Category - Tenants

Information for tenants of furnished Apartments in Berlin

Wedding – the Insider Tip for Temporary Rentals in Berlin

Wedding is the insider tip for temporary living. If you are moving to Berlin and still want to get to know the original Berlin and a largely authentic neighborhood, Wedding is a good choice. Gentrification in Wedding is still not very advanced and living space is still cheaper than in other districts.
Wedding also surprises newcomers with many large parks that invite them to relax and unwind. Those interested in culture will find something interesting in Wedding, off the beaten track.

Questions about living in Wedding are answered here

 

1.) Is temporary or permanent living in Wedding expensive?
2.)Is it Wedding or “der” Wedding – “in” Wedding or “im” Wedding
3.) Does one live centrally in Wedding? What is the connection like?
4.) Who lives in Wedding?
5.) How do you live in Wedding?
6.) What are the shopping possibilities in Wedding?
7.) What can you do in Wedding?
8.) Who likes to live in Wedding?
9.) Is living in Wedding dangerous?
10.) Are there many tourists in Wedding?
11.) What sights are there in Wedding?

 

1.) Is temporary or permanent living in Wedding expensive?

The rent level has also risen in Wedding in recent years. However, on average it is still below the Berlin average. If you are looking for a cheap, furnished apartment for a limited period of time or an apartment for an indefinite rent, you will be more likely to find it in Berlin Wedding than in other parts of the city. However, there are exceptions here as well, namely apartments that are absolutely overpriced. On average, Berlin Wedding offers a good price-performance ratio.

 

House in Wedding

 

2.) Is it Wedding or “der” Wedding – “in” Wedding or “im” Wedding?

Correctly one says “the Wedding” and “in the Wedding”. The Berliner also says “uff’m Wedding”. Wedding is one of the few place names in German that have an article.

 

3.) Does one live centrally in Wedding? What is the connection like?

Since 2002, Wedding has officially belonged to the Mitte district, although Mitte has a completely different character. The good thing about Wedding is its central location. With the U6 you are in Mitte, Kreuzberg, with the U4 in City West, with the tram M13 in Friedrichshain at the Warschauerstr. Not to forget the connection to the Ringbahn with the S-Bahn stations Wedding and Gesundbrunnen. From Wedding you can also quickly reach Berlin Tegel Airport. This location is extremely practical for those of you who rent an apartment for a limited period and are weekend home flyers.

 

Malplaquetstr Berlin Wedding

 

4.) Who lives in Wedding?

Wedding is a multi-cultural district. 48% of all residents have a migration background.
The residents of Wedding come from abroad:
– Germany: 52
– Turkey: 8% Africa: 6%
– Africa: 6% Arab states
– Arabic states: 6%
– Poland: 6 %
– former Yugoslavia: 5%.
– former SU: 2%
– Asia: 4% The Wedding is still
Wedding is still a working class district, or a district of small people. In addition, Wedding is the most popular neighbourhood among students, just behind Neukölln.
n-between, more and more artists, young people and even higher earners are discovering the special charm of Wedding for themselves and moving to the neighbourhood. Here, too, you will find original cafes, speciality cafes, second-hand shops and organic shops.

 

Cafe im Wedding

 

5.) How do you live in Wedding?

In Wedding, in the southern part adjacent to the centre, you will find the typical Berlin apartment buildings with backyards. Many of them were demolished in the 60s and 70s. One example is the infamous Meyers Hof in Ackerstr. 132, an extremely densely built-up tenement with six backyards. In Wedding these buildings were replaced by modern social housing buildings.
In the northern part of Wedding there are many settlements from the 20s and 30s, such as the African Quarter and the settlement Schillerpark.

 

Obst - und Gemüsegeschäft in Berlin Wedding

 

 

6.) What are the shopping possibilities in Wedding?

Wedding is a good place for shopping. Especially fruit and vegetables. For vegetarians, vegans and fruit and vegetable lovers, living in Wedding is highly recommended. You only have to be strong when passing the Halal butcher’s shops. In addition to the many Turkish fruit and vegetable traders, there is also a wide range of weekly markets, including organic markets, such as the market at Rathaus Wedding Center, Ostender Str, Leopoldplatz, Gesundbrunnen (Iranian/Reinickendorfer Str) and Nettelbeckplatz. The prices are moderate and lower than in other parts of the city.
The main shopping street is Müllerstraße. A branch of the Karstadt department store chain is also located here. A large shopping center is located at the S-Bahn station Gesundbrunnen.

