Monthly Archives - November 2016

Winnie – The Crocodilian Berlin Team

Meet the Crocodilian Team:

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

Winnie Crocodilian Berlin 1



Chief Happiness Instructor


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


down, sit, jump, wait


give us a paw

NO GO (..only if forced)

dog grooming salon


becoming a model for Cesar


Feinspitz, der Hundeladen 


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


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.



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.

Céline Marganne – Meet the Crocodilian Team

 Senior Customer Account – + Office Manager


Celine Marganne Crocodilian


Le pays du chocolat (Belgium) – Liège


Enjoys communicating with clients from all over the world and to help them to feel at home in Berlin.




Studied German and English. Used to work for a rock band


Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Vegan chocolat


Les clients francophone. And all others


French fries


German, French, English


Multitasking, patience and accuracy


Advanced and incurable chocolate addiciton


Rehberge park (Wedding) in autumn


Families with small children. And all others



Céline’s email address is office @ crocodilian.d

Anna de Brito – Meet the Crocodilian Team

Multilingual Customer Account Manager



Half Portugese. Comes from a family of Fado musicians


To make people happy. The clients and her team


In the aviation business. But on the ground.


Looking after mountain gorillas in Congo


Her chocolat bars – and Celine’s


The positive feedback she gets from her clients


German, Portugese, English, French, Spanish. All fluent.




Gutspark Neukladow



Anna’s email address is flats @

10 Tips: Things that should not be in a furnished Flat

What to avoid when Furnishing a temporary Apartment

The market for furnished flats has changed. Years ago, nearly all apartments rented out easily. There were fewer on the market and tenants had to make do with practical solutions.
This has now changed. Nowadays tenants have the choice. And they go for more stylish and modern flats. The typical holiday let with inexpensive and boring standard furnishings is an outdated model.

Here are 10 tips for owners to make sure they avoid the worst mistakes when furnishing an apartment.


Furnishing - what to avoid


1. Plants

Plants are not an ideal decoration choice for a furnished apartment. There are exceptions to this rule though but only if the plant is part of the design.
It is better to rent out an apartment without living plants.  A collection of potted plants does not look very modern. Tenants are also not too keen on looking after the plants. Spare yourself the trouble of arguing with the tenant at the end, when the tenants move out. There are better ways of decorating apartments.


2. Oriental-style Carpet

Oriental carpets used to be popular  – and very expensive – perhaps some 20 or 30 years ago. Today, oriental carpets are not fashionable any more. In our experience, some apartments do not rent out because of the carpet. This is the feedback we get from tenants.
There are new, modern versions of the typical Persian carpet on the market now. The colours are different and so are the patterns. These are okay but the classical oriental carpets should be avoided. Owners should always remember that the target group for furnished flats are working professionals who come to work in Berlin. Most of them are between 25 and 50 and they prefer modern furniture.
Even the aparment in the above photo which is expensively furnished and not overpriced, is not everybody’s favourite.

3.) Shelves

Shelves are not ideal for furnished apartments. Wardrobes, cupboards – everything that helps storing items, is much better. Nobody brings a library with them when they move into a temporary, furnished apartment. Storing items in shelves just does not look very good. You always see them because they are not packed away. Go for clean chic and be better off choosing a wardrobe or a chest of drawers!


4.) Too many Books

You already have shelves in your apartment and you don’t want to throw them away? Then you should be careful not to leave too many books. Tenants are not necessarily interested in reading old(er) books. Especially if they are a bit dusty as it does not look stylish either.

5.) Cheap IKEA Furniture

Generally speaking, IKEA furniture is totally okay – or at least some IKEA furniture. But you should be careful not to buy only the cheapest stuff. If you are familiar with all the names of your IKEA furniture, chances are that you only bought the basic and not so stylish items à la Malm, Billy, Lack, Ivar…to name a few!
It is best to match IKEA furnishings (like Pax)  with other, slightly more upscale furnishings. This way, your apartment won’t look like a cheap holiday let.


6.) Second Hand Furniture

Buy new furniture. It is an investment that certainly pays off. That ‘vintage touch’ can’t always be pulled off. If you mix a few items from the 60’s, or 70’s with modern furnishings, the decor should be fine. Nobody would say no to an old Eames or Panton Chair. Mixing too many old pieces of furniture with the new might not be successful on the market. Tenants prefer a new and clean style.

7.) Ugly Pictures

Beware! You can ruin a good design concept with the wrong pictures – or even with one ugly picture! The next time you see a bargain at IKEA, please don’t buy it. There are enough holiday lets with not very tasteful tourist sights like Brandenburger Tor that are already on the market. Needless to say – these flats are not popular with good tenants. Agencies are not allowed to rent out to tourists any more, only to people who come to work in Berlin.
On holidays, you might ignore such pictures. But if you live in an apartment for a longer period of time, you just don’t want to see “Sunset at the Brandenburger Gate” day in day out.


8.) Sofa bed instead of real Bed

Unless your apartment is very, very small, please always buy a bed instead of a sofa bed. Apartments with sofa beds are harder to rent out. A good bed with a good mattress (!) is the most important piece of furniture in any rental apartment. Very few tenant will go out of their way to put away the bedding each morning and transform the bed back into a sofa.
Sofa beds are only suitable for the occassional visitor.

9.) Clothes Stand instead of a Wardrobe

Owners should always remember that tenants come to Berlin for work reasons. They are therefore going to have to dress appropriately on a daily basis. For them, a clothes stand is not a substitute for a wardrobe. They have to store their cases, winter coats and other such possessions. Even if there is not a lot of space in your apartment, a real wardrobe is always a must.


10.)  Personal Belongings of the Owner

The personal belongings of the owners should not be left in the apartment. If the owner wants to rent out an apartment while he/she is away and it is not possible to remove everything from the actual owner, there might still be the option to put personal stuff into one room and have it locked. Alternatively the rent may need to come down.