Crocodilian Blog
The Temporary Rental Blog from Berlin

Moving out of a Furnished Flat: Checklist - what you have to do

Christine Kandler Von Christine Kandler
Woman with suitcase moving out

Your stay in your furnished flat is coming to an end? This is what you should arrange and plan in advance in order to make moving out as easy as possible.

Get in touch with the Landlord

Please arrange a day and time for the final inspection and, or the handover of the keys. If you should leave very early in the morning, please ask the owner if he or she would like to check the apartment before or after you have left.

You need to know: 

  • where you should leave the keys
  • how you should leave the apartment (basically clean, will a professional cleaner come, can you do the final cleaning yourself, should you wash the bedlinen or towels... ? 
  • discuss cleaning instructions with the landlord, if you are not sure how to get rid of a stain on a sofa, how to clean sensitive surfaces etc.

With some apartments, a professional final cleaning is obligatory. But in our opinion, you can never leave the apartment too clean. ;-) We have also had cases, when the tenants did a better final cleaning job than the professional cleaners, but with most cases, a professional cleaning IS necessary. But you can always save money, if you do as much as possible yourself. Therefore you should concentrate on the details!

Check the Apartment

You should, of course, always report if something is not working, if here are any damages etc. Even if you have not caused the problem. It is much easier for the landlord to plan and conduct the mending if he or she knows in advance. If you are still in the apartment, you can explain the problem in detail, you can also explain that you did not use anything incorrectly. Therefore it is very unlikely that you will be blamed when you report the issue. It is more difficult, if the landlord discovers the problme   after you have left. Without any explanation and information and report, landlords sometimes blame the tenant. An agency can also help and advise if you report everything straight away.

If you smash a plate or a few glases, this is not an issue. It is not expensive, but the landlord will have to buy or oder these things in advance. It is more difficult if this is discovered  a few hours before the next tenant wants to move in.

Deregister or change your Address

If you move to a different country, you also have to deregister. This is very easy, since you don’t need an appointment at the Bürgeramt. Just print out the form that you find on the which you You can print out the form "Abmeldung bei einer Meldebehörde" and send it by post to your nearest Bürgeramt.

If you move aparatment within Berlin, you don’t have to deregister. In this case, you have to make another appointment at the Bürgeramt and register your new address.

At the earliest, you can deregister 7 days before you move out, but you have to do it 2 weeks after moving out at the latest. You will then receive a deregistration statement from the Bürgeramt.

Redirection Service

Are you still expecting letters, payrols, invoices tax or insurance documents tob e delivered to your old address? If so, you should order a redirection service at Deutsche Post. Ideally, you order it 2-3 weeks in advance – but at least 5 working days before you move out. The price is 26,80€ for 12 months.  Please note that this is the price you pay if you order the service at Deutsche Post directly. You will find many services online, which try to look like Deutsche Post, and they will charge you 3 times as much. Make sure the form you fill in is on a website of Deutsche Post.

Clean the apartment properly or leave it in a basically good condition

Don’t leave anything behind

Please make sure that you don’t leave anything behind. Any open food in the fridge should be tossed in the garbage or taken with you.

Take out the Garbage and Bottles

Empty the garbage and dispose of all bottles etc.

Return of the Security Deposit

Make sure that the landlord has your banking details in order to make sure that the deposit can be refunded fast and easily. If the deposit should be transferred to an US bank account, please provide all information the landlord needs, like routing number, address of the bank etc. The fee for final cleaning is normally deducted from the security deposit.

Final Cleaning

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. If you move out, the apartment should be left in a good condition. We recommend not to leave all the cleaning for the last day. It makes sense to start early. Then you can leave products on overnight. The problem are always the details: crusts in the oven, limescale in the bathroom etc. We also recommend to use ecological cleaning products. This is better for the environment and you cannot go wrong. You can mix your own ecological cleaning products, based on baking soda and vinegar

Attention: this should be avoided

  • that you don’t use a cleaning product based on vinegar for marble and natural stones, rubber and silicone (kitchen and bathroom)
  • don’t use a microfibre cloth to clean kitchen fronts (will scatch)

If you clean the apartment, please pay attention to:

  • cleaning of oven
  • removal of limescale – bathroom and kitchen
  • cupboards: fronts and insides
  • drains- make sure that you remove hair, dirt etc.
  • dusting
  • stains on the floors or carpets
  • fridge
  • wash the bedlinen and towels – should be clean and without stains. Please do not leave any laundry in the washing machine. You should hang everything up to dry. Leave the washing machine clean, with the door open.
  • check the mattress. If it is dirty, some covers can be washed, but only in a large machine at the laundrette.
  • tidy up the flat and move any furniture back to their original place etc.

Protocol when you move out of your furnished Flat

If you have to catch a plane very early in the morning, an inspection might not be possible before you leave. Another option would be to meet with the landlord a day or two before. But then the apartment should already be in a good condition. If the landlord checks the apartment, he or she will most likely confirm, if everything looks okay, that there are no visible damages. Hidden damages, like a broken slatted frame in the bed, will only be discovered when the flat is cleaned or when the next tenant moves in. When you move in, the procedure is the same. You always have a few days or even longer to check if everything is okay in the your furnished apartment.

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