get many requests in January or February for apartments in June or July, usually just for a rental period of a few months, from professors, language students, etc.

 

3.2. Other platforms

If a temporary renting agency tells you that it cannot not find a sub-tenant for your apartment, we recommend you try platforms. For example, home exchange websites, student platforms, etc. These sites have a different target group than agencies.

 

3.3. Offering rented accommodation

In case of a very long absence, do not rent as a temporary apartment but as a rented apartment. Perhaps empty. And find the right tenant for it. Less effort, regular rent. You can specify true reasons for limitations.

 

3.4. Renting for shorter periods

You can also try to rent out the apartment for shorter periods of time and plan for frequent tenant changes. This may be difficult, however, if you are a tenant and you need the landlord’s approval for subletting. Often the landlord does not want a change of tenants during the absence of the main tenant.

If you are renting to several tenants, however, you need someone who will take competent and reliable care of the apartment, do the handing- and taking-over, and will be the contact person if something does not work (and will fix it.) Professional administrative agencies usually do not work with private apartments, or only in exceptional cases (if the apartment is to be rented for several years, the accessories and furniture are such that the apartment can be easily rented, the location is good, etc.)

 

3.5. Conclusion

There are more than enough temporary rental apartments offered in Berlin. There are good opportunities for private apartments that are suitable for families and are well equipped, if the price is right. Of course, the information given here is very general, intended to explain the peculiarities and possible difficulties with renting a private apartment.

The Wohnungsgeberbestaetigung (landlord’s confirmation of residence– obligatory, even for temporary rentals)

Do tenants of furnished flats also need a confirmation of residence?

In November 2015, the new German Federal Registration Act (Meldegesetz) came into force. Tenants must now provide a “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung” (a form signed by the owner, proving that the tenant actually has rented a specific apartment) when they register at the Bürgeramt (local municipal office). The new law is intended to prevent ‘fake’ registrations.
What some don’t know, though, is that the law also applies to temporary rentals. Tenants who are already registered in Germany must only register in Berlin if they plan to stay for more than 6 months. Those who have lived abroad need to register if they plan to stay 3 months or longer. A registration is not necessary for shorter stays.

landlord's confirmation of residence Wohnungsgeberbestaetigung

 

1. Landlords

a.) What are the landlord’s responsibilities?

The landlord of an apartment which is rented out temporarily must also write out and sign the “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung.” If the landlord does not do this, the tenant will be unable to register at the Bürgeramt. Without a registration, the tenant will be unable to open a bank account, will not receive a tax identification number, nor be able to sign contracts for a mobile phone or even a sign up for a gym membership. The registration confirmation from the property owner is, therefore, very important for the tenant. Landlords should immediately provide the tenant with the “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung.”
Landlords should also take into account that tenants may have to wait some time for an appointment at the Bürgeramt. If the tenant can’t show up to their appointment due to a missing “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung” form, that’s not exactly the start of a harmonious tenancy!
The landlord is, by the way, not obliged to find out whether the tenant needs to register or not. The tenant is responsible for this.

b.) What happens if a landlord doesn’t fill out a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung?

The landlord would be committing an offence that is liable to a fine of up to 1000 Euros.

c.) What information is contained in the confirmation of residence (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung)?

The property owner, or management operating in their name, must include the following information:

  • Name of the landlord
  • Name of legal property owner with address (if the landlord and actual property owner are not the same)
  • Address of the apartment
  • Move-in date
  • Name(s) of persons being registered

d.) Does the property owner also have to confirm moving out?

No. The tenant needs to deregister (or if the case may be, re-register). The property owner does not need to confirm this, however.

 

2. Tenants

a.) What are the tenant’s responsibilities?

First, tenants must find out if they need to get registered. If this is the case, they must ask the landlord for the completed “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung” form. Different rules apply. The deciding factor is whether someone is already registered in Germany or not.
If the tenant is already registered elsewhere in Germany and rents for a maximum of 6 months, then nothing has to be done. If tenants extend the rental agreement beyond the six months, however, then they are obliged to register at the Bürgeramt (within two weeks after going beyond the 6-month time limit.)
If tenants are registered abroad and rent more than 3 months, they must register at the Bürgeramt within two weeks after the beginning of the rental. If tenants initially rent for two months and then extend the rent for another two months, the same procedure applies. They also have to register. Those who come from abroad to start a job in Germany, will need to register immediately anyways, since they need a tax ID and a bank account.

 

b.) What happens if tenants aren’t able to get an appointment at the Bürgeramt in time?