 

Rehberge Wedding

 

 

7.) What are the shopping possibilities in Wedding?

– Walking, doing sports, lazing around in the park
Many people think of Wedding as grey rental cash registers. Very few people know that Wedding is a very green district with many parks. Why take long journeys to the Tiergarten when the most beautiful parks are around the corner? The largest is the landscape park Rehberge, where you will find lakes, natural meadows and many trees. There is also a zoo, an open-air cinema and many sports facilities. The Goethepark is located next to Rehberge. In the English quarter you will find the Schillerpark and further east the Humboldthain.
– Swimming in the Plötzensee

 

Rehberge Berlin Wedding Wiese

 

8.) Who likes to live in Wedding?

Turkish fruit and vegetable shops, Arab hairdressers, Indian restaurants, Asian supermarkets. All this can be found in Wedding. And people from all over the world. Other districts may be more beautiful, and in fact it’s not always love at first sight with most Wedding fans. But once you’ve fallen for the rough charm of Wedding, you usually don’t want to leave. Here you’ll find what often doesn’t exist anymore in other districts: A colourful mixture of different cultures, diversity and authenticity. If you like that, you will feel at home in Wedding.

 

 

9.) Is living in Wedding dangerous?

Wedding doesn’t have the very best reputation. Most of those who talk badly about Wedding have not been there themselves yet. Even many Berliners know Wedding only from stories.
The crime rate in Wedding is indeed higher than in Berlin as a whole. That doesn’t mean, of course, that temporary living in Wedding is unsafe. The crime rate in Berlin is below that of other European and other metropolises. You are right in Wedding if you know how to interpret statistics. And if you are aware of the fact that you have to protect yourself from pickpockets everywhere and also lock the apartment door.

 

DSC02764

 

10.) Are there many tourists in Wedding?

No. Tourists are mainly to be found at “Berliner Unterwelten”, in the Bernauer Str. memorial centre (the centre is in Wedding, the death strip in the centre) and in the Mauerpark between Wedding and Prenzlauer Berg. However, Wedding is not yet on the tourist route – no hop on hop-off bus stops there. You can still experience the authentic Wedding and discover it for yourself.

 

11.) What sights are there in Wedding?

Wedding does not offer the usual tourist attractions. In addition to the “Berlin Underworlds”, the Wall Memorial and the Wall Park, there is interesting architecture, for example. In the 20 years Wedding was avant-garde. New living was the buzzword. After the 1st World War there was a great housing shortage. Here, the best architects built apartments for workers – including Bruno Taut, the Friedrich-Ebert-Siedlung and the Schillerpark estate. One of the most famous architects of the 20th century, Mies van der Rohe, also stands on the African Road. In contrast to the tenements of that time – 40% of the apartments consisted of one room, the WC was located on half a staircase in the staircase and was shared with other tenants, these houses were extremely comfortable in terms of size and equipment. In addition, they still look modern.
Also of interest are the Wedding Crematorium in Antonstr., Berlin’s first crematorium, built in 1910, now a cultural centre, and the Old Nazareth Church in Schinkel dating from 1835.

 

Berlin Wedding

Storage Space in a Furnished Apartment

Are you moving to a new city and looking for a temporary furnished apartment for the transition? The question quickly arises: where to put your own furniture, books, clothes, personal items and your own household? What is the best solution here? Move with everything or store everything? Or maybe sublet your own apartment with all your inventory?
Before you make a decision here, you should know what is not possible if you rent an apartment on time. Bringing your entire household with furniture into the rented apartment is a no-go. Temporary living is not meant for that. The idea is: the tenant arrives with one or two suitcases and everything he needs for the next few months is available in the apartment.

Storage space in furnished apartment

1. What do I do with my own Furniture if I rent an Apartment for a limited Period of Time?

Apartments that are rented out furnished for a limited period of time are usually fully and not partially furnished.
The tenancy agreement also stipulates that the tenant may not change the furniture or move furniture. Nor is it permissible to store the furniture of the furnished apartment externally or in the cellar and to bring your own furniture with you instead. By the way, cellars are not rented out with the time rental. Therefore you should store your own furniture etc., but not bring it with you to Berlin.

