Crocodilian Blog
The Temporary Rental Blog from Berlin

Renting a furnished Flat: what Requirements must the Tenant fulfill?

Christine Kandler Von Christine Kandler

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 a 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?

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.

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.

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.

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