Very often, people have to wait a long time to get an appointment at the Bürgeramt (local municipal office). It can be quicker if you are flexible and willing to accept appointments in other parts of the Berlin area (e.g. far out west in Spandau). You can look for available Bürgeramt appointments in the whole of Berlin. You can also get appointments at short notice if someone else happens to cancel. It pays calling to find out. Telephone number for Berlin residents: (0)30 115.

 

c.) Does the Bürgeramt also accept scanned confirmation of residence (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung) forms?

Yes. The confirmation doesn’t have to be the original. The important thing for the registry office is that the property owner has signed the confirmation.

 

d.) What happens if the property owner doesn’t fill out the confirmation of residence form?

German law obliges landlords to provide such a form if the tenant asks for it. If not, the property owner commits a legal offence. Tenants also commit a legal offence if they do not get registered. Both are liable to fines.
You should, however, give the property owner time to organise getting the confirmation of residence. It is best to inform landlords about it upon signing the contract. Tenants shouldn’t wait to ask only a day or two before the appointment at the Bürgeramt!

 

e.) Which documents do tenants need to register at the Bürgeramt?

  • German ID or passport
  • Rental agreement
  • Wohnungsgeberbestätigung (confirmation of residence)
  • visa or permit of residence if applicable
  • for the first registration in Germany, civil status certificates (marriage certificate, birth certificate) if applicable

 

f.) What happens when I move out of an apartment?

You need to deregister (or re-register if moving to somewhere else in Germany.) In this case, however, you do not require any confirmation from the property owner.

 

Is temporary letting still allowed in Berlin?

 

Prohibitory Injunction Against Change of Use – is temporary letting still allowed?

Renting out vacation apartments in Berlin is now forbidden. The prohibition of incorrect use, the so called “Zweckentfremdungsgesetz”  forbids the conversion of living space into vacation apartments. There are very few exceptions.
Many landlords who want to offer or offer furnished apartments on a temporary basis are confused. Is temporary letting allowed, and if so, on what conditions?


prohibition of incorrect use also for temporary rentals

 

Is the temporary Letting of furnished Apartments also affected by the “Zweckentfremdungsgesetz”?

The target group for temporary accommodation is no longer tourists, but persons who come to Berlin to work here. Ten thousand people from Germany and abroad move to Berlin every year to work here.
The housing market in Berlin is tense and it is not always easy to find affordable housing. It is even more difficult, however, if you are not in the city to do your own search.
New Berliners, moving to Berlin to work either temporarily or longer term, often first rent furnished apartments until either their employment in Berlin is over or they have found their own apartment.
These apartments, which are rented out for a certain period of time, are not removed from the normal residential market. If they did not rent for a certain period of time, they would also compete with the many apartment seekers for the already tight living space. And it’s precisely this group of people who would find it hard to find their own housing: not in Berlin and with no Schufa history.

For temporary accommodation, the prohibition of incorrect use of property is not valid, provided the landlord rents to tenants coming to Berlin for work. The tenant must also rent for at least 2 months and have legal residence in Berlin during this time. The fact that the tenant is working here should also be certified by the landlord in writing.

 

Vacation accommodation vs. temporary housing – what’s the difference?

Is it possible to offer former vacation accommodation as furnished temporary housing?

In theory, yes. However, renting out temporary housing is a completely different business model and the apartments are differently equipped. For temporary housing, the law does not apply if the landlord rented to tenants who come to Berlin to work here.  The fact that the tenant works here should also be certified by the landlord.

Vacation Accommodation:

  • target group is tourists who will rent for a few days or weeks
  • basic furnishings okay
  • has many beds: target group is families, groups, etc.
  • easy to clean, convenient, less comfort: tourists spend time out of the house
  • prices indicated per night, higher than a normal rental, but cheaper than a hotel on the number of persons counted, expensive when projected over a month
  • is subject to the prohibition of incorrect use, unless special authorization is obtained

 

Temporary Housing:

  • target group is working people
  • price is indicated per month
  • affordable for normal earners: in competition with other temporary housing, not with hotels
  • higher-quality furnished, more comfortable, a temporary home
  • usually for 1-2 people, it is not very useful to rent a 60m² apartment to 4 people for 6 months
  • comfortable, light cleaning also important, but carpets etc. are available
  • not subject to the prohibition of incorrect use of property, as long as the tenant works in Berlin and rents for at least 2 months

 

Is there still a need for temporary housing in Berlin?

Yes. Good apartments in good locations, not overpriced, good, stylish and furnished with attention to detail always rent out.

However, there has been an oversupply since the act on the prohibition of incorrect use of property and the prohibition of vacation accommodation came into law. Many landlords who formerly earned a lot of money with vacation rental now offer these apartments as furnished temporary housing, often on vacation accommodation standard and at non-market-related prices.

 

When should a Landlord rent out temporary Housing?

