FAQs – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WHAT TENANTS SHOULD KNOW FOR A SHORT TERM APARTMENT RENTAL

Here you will find answers to the most important questions regarding temporary stays in Berlin

We recommend that you try to find answers to your questions in this list. More detailed information can be found under Tenants-Glossary A-Z.

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1. Apartment Rental Procedure

1.a.) What does Crocodilian do?

Crocodilian is a letting agency for furnished apartments in Berlin. Once we have received your application form, we will start looking for an apartment for you. We will then get in touch with the owner and introduce you. The owner may or may not accept your offer depending on factors such as length of stay or the like. We usually know which apartments are likely to work out and those that may not.

Please note that the rental agreement is always between you and the owner, Crocodilian provides the agreement - in both  English and in German. It can be filled in online.

1.b.) How does the rental service work ?

Search
Please go on Search and fill in the dates of your stay, maximum rent etc. If you don't find what you are looking for on our website, please fill in the request form and give us detailed information (area, price, persons, further requirements etc.)
If you cannot find a suitable apartment on the website, it's worth giving us a call before you fill in the form.   

  • Found something you are interested in?

Please click on "I am interested in this offer" on the apartment's exposé. The application form will open along with our terms and conditions. Please fill in the form. You only need to fill in the form once, even if you