2. Why do Landlords not rent out the Cellar of a furnished Flat?

In Berlin, the cellars in old buildings are often damp and not suitable for storing furniture, books, clothing and everything that gets moldy. Cellars often also smell slightly musty. In addition, cellars can be flooded both in old and new buildings.

Burglaries in cellars are also quite common in Berlin. Valuable objects, and/or everything, on which one hangs, should be stored therefore as well as not in the cellar. The household contents insurance of the landlord would not step in in case of theft of the objects of the tenant and with flooding by the way and an own household contents insurance, only because of the cellar, is not worthwhile for tenants on time (in contrast to the liability insurance, which is important for living on time). After all, the household contents, i.e. the entire furnishings, are the property of the landlord.

3.Is there enough Storage Space in furnished Flats for a certain Period of Time?

Storage space for clothing is always available in temporary flats. For larger apartments more, for smaller apartments less. Practically all apartments above a certain size have a wardrobe. Only in exceptional cases can you find a clothes rail. In larger flats there are often further clothes – or closets, sometimes also storerooms. These are particularly suitable for packing suitcases away. 4.
4 What should and what can I bring with me if I rent a furnished apartment for a limited period?

Temporary flats have everything you need for your daily life: Bed linen, towels, dishes, cutlery, pots, pans, kettles, toasters, tumble dryers, irons and ironing boards. Actually you don’t need to bring anything at all.

Our Tips:

Store your furniture and everything you don’t need immediately and organize your move only after you have found a permanent home.
Is there too little storage space in the apartment? Then it’s best to talk to the landlord. Many landlords are willing to buy additional furniture. However, this usually requires the tenant to rent the apartment for a longer period of time.
Do not bring your own furniture with you.

Furnished flats in Berlin Wilmersdorf

Furnished Apartments Berlin Mitte

Furnished Aparment in Berlin Charlottenburg

Furnished Flat in Berlin Tiergarten

Furnished Flat Berlin Friedrichshain

Furnished Apartment Berlin Schoeneberg

 

 

 

 

10 Important Facts about Furnished Apartments that might surprise you when you first move to Germany

Are you moving to Germany for the first time? Then read on …

We have gathered for you 10 Facts about Furnished Apartments in Berlin and in the rest of Germany that you might find surprising

Shark Armchair

 

 

1.) Apartments in Germany are not numbered.

You have rented a furnished apartment online and you have received the address of your temporary home, but the number of the apartment is missing! This is no mistake, apartments in Germany don’t have numbers.

How do you find your apartment then?
You mainly need the name on the doorbell or additional information of the apartment’s location.  For example: front house, side building, garden building or floor number.

 

2.) Air conditioning

Air condition is a frequent request from Americans who search for furnished apartments in Berlin.
Unfortunately, apartments in Berlin (and the rest of Germany) do not have air conditioners. There are a few exceptions though– Some very expensive luxury flats have them.
However, it is safe to say that you won’t need air conditioning anyway. The temperature in Germany is rarely hot enough to require an air conditioner, even if it’s hot outside.

 

3.) Small Refrigerators

Americans often search for the fridge in our photos. Yes, it is always there – fridges are standard items for furnished apartments, but the standard size of a German fridge is much smaller than the American model. Unless you rent a large and more expensive family apartment.
You can always find supermarkets within walking distance (you don’t even need a car) so there is no need for a large fridge anyway.

 

4.) Number of Rooms

In Germany, we count the number of rooms, not the bedrooms. For example, a 2-room apartment is an apartment with one bedroom and a living/dining room. The kitchen does not count as a room.
If you are searching for a 2-bedroom apartment, you have to go for a 3-room apartment.

 

5.) Washing machine – but not always a dryer

A washing machine is a standard item for a furnished flat, a dryer is not. You most often find dryers in larger apartments where there is enough space or in luxury flats.

 

6.) Owners always pay an agency fee

In Germany, it is always the landlord who pays the agency fee. Everything else is now illegal. Brokers, platforms etc. cannot even ask for a handling fee from the tenant.

 

7.) Heating

All apartments have a heating system – either gas, central, underfloor heating etc.
However, since energy is very expensive in Germany, we recommend tenants to obtain additional information on how to stay resourceful and  environmentally conscious. For example:  Always use the thermostat and don’t regulate the temperature by leaving windows open for long periods of time.