Of course, every landlord has an interest in setting the highest possible rent. However, renting out temporary accommodation is not a big money spinner. The standard rental rate does not apply to temporary renting but it is not advisable to use it anyway. At least not if you want to rent out your apartment permanently to good tenants. For landlords, flexibility should be a priority.
As previously mentioned, employed people who earn their money in Berlin are the target group for temporary renting. Of course, it is also rented by production companies for actors who work in Berlin, CEOs, or people who can afford everything. However, this group of persons also has claims. And not every apartment falls into the luxury segment.  For apartments in the top price bracket, it is also unlikely that these will be fully rented. For this reason, we recommend that the rental tariff be calculated in such a way that the apartment is rented throughout the entire year.

It’s also important for the landlord to pay attention to the furnishing. Placing a bed, a wardrobe and a desk in an apartment is simply no longer good enough. The atmosphere and the feel-good factor are also important.

 

Conclusion:

The act on the prohibition of incorrect use of property applies to apartments that are rented to tourists on a daily or weekly basis. Not for temporary housing, however, if the furnished apartment is let to tenants coming to Berlin to work here. The minimum rental period is 2 months.
As a rule, furnished temporary housing is usually more carefully furnished than vacation accommodation. For temporary housing, it is no longer enough to place a bed, a wardrobe and a desk in the apartment. Landlords have to deal with the subject of furniture, because location and atmosphere are important factors for good rentability.

 

7 Heating Tips for Tenants of Temporary Apartments

Heating Tips for Tenants of Furnished Apartments

Heating is a topic for all tenants, but definitely also for those who rent on a temporary basis. At the latest, this becomes a topic when the owner gets the yearly heating bill.

When it comes to temporary rentals, utility costs are already included in the rent. This sounds pretty good. Owners, however count on a tenant’s normal and responsible heating. This is also understandable as the property owner would increase the rent, if this were not the case. The fact of the matter is: heating in Germany is expensive. For this reason, be kind to the environment and be kind to the owner’s wallet. Both will be very grateful!

If everyone heated their properties correctly, at least 10 nuclear power plants could be shut down. This means that if heated up cooling fluids would no longer be directed into rivers, far fewer crocodiles would needlessly die due to heat-induced heart failure. 😉 If this last little titbit can’t be proved by science, proper heating (also in temporary apartment rentals) definitely makes a lot of sense.

Heating tips  furnished apartment

 

1.) Shock Ventilation as opposed to constantly tilted windows

Ventilation in winter is also necessary, even if the heating may still be on. This is very important because if an apartment is not ventilated, it is easily prone to attracting mould.

As opposed to having the window constantly tilted to ventilate, one should go for shock ventilation. Quite simply: open the window (wide!) for a few minutes and then shut it afterwards.

2.) Don’t Heat to the Maximum

Not everybody has the same heat threshold.  Some tenants like it very warm and are wont to turn the knob right up to 5. This is not very wise – even when you enter the property and it feels chilly at first. In a few minutes, you will get used to the temperature. In light of this, it is best to decide upon a moderate temperature. The best room temperature for living rooms and studies is 20°C degrees (68°F). For the kitchen and bedroom, 18°C (64°F) degrees are appropriate. When you turn the heat down in the bedroom (between 15-16°C – 59-60°F degrees is ideal), you will sleep even better!

3.) Don’t Heat all Rooms

Rooms that are infrequently used (such as the guest room, study or toilet) need not be fully heated. You shouldn’t turn off the heating completely, however. Between 10-15°C degrees (50-59°F) is ideal for these spaces. Do be warned. If you don’t heat at all, you run the risk of mould outbreaks. Walls then become damp more easily and mould can make itself at home. Excessive thriftiness in this regard is therefore not the best option.

4.) Close Doors

It is better not to keep all doors open. This way you avoid having cooler areas (such as the hallway of guest room) that get heated from the heating of other rooms. This consumes additional energy.

5.) Don’t Turn the Heating off Completely – For Longer Times Away, Turn It Down

Some tenants mean well by turning the heating off when they head off to work. When the heating is turned on again during the evening to heat the apartment, however, considerable energy is needed. This costs a lot in the process.

6.) Putting Furniture or Other Objects in Front of the Radiator

Heat must be able to spread itself throughout a room. If something is placed in front of the heating (it could even be a chair), then it makes it all the more difficult. Heating takes longer, leading to increased costs.

7.) Wear a Sweater Instead

A lot of temporary renters come from southern climes (South America or the Arabian region). Cold winters in these areas are hardly a thing. This certainly doesn’t mean that when it’s -5°C (25°F) degrees outside, one sits at one’s desk with a t-shirt and the heating set to tropical mode. Go for a sweater and the need for warmth diminishes considerably. Try it out!

