FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WHAT OWNERS SHOULD KNOW FOR A SHORT TERM APARTMENT RENTAL

Here you will find answers to the most important questions regarding temporary flat rentals in Berlin.

We recommend that you first try to find the answer to any of your questions in this list. More detailed information can be found under Owners-Glossary A-Z.

1. The Crocodilian Service

1.a) How does the Crocodilian Service work?

Please register your furnished apartment online. You find the registration form here. A few minutes later, you will automatically receive an email, confirming that your registration has been successful. 
Please also send photos of the apartment. It is important that the photos are at least 700 x 500 pixel resolution and mostly in landscape format. On this page, you find all the information on taking photos. If you want to market your flat with us long term, we will also come and take professional photos later on. This service is free of charge. 
As soon as we have your registration and the photos, we will give you feedback regarding price and potential changes with renting out your apartment. You can always change prices etc later on. You only have to write an email.
We will then write an exposé in English and in German that will the be listed on our website. This will be anonymous and the detailed address won't be on shown the website either. After this, we will introduce prospective tenants to you who have applied for your apartment and send them your contact details. We also provide rental agreements, in German as well as in English, which you can complete online. You will also get information on all important issues regarding the rental agreement. The tenants pays the rent and the deposit to you.

1.b.) What is included in our service and what is not included?

Once you have registered and sent photos of your apartment, we will give you feedback on price and on the chances of finding a tenant. 
Furnished apartments are still very much in demand throughout the year, so if you have a good apartment in an attractive area, it will normally be no problem to rent it out 12 months a year. But we always check offers in advance and we do not list properties that may be difficult to rent. This may be disappointing for some owners, but that way you get an honest response and you do not have to wait for months in vain. If you do not expect your flat to be occupied 90 -100 % of the time, please let us know.
Sometimes we will also have to tell you that renting out unfurnished is the better option. For owners, it always makes sense to find out about the market and chances of a particular property in advance - ideally before you buy it. We also offer a the possibility for consultation via telephone (after you have sent exposés and information) or we view properties. You can read more about our service here: buy property in Berlin.

Once you have registered and sent photos, we will check it and if the chances are good, we will list it in our database. Please understand that we always need you to complete the full registration process, in order to check it. It is not sufficient to give us solely information over the phone as we need to see the whole picture, so to speak. But before you register, you should have a look at all of the properties in our database. This will give you an idea about price and furnishings etc.  We will check applications for your apartment and send you prospective tenants. We will also prepare the rental agreement. All you have to do is fill it in. We always advise using our agreement form. It is available in English and German and it can be filled in and sent off online (online application). All important aspects of the rental are covered in this agreement (like keys, payment etc.). Please note that the contract is concluded between the owner and tenant and the tenant pays rent (and other such costs) directly to the owner's account. 

1.c.) Who are our clients and for how long do they rent?

Abut 80 % of our clients come from abroad. The majority come from the US, U.K., Australia, Italy, Spain etc. They come to Berlin to work, lecture at university, do a Ph.D. or take language courses.

The length of the rentals differ. Some rent for only a month (especially in summer), some may stay for a year. Some also want to be flexible and they rent for 1-2 months with the option to extend the lease.

1.d.) Does Crocodilian check potential tenants?

We only introduce you to prospective tenants who have filled out our applicaton form. You only have to tick "I accept the general terms and confitions, then you see the application form.

We always ask for personal details, passport or ID details, as we check credit card information and we ask for the reason of their stay in Berlin.

1.e.) What is my advantage if I use the Crocodilian service ?

1. All year round demand for temporary apartments

Crocodilian is a letting agency for furnished apartments. Most of our clients and an increasing number of owners come from abroad - from the USA, U.K., Ireland, Australia, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia, etc. Most of them are professionals, professors, Ph.D. candidates etc.  Although there is a seasonal variation, there is an increasing demand for furnished apartments all year round.

2. Crocodilian photo service - free of charge 

We attach great importance to good photos on the exposé of each apartment. Most of our tenants come from abroad and they rent an apartment prior to their arrival and without viewing. They make their choice based on these photographs. If you rent out your apartment for a longer period of time, we will take professional photos free of charge.