 

8.) Airing and Venting

Whether you rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment: Airing and venting is always a must. Tenants have to air and vent daily to prevent humidity from building up. At least 10 minutes a day  should do the trick. Don’t forget to air and vent after you have taken a shower.

 

9.) Windows open differently

In the US, UK and in Scandinavia you mostly find sash windows. But not here in Germany. We have casement windows which guarantee good insolulation and are energy efficient. The advantage if casement windows: You can swing the entire window open which is a plus when airing and venting the apartment :-)
Casement windows are also much safer. Casement windows are difficult to break into. The casement locks are hook-shaped, and these hooks are embedded within the frame. You can open the window only from the inside, unless you leave the window in a tilted position. This should be avoided, if your apartment is located on the ground floor etc.

 

10.) Recycling Bins

All apartment buildings in Berlin and the rest of Germany have material-specific recycling bins. It is common practice to separate plastics, papers, and compost materials and to dispose of them in their designated bins. Not only does this keep our trash neatly organized, but it helps at reducing the environmental impact as well.

Anything you find surprising?  We’d love to hear from you!

Protection Against Burglaries in Temporary Furnished Apartments

Bedroom Ransacked During Burglary

Pixaby CC0 Creative Commons Fotograf: highwaystarz #195993453

How safe is Berlin? Tenants, who move here from home or abroad, often ask this question. The answer is not so clear.

In comparison to other major cities, Berlin is relatively safe. The probability of being attacked on the street or being the victim of a serious crime is low.

However, in terms of thefts, things look very different. Caution should always be taken in Berlin. Pickpockets, bicycle theft, and burglaries are the most common offences.

Fortunately, the number of thefts is declining. One of the reasons for this is that apartments are becoming increasingly well protected against burglary. Even so, tenants who rent temporary apartments should also take time to deal with this issue.  From experience, burglars who successfully gain entry to the apartment do not steal bulky items, such as furniture or televisions; rather they go for smaller items such as smartphones, tablets, ID cars, and money. Unfortunately, if these types of items are stolen, no insurance company in Germany compensates for this. Even the property insurance of the Landlord will not help.

For tenants coming from abroad, it may be useful to check whether there is insurance in their home country that covers against theft in furnished apartments. However, there is no need for fear and panic. So far there have been only been a handful of burglaries in furnished apartments mediated by us in Berlin. An overview of burglary statistics in the various districts in Berlin can be found here.

It is worthwhile for tenants of a temporary apartment to inform themselves on the issue at an early stage and to protect against burglary.

 

Read our three tips here:

 

1) Always double lock your temporary apartment.

With a furnished apartment that you have rented temporarily, it is always best to use a double lock. While it is true that thieves can theoretically crack any door, they generally don’t have the motivation.  If they do not succeed to break open the door in a couple of minutes, they will just move on to the next apartment.

You should also lock your door even if you only leave your place for a few minutes, especially during the day. Many burglaries take place during the day when the residents are working.

If you don’t lock your apartment properly and a burglary takes place, insurance companies regard this as gross negligence. The resulting damage, e.g. to the front door, could then be charged directly to you.

 

2) Always close windows and doors.

Watch out for tilted windows, skylights, open balconies, and patio doors. This rule applies especially to apartments on the ground and mezzanine floor. However, it is also applicable to all other apartments where windows and balconies are easily accessible; some thieves even come over rooftops. Even if you only have to go shopping for a few minutes you should not forget this. Burglars can easily open tilted windows and get into the apartment. You should also use the lock on the windows if they are equipped with this function.

 

3) Prevention:

You should regularly back up data.

It is annoying if your laptop is stolen. However the device is replaceable, the data is not. Therefore, it makes sense to back up your data on an external device, or cloud regularly. In the worst case scenario, your laptop is gone, but not the data.

 

What we recommend to tenants of temporary furnished apartments in Berlin:

  • Always double lock your apartment. – Even if you are just going to get bread rolls.
  • The same applies for windows: avoid leaving them in a tilted position.
  • Do not keep cash in your apartment.
  • Secure your laptop with a complicated password and back up your data regularly to an external hard drive.

Renting a Temporary Furnished Apartment: What Requirements Must the Tenant Fulfil?

Happy couple having break during moving to new house
Pixaby CC0 Creative Commons Fotograf: baranq/ Fotolia #126997752

What Requirements Must the Tenant Fulfil?