For Tenants of Furnished Rental Apartments, this simply means:

…if you follow these 7 heating tips, there is nothing that can stand in your way to get into the hall of fame for the best tenant for temporary apartments. Your landlord and all the world’s crocodiles will be your greatest fans. :-)

Winnie – The Crocodilian Berlin Team

Meet the Crocodilian Team:

Name: Winnie – aka Winifred (..not Wilfred)

Winnie Crocodilian Berlin 1

 

JOB:

Chief Happiness Instructor

TRAINING:

Hundeschule Greh – left without qualification (due to group of shepard dogs)

ABILITY:

down, sit, jump, wait

FURTHER TRAINING:

give us a paw

NO GO (..only if forced)

dog grooming salon

STILL DREAMS OF:

becoming a model for Cesar

FAVOURITE PLACE IN BERLIN

Feinspitz, der Hundeladen 

PASSION:

Playing hide and seek

What Documents you need to rent a flat in Berlin

The rents in Berlin are still much lower than in lots of other world capitals, but the days when you could rent a centrally located flat for nearly nothing are definetely over.
Finding a permanent apartment if you are still abroad is difficult.  A new law – the “Bestellerprinzip” – came into force on June 1, 2015.  Now it is the owner has to  pay the estate agent.  This is good news for the tenants, but it makes it impossible to ask an estate agent to search the Berlin market for a permanent flat, even if you offer to pay for this service. Neither estate agents, nor platforms are  allowed to take money from tenants any more.
It is much easier to start looking for a permanent and unfurnished apartment when you have already arrived in Berlin.

Renting a temporary furnished Apartment

It is much easier to start by renting  a furnished apartment as it is more convenient and easier to secure. Nowadays, they all come fully furnished with internet, wifi, bedding, towels. cutlery,  plates, pots and all that you need.  Most of the furnished rentals have a minimum rental period of 2 or 3 months. Since you never know how long it takes to find a permanent flat,  you can easily commit to a few months.  In order to be on the safe side, you should arrange an option to extend in your rental agreement.
This means that you tell the owner one month before your rental agreement has terminated whether you want to extend the lease or not.  This makes you fairly flexible and you have the security of not being forced to move out. If you have an option to extend, the owner cannot rent out the flat to another tenant.

How to find an apartmnt in Berlin

Documents you need to secure an furnished Apartment

This is what you need: Work Contract, Proof of Education

Renting a furnished tempory apartment is much easier than renting a permanent flat.  First of all, there are apartments on the market and with most such flats there is less competition.
Owners are now not allowed to rent out their properties as holiday lets any more. This is another new law.  Owners can only rent out temporary flats to tenants who come to Berlin for work or for educational purposes (university, language course etc.).  When you apply for an apartment, you will be asked why you come to Berlin (to avoid renting out to tourists) and you might have to present a proof of a work contract.
Even if you don’t have a work contract yet, you still have good chances of finding a temporary apartment. If you work in the I.T. sector, for example, the chances of finding a job in Berln are very good. The owner or the agency will definitely know that you will be able to hand in a work contract later on.
If you attend university or do a language course, you should tell the owner where and what you study, and if and how you can pay the rent. You might have a scholarship or your parents might be paying.
The proof of work or study are the formal requirements, but the personal impression is just as important.  With furnished apartments, not only are you renting an apartment, but also the flat’s complete furnishings. Owners want to be sure that they can rent out to responsible tenants who look after the property, who do not party excessively, disturbing neighbours, or waste energy. Most owners who own well-kept apartments would rather leave their flat empty than renting out to the wrong tenant.
Renting a furnished apartment is very simple. You can either use the services of an agency or answer adverts of owners. Since the tenant does not have to pay any fees any more, renting through an agency is not necessarily more expensive. It is more convenient and agencies help you finding a flat that acutually suits your needs.  But it is worth checking price and quality.
When renting furnished apartments, you need a work contract or proof of untertaking further education.  Sometimes proof of income or some form of confirmation that you have enough funds to pay the rent does suffice. Normally owners do not ask for a SCHUFA.

 

Renting a permanent Apartment

SCHUFA

Once you live in Germany, you will get a SCHUFA – proof that you pay your bills and that you are not in debt. A SCHUFA is required when applying for a permanent, unfurnished apartment in Berlin and in the rest of Germany.

 

Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung

This is a certificate of rent paid that you get from your former landlord. You can also get it if you rent a temporary furnished apartment.

 

Proof of monthly income

You need to present payslips from the last 3 months or, if you are self employed, a BWA (Betriebswirtschaftliche Auswertung: economic evaluation) – also from the last 3 months.