3. Quick and easy handling

Crocodilian checks all potential tenants - we ask for their reason for coming to Berlin, their job, ID number and we also check credit cards. 
We also provide tenancy agreements, in English and in German, which can be filled in online. So there is no need to scan or fax papers.

4. Personal liaison

We will answer all your questions regarding the rentals of furnished apartments during the whole rental period.

5. Easy online registration of your furnished apartment

You can register your property online.  Our service is free of charge for owners.

For more information on renting out furnished apartments, please check information for owners.

1.f.) Do owners have to pay for this service?

We used to send the invoice to the tenant as this was legal until 1st of June, 2015. Now we have to send the invoice to the owner. Please note that there is no 'Mietpreisbremse' (legal stipulation halting rent increases) for furnished rentals.

If you have more questions regarding the Bestellerprinzip (legal stipulation regarding commission payment), please give us a call.
Please note that owners usually still earn the same amount of money as before.

1.g.) Do I have any obligations towards Crocodilian?

If we market your furnished apartment, it is very important that you let us know immediately, whether or not the property is available or if you have rented it out through other agencies.

1.h.) Can I also advertise my apartment elsewhere?

This is a difficult question. It is easier for us if the apartment is exclusively marketed by us. That way, we can offer your apartment to prospective tenants and guarantee that the apartment is genuinely available.

Attractive apartments, which are tastefully furnished, centrally located and medium-priced, are nearly always rented out as we get requests throughout the year. If we have any potential doubts regarding your apartment, we will let you know. If this happens, we will advise you to register the apartment with another agency as well.

For owners, it is often easier to rent out their apartment with only one agency because they can be sure that this agency will give the apartment their full attention. And this is only the case, if the apartment is marketed with one agency exclusively. 
If we market your apartment, we strongly advise you not to advertise it on internet platforms like Craigslist, city magazines or WG-gesucht (a German flatshare portal).

1.j.) Are weekly and daily rentals possible ?

On our website Crocodilian, we offer furnished apartments, which are available for at least four months. The minimum rental period for those apartments is two month. Once your flat is registered with us, you can also advertise it for a shorter rental period (from 1 month). 
When it gets busy in summer, we also accept new offers, which are available for a shorter period of time - one month at a minimum.

1.k.) Does Crocodilian market every apartment?

Unfortunately, we cannot market every apartment. We only accept apartments that deem to have a good chance on the market. Location is important, but also price, quality and style of the furnishings. Please check our database and see what kinds of apartments we are looking for. Our clients come from all over the world. Most of them want to rent an apartment which is centrally located and the style they prefer is modern and urban. Simple and stylish. In general, privately used apartments are more difficult to rent out (although there are exceptions).

In order to check your apartment, we always need photos. Please note, that we will only come to your apartment to take professional photos after we have received photos from you and have accepted your apartment. 

2. Registration of Apartment

2.a.) How can I register my furnished apartment?

Please register your furnished apartment here. Please note - we only market apartments that are fully furnished and available for at least 4 months. It is also important that you send us photos of the apartment.  

2.b.) Is the registration binding?

Our service is not binding and we reserve the right to reject apartments.
The owner can of course also cancel our service. Please read our business terms for owners.

Please note - in order to check your apartment, we always need your registration because we need all the details listed in the registration form. We also require photos from you. Once we have decided to list your apartment, we will come to the apartment to take professional photographs. This service is free of charge for owners.

2.c) Will Crocodilian come to view the apartment ?

Yes, we want to see every apartment we list and we also want to take photos. 
Please understand that you have to register and send photos first before we can arrange a viewing and a photoshoot. Please also understand that we cannot list all apartments offered to us. We can only list your apartment if we are convinced that it can be rented out. It should be centrally located, tastefully furnished, be up to a certain standard and it should not be overpriced.

2.d) Does Crocodilian list every apartment ?

Please understand that we cannot list every furnished apartment. We always check offers and we only list the ones which we can actually rent out. Most tenants are looking for flats, that are centrally located, have modern furniture and tasteful décor. Flats with antique furniture, for example, are less popular. Please find all apartments listed on the Crocodilian website here.