Renting a temporary furnished apartment is actually quite easy.

However, the tenant has to meet certain requirements in order to complete the contract. This often includes proof that they can pay the rent. This is fully understandable and logical on the part of the landlord.

In Berlin, it is also required that the future tenant confirm they are in Berlin for professional reasons, or otherwise here for training/further education. This can be done in the rental agreement itself, or separate one specifically for this reason.

For some prospective tenants, this can sometimes be confusing or even irritating. Therefore we have provided clarification as to why this rule is in place.

 

Misappropriate use of Temporary Furnished Apartments

In 2014 Berlin introduced a new law regulating the use and rent of housing/apartments. Landlords are now only allowed to rent their property for residential purposes, not as a holiday home or as an office – it doesn’t matter if the place is furnished or unfurnished.

The reason for this is simple. A few years ago there was an explosion of holiday homes in the city centre, thus leaving fewer and fewer vacant apartments for those who live and work in the city.

Now the law is clearly defined. The minimum rental period is two months, and the tenant(s) must either be coming to Berlin to work, study, complete training, or attend a language course.

This provision is intended to prevent landlords from renting to tourists or those in Berlin purely for private reasons.

Apartments that are rented to tourists etc. are seen as holiday homes and are subject to regulatory approval.

 

What alternatives are there if you do not work in Berlin?

1.) You’re not sure if these rules apply to you?

You’re moving to Berlin, but you don’t have an employment contract or want to work remotely from Berlin? Talk to your temporary apartment rental agency! Sometimes, it is possible to find a solution.

 

2.) Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments are also temporary furnished apartments. In addition, they also offer other services, such as a weekly cleaning service etc.  They are not subject to the ban on the misuse of property (Zweckentfremdungsverbot), as serviced apartments are actually considered as hotels. They are mostly found in a serviced apartment complex and can be rented for any desired period of time.

The rental price always includes 7% VAT (MwSt.), and additionally, those who cannot prove they are Berlin for professional reasons are obliged to pay a City-Tax.

Much like hotels, Serviced Apartments are available in all price categories. Usually, they are smaller and much more expensive than temporary furnished apartments.

 

3) Holiday Homes

Holiday homes can also be rented for any desired period of time in Berlin. In addition to VAT (MwSt.), which is included in the rental price, the renter must also pay a City-Tax.

Holiday homes are usually furnished to a lower standard and are more expensive than temporary furnished apartments.

 

How much is the City-Tax for private stays in Berlin?

The City-Tax is 5% of the net price of the room/apartment per night. The collection of the tax is limited to 21 successive days.

How to Get a SCHUFA in Berlin

Geldscheinpuzzle - Schufa

Pixaby CC0 Creative Commons Fotograf: motorradcbr/ Fotolia #79102936

What is a SCHUFA and How to Get One in Berlin

Have you been looking into how to get a SCHUFA and are slightly confused about how to go about it?
We know that most of the bureaucracy new Berliners need to deal with can be overwhelming, so we spoke with a SCHUFA agent to find out everything you need to know about getting your SCHUFA in Berlin.

Why do you need a SCHUFA?

Are you looking to rent your own unfurnished apartment in Berlin for the long term? As you may have already heard, every landlord will be expecting to see your SCHUFA, or credit rating score before they even consider showing you the apartment. In addition, if you are applying for a loan, you will need a SCHUFA for the bank to determine how high your interest rate will be.

What exactly is a SCHUFA?

SCHUFA is the largest German credit rating agency, and it stands for:

Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung. This translates to ‘general credit security agency’ and your score is calculated by information the agency receives about you when you open a bank account or start a phone contract. Your SCHUFA will only include information about your life in Germany. Any previous information regarding your credit rating in your home country, good or bad, will not be part of your SCHUFA score. Future banks, landlords or property managers, as well as phone and internet providers will look at your SCHUFA rating to determine how risky of a client or renter you are.

It’s actually not so complicated to get your SCHUFA score as a non-German speaking expat.
However, you can only get a SCHUFA score once you’ve registered in the city, meaning that you need to technically be living somewhere in Berlin already.

To combat this dilemma, it is best to find a furnished apartment  or a shared apartment first, register yourself there, so you can get your Anmeldung . Once you have your SCHUFA, you are eligible to apply for unfurnished, long term apartments.

You have a few options when it comes to going about getting your SCHUFA. Follow our experience to find out how to go about this process.

 

Our Experience of Getting a SCHUFA:

We wanted to know how everything works with getting a Schufa as an English speaking expat.  Since most bureaucratic tasks in Berlin are done only in German, you may be wondering if it’s the same with a SCHUFA.

We decided to find out, so we gave the customer service line a call. Turns out… there isn’t an English line, but they will transfer you to an agent who speaks English.

After calling this number: 0611 – 92780 I was directed to a German recording system . I chose option 1, which lead me to an agent able to help with starting the SCHUFA process.

Next, this person transferred me to an agent who spoke English. I only waited about 2 minutes to be transferred.

My agent was incredibly helpful and friendly.

Here’s what I learned from him about getting a SCHUFA in Berlin or Germany if you don’t have a German passport.

There are a couple different SCHUFA options:

  • The Free Option
    Everyone is entitled to one free SCHUFA report a year. This is a paper document which is sent to you by mail. The Free Option is for your viewing purposes only to find out your credit score. The free option will take 2 to 3 weeks to get to you.

 

If you are looking to rent your own unfurnished apartment, or you need your SCHUFA as quickly as possible, it’s best to go with the following option. Most landlords won’t accept the free version.

  • The Paid Option (29.95 euros)
    This option provides you with a reliable and official credit rating report to give to landlords without disclosing any of your other personal data. The paid option also includes an extensive report for you to keep for yourself. This one time SCHUFA purchase is great if you just need to show it to a landlord. Keep in mind that most landlords will want to see a recent SCHUFA report, so it’s best to purchase it within a couple months of applying to apartments.

 

How to Get a SCHUFA

There are a few different ways to apply for your SCHUFA. You can apply via post, or through the online portal system. You can also talk the process through and order your paid SCHUFA via phone with a customer service agent. Take note that the free version is not available over the phone.

When you are applying, you will need the following:

  • Your Anmeldung Document
  • Your Bank account details
  • Your Passport

 

Apply Via Mail

Fill out the forms and make photo copies of your passport and your Anmeldung.

Free Option: Simply choose your preferred language and fill out the SCHUFA Order Form
You can leave the ‘Alternative’ (paid section) unchecked and blank on this page. Take note that the free option is only available to order via mail.

Paid Option: Print and fill out this English SCHUFA Order Form

Send all of your documents to the SCHUFA office and this address:

SCHUFA Holding AG
Postfach 10 25 66
44725 Bochum, Germany

This method takes the longest, and you can expect to receive your SCHUFA approximately 2 to 3 weeks after applying.

 

Apply On the Phone

If you plan on applying for the paid SCHUFA, we think it is easiest to do over the phone. When we called, there was only about a 5 minute wait time until a friendly English speaking agent came on the line. You will need to have your bank details on hand as well as your passport and Anmeldung document. The agent will then confirm your identity and create the report for you. They will mail it out the next day and you should receive it within 2 to 3 business days.

Customer Service Line: 0611 – 92780

Press number 1 first when you are given the options in German. You will be directed to a customer service agent. If your German isn’t great, simply ask to speak to an agent who speaks English and they will transfer you along.

 

 Apply in Person at a Bank

If you are in a time crunch and need your SCHUFA report immediately, your best bet is visiting a bank. It does not matter if you do not have a bank account with these particular banks, they will still be able to process your SCHUFA for you. To get your SCHUFA done quickly, you can go to any of these Berlin Postbanks or Volksbanks.

Bring all of the aforementioned documents with you.

 

Apply Online through MeineSchufa.de

To apply online, simply fill out this form and provide your details.
To clarify some myths or confusion surrounding SCHUFA:

During our phone call with the SCHUFA agent, we clarified some more information regarding the SCHUFA:

  • Your SCHUFA is calculated soon after you have opened a bank account or started a contract with a phone company, internet, etc.
  • The neighbourhood you live in does not affect your SCHUFA score
  • A good SCHUFA score is about 85% and higher
  • The average SCHUFA score is 91.64%
  • No one starts with a 100% SCHUFA Score
  • Your SCHUFA score will fluctuate based on your contracts, however, can always improve
  • It is not recommended to have many bank accounts or to switch banks often as this can affect your score
  • Your SCHUFA rating won’t be affected by the number of times you request a new SCHUFA document

 

In a Nutshell…

Many administrative tasks in Berlin can seem daunting. How to get a SCHUFA is actually fairly straight forward. If you are planning on staying in Berlin, you may want to get your own lease on an unfurnished apartment. Getting your SCHUFA will give you that opportunity. Our experience of getting a SCHUFA wasn’t too difficult. We reccommend getting your paid Schufa on the phone, as there are English speaking agents who can help you, and the process is quite fast.