2.e) Can I register my apartment if I rent it out as a holiday flat?

No, this is not possible. We can only list your apartment if it is available for a minimum of 4 months and if you do not offer this period for short term rentals (days or weeks).

3. Apartment

3.a) How do I calculate the rent ?

The rent usually includes all bills - electricity, water, gas, TV license, DSL etc. Please keep this in mind when you calculate the price.
It is not possible to generalise what you get per square metre, It depends more on the area, the type and style of furnishings, the house, on which floor the flat is located etc.
Once you have registered, we will give you feedback on the price as well and you can always change it later on. It is not possible to tell you a price unless we have received your registration and photos of the flat.

If you would like to get an idea of what you can get, please check the page with all listed apartments.
Please also note that we cannot calculate a price for you. You know your apartment, your costs and you should have an idea what kind of rent you would like to get - at least. We will then tell you if this price is realistic or not. It always helps if the owner knows something about the rental market and as an owner you should invest some time to get an idea about rent prices.

3.b) What kind of apartments are in demand?

Our clients are looking for quality apartments, which are centrally located. The flat should be renovated, with a modern bathroom, built-in kitchen and modern furnishings and stylish décor. These kinds of apartments always go very quickly.

Small apartments are the easiest to rent out, but we also have clients who are looking for spacious 4 or 5-room apartments. Apartments with more than one bedroom are also very much in demand. 
If you would like to get feedback on the chances of renting out your furnished apartment, please send us detailed information on availability, address, size, number of rooms, floor etc and photos. 
You can register your furnished apartment here

3.c) What should I keep in mind when furnishing an apartment?

Do's:

- modern, urban style

- quality furnishing, not the cheapest stuff from IKEA

- If you use IKEA, which is certainly not a problem, try mixing it with other brands. Try avoiding IKEA altogether, when it comes o luxury apartments. IKEA in a flat on its own can come across as cheap.

- Keep things light and bright, black furniture tends to make rooms dark and small.

- Clean, simple, avoiding over-crowding furniture plus adding some select decorations.

- Always keep in mind what tenants need on a daily basis (blinds, curtains for bedrooms, DSL, everything should be easy to clean (no wood in the kitchen, for example!), sufficient lighting etc.

- Furnishing with attention to detail

- Quality bedcovers and linen that also look good after several months and years.


Don'ts:

- Old furnishing, period furniture, most often mix of old and new.

- Dark furniture 

- Décor that is 100% IKEA

- Country style (for the moment, this is not in demand in Berlin). 

- A lack of decorations, cold and uncomfortable rooms

- Not enough lighting

- Cheap and thin mattresses (standard IKEA is theoretically okay)

- No washing machine

- No DSL


Crocodilian also offers an expert design and furnishing service for moderate fees. If you are interested, please get in touch with us.

3.d) Do I need to install DSL and telephone?

DSL, more so than telephone, is always an asset. Most tenants a looking for a flat with DSL.
If you are living abroad, you most likely need somebody who orders DSL for you as it usually takes a while. If you order DSL and telephone, it is best to choose a provider where you are able to block outgoing calls abroad and mobile calls. Otherwise you will be obligated to send your tenant the phone bill at the end of the month.

If your apartment does not have DSL, tenants can rent a surf stick from our office. It is not as fast as DSL though, but it is okay if people only want to check emails and surf on the internet.

3.e) Does Crocodilian also market furnished rooms?

No, we have stopped this. We do not list furnished rooms any more.

3.f.) What is the average occupancy of an apartment marketed by Crocodilian?

Good apartments, which are centrally located and not overpriced, are usually rented all year round. 
If your apartment is available for a longer period of time (e.g. a year), the chances of renting it out every month are best.

We have clients throughout the year and we get sufficient requests from all over the world every month.

4. Rental Agreement and Insurance

4.a.) Does Crocodilian provide rental agreements?

Yes. We provide bilingual rental agreements which have been approved by a lawyer. Your advantage is that these can also be concluded online, to your advantage, and do not have to be scanned, faxed or sent by mail.

4.b.) Should I ask for a deposit?

Yes, you should always ask for a deposit, depending on the length of the rental period.
Most owers ask for 1-2 months' rent.