Once you get your (good!) SCHUFA score, you will be well on your way to landing a great unfurnished apartment in Berlin. Let us know how you applied for your SCHUFA in the comments!

Temporary Furnished Apartments: When does the tenant have to pay VAT (Mehrwertsteuer)?

Rollable room divider to seperate bedroom  from living room area

Why do tenants have to pay Value-Added Tax (VAT) when renting a temporary apartment in Germany?

Tenants renting a temporary apartment often have to pay VAT if they rent the apartment for less than 6 months and one day. The reduced VAT rate for short-term rentals is 7%. Otherwise private rentals and temporary apartments are not subject to VAT.

This is not because the landlord or the agencies want to charge this, instead the legislative authorities have agreed upon this charge and landlords are often asked to pay it by the fiscal authorities. For the tax office, renting a temporary furnished apartment is similar to renting a holiday home. It does not matter whether the tenant is in Berlin for professional or educational reasons.

 

What does this mean for the Tenant?

It means that the landlord adds, in addition to the rent, the reduced VAT rate to the overall total. This will then be shown separately in the contract. If you are self-employed, entitled to reclaim VAT, or when a company rents, it can be regarded as a transitory item. By private tenants, this is not the case.

The good news: although the rent increases by 7% per month with this tax, the final price for staying in temporary apartments is still a lot cheaper than staying in a serviced apartment, hotel, or holiday home. If you only rent for a few months, 7% VAT is not actually so much.

 

What happens if you extend your rental contract?

Those new to Berlin often rent temporary furnished apartments for a relatively short period of time when they arrive. They hope to find their own unfurnished apartment quickly. This is often more difficult than expected. The rent price has increased the past few years and yet the demand is still greater than what is available. Temporary tenants then decide it may be better to stay put and extend the lease on their temporary furnished apartment. This can happen, once, twice, or sometimes even more. In total their rental period could stretch up to a year or more. In any case, it is greater than the aforementioned 6 months. Theoretically, the tenant should then be exempt from paying VAT.

Sometimes the tax office agrees with this line of thought, however sometimes it does not. The tax office usually calculates from the original agreement – this would be the original short-term rental agreement. This depends on the individual tax offices and tax officer however, and cannot be generalised.

Our Tips for Short-Term Tenants

  • If VAT is added to the rental price, why not consider seeing if you can commit to 6 months + straight away?
  • Talk to the landlord or your rental agency. Often you can find a solution and make the total extension of your contract more than 6 months.

Liability Insurance for Your Apartment in Berlin

Why you really Need Liability/Tenant Insurance for your Temporary Furnished Apartment

Haftpflichtversicherung moeblierte Wohnung auf Zeit

 

Liability insurance is the type of insurance that everyone should definitely have, without a question.

Picture this: you’re walking through an intersection while the light is red, and an approaching car stops suddenly to avoid hitting you. As a consequence, it hits a street lamp. And then it gets even worse: the driver is injured. It’s possible that they sustain permanent injuries, and become incapable of working ever again.The damages of this type of accident can run into the millions. Luckily, liability insurance covers incidents like these and the damages you could cause.
Better yet, the cost of this kind of insurance is extremely affordable for everyone. For only 50 euros a year you can purchase liability insurance as a single person.

Liability insurance also applies if you cause damage to a furnished apartment. It happens a lot easier than you may think: say, you decide to vacuum the flat and hit the TV while doing so. It falls to the ground and breaks. Or you leave a roof window open, the rain gets in and water spots ruin the flooring. A bad scenario would be water damage, for which you, the tenant would be responsible for. And what would be the worst case scenario? Your downstairs neighbours’ apartment is now damaged or affected as well.

But beware: not all damages are always insured. A distinction is made between damage to the stationary fixtures- everything that is permanently installed such as the sink, the flooring, etc. – and movable items – TV, sofa, all the furniture and equipment that can be pushed back and forth.
Therefore, it is important to check your own insurance before moving into a furnished apartment and if necessary, switch to another policy. A policy that insures damages to the movable items only costs a few euros more.
Incidentally, if you rent your own apartment after moving out of the furnished apartment, your liability insurance covers damage to this apartment as well. You don’t need to purchase new insurance for this.

Damages Must always be reported to Landlord and Insurance as soon as possible

Liability insurance is always a good thing to have. Nevertheless, you should always handle your furnished flat’s furniture carefully to avoid damage. Since you are the one renting the apartment, you are responsible should anything be damaged during your stay. This is another reason insurance is extremely beneficial – it offers peace of mind. The landlord will keep an amount of your deposit until everything has been taken care of through insurance and the damage is fixed.

Sometimes the assessment of damages differs between landlords and tenants. What one person says is damage, the other describes as wear. What happens if the landlord claims you’ve damaged something, and you have to settle the damages that you did not cause?
Again, liability insurance will help you in this scenario as well. It refuses unjustified claims from the landlord.
We always recommend a detailed handover protocol, which states which damage or signs of wear already existed when moving in.

Incidentally, a condition for obtaining liability insurance is a residence in Germany. You must already be registered in Germany. (Completed your Anmeldung) As well, some insurance companies may require you to have a German bank account, but others do not.
In addition, you can opt to get insurance at any time, even if you already lived in the rented apartmen for some time.

 

Advantages of Liability Insurance for Temporary Housing

Damages are insured not only for furnished apartments, but also damages caused in unfurnished apartments. This is important if you move to your own apartment after moving out. You then do not need to obtain a new insurance policy.

  • Key loss or damage resulting from the loss of keys is also insured.
  • It is cheap (from about 50 euros for single person, from about 110 euros for a family)
  • It is valid worldwide (if you have settled in Germany but decide to go on a holiday abroad or rent an apartment or a furnished apartment elsewhere)
  • You can complete your application for insurance online

THINGS YOU SHOULD ALSO TAKE NOTE OF:

  • Liability insurance is valid for at least one year and must be cancelled if you plan to leave Germany.
  • Some insurance policies can also be terminated before the end of a year, if the policy holder previously deregisters at the Bürgeramt and leaves Germany. In this case, a copy of the insurance’s opt-out certificate must be sent.
  • The insurance documents and the information regarding it both online and offline, are only available in German.
  • Before you go ahead and purchase an insurance policy, find out how much you will be insured for, and the amount of a possible deductible.
    Glass damage is not covered by any liability insurance.

An overview of many insurance providers can be found on Check 24

Here are some examples of liability insurance, which includes cover for rented furnished apartments and key loss:

Haftpflichtversicherung

 

 

 

 

Should you get an Invoice and a Rent Receipt if you Rent a Furnished Apartment?

invoices

 

Sometimes tenants request an invoice for the rent of their furnished flat. Most often, it is their employer’s accounting department who requires an invoice.

In Germany, there are no rental invoices for apartments, whether you rent furnished and temporarily or unfurnished with an open-ended rental agreement. You will always get a rental agreement though. All information regarding the rent, payment etc. is specified in this agreement.

If you are renting though a business, the rental agreement should be passed on to the accounting department. It works as an invoice, and is also eligible for tax purposes.

The payment of the rent is always monthly. You transfer the rent and the deposit to the owner’s account. It is not common to receive a rental receipt either, since the rent is paid by bank transfer. Please note that the rent cannot be paid by credit card.

Your bank statement is the receipt and proof that you have paid, but you can still ask the owner whether your payment has arrived. It is best to ask after the first payment, and then set up a standing order.

Owners of furnished apartments are private individuals and not businesses.

 

Rent and VAT

Sometimes companies ask for an invoice including VAT. There are only a few apartments where the rent includes VAT or VAT has to be paid. Should an apartment’s rent include VAT- or if it has to be added – the relevant information should be on our website and also in the rental agreement.

 

Furnished Apartments Versus Serviced Apartments

Furnished apartments are most often privately owned, whereas serviced apartments – often a whole complex – are a business. If you rent a serviced apartment, you receive an invoice, a receipt, and the rent includes VAT.

In a nutshell – the differences between furnished and serviced apartment in our handy table below:

 

invoice

 

Links: Luxury apartments 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.