4.c.) Is it risky to rent out an apartment for a limited period of time?

Most tenants, who rent a furnished apartment for a limited period of time do not cause any problems. We always check tenants as best we can as we ask for their credit card details, profession, job, reason for coming to Berlin etc.
 
It is important, that you always make detailed arrangements with your tenant - e.g. when and how the rent has to be paid, in what condition they should leave the apartment, where they can collect the keys , and other such details.

4.d.) Do I need insurance?

Some owners ask tenants to provide proof that they have general liability insurance. Even though it is always a good idea to have one, this insurance will not cover most damages that might be caused by the tenant. Dealing with damages is not our everyday business as it rarely happens. As an owner, however, you should always have an idea what the worst scenario could be. Liability insurance only covers damages to things that are built into the apartment (sink, wooden floors etc, but not most furnishings). The tenant is liable for all damages caused by themselves, but owners should take into consideration, that wear and tear of furnishings is normal.

As an owner, you should have household insurance.

4.e.) Do I have to rent out to any prospective tenant introduced by Crocodilian?

No.  We always check prospective tenants. We check credit cards, we ask for their reasons for coming to Berlin, job, employer etc. The majority of our clients are academics or working professionals and we do not normally rent out to very young people. We only introduce prospective tenants to you if we do not have any objections to them. We also discuss with you what kind of tenant you would like to rent out to (e.g. only working professionals, if they have children or not, and other such details).

5. Buying an Apartment in Berlin

5.a.) Does Crocodilian also sell property?

No. We are an agency, specialising in temporary furnished apartments in Berlin for rent.

5.b.) What kind of apartments are ideal for furnished rentals?

If you buy an apartment and plan to rent it out furnished in the future, you should:

  1. Ask yourself who your target group will be. Professionals are always looking for centrally located apartments. They won't rent in areas like Pankow, Rummelsburger Bucht, for example, which are very nice, but not so central. Academics, students and also families do consider Zehlendorf and Steglitz, because of the nearby university and JFK school. 
  2. The apartment should not be too far away from a U-Bahn or S-Bahn station (Berlin public transport system). 
  3. If you buy a more expensive apartment, there should be a lift if it located on a higher floor.   
  4. 1 and 2-room apartments are most popular with tenants. The ideal size should be ca 40-65 or 70 m². With larger 2-room apartments, you do not necessarily get paid for the size. But this, of course, also depends on the property. 3-room furnished apartments are also very much in demand, but they should have two bedrooms.
  5. The most popular areas with tenants are Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, followed by Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Tiergarten, Schöneberg and Charlottenburg.
  6. You should always make sure that you do not purchase overly expensive (flats or furnishings) and you should calculate what you need to get as a monthly rent.
  7. Check the apartments in our database - this will give you an idea what kind of rent prices are realistic. 
  8. If your apartment is nicely furnished, not overpriced and has DSL a washing machine, it will also rent out if the area is not so ideal. Crocodilian is always short of good-quality apartments. We get a lot of requests from potential tenants from all over the world and we never have enough furnished apartments. Crocodilian will also give you advice on furnishing and we also furnish apartments (please ask for prices).   
  9. If you have enough time to furnish the apartment yourself, please buy a built-in kitchen, washing machine, double bed (and not a sofa bed), even if the flat is small, make sure that you have quality mattresses, preferable a double bed, a wardrobe and, if you have enough space, a desk. You should buy modern furniture as this is very important. IKEA is okay for cheaper apartments, but you should not buy the cheapest IKEA furnishings possible, and the flat should not look like the typical IKEA flat, straight from the catalogue. Black furniture should always be avoided as should dark furniture in small room. Also avoid mixing too many colours. You should, however, add a bit of colour to make the flat look also interesting in the photos. The bedroom should have blinds or curtains. And you should not buy cheap but quality pieces.

5.c.) What kind of rent do I get for a furnished apartment?

This is difficult to say. It is not like renting out unfurnished, where you can say that you will get a certain amount per square meter. It depends on the area, of course, but also on the furnishings. If the apartment looks nice, you will get more. To get an idea about prices, please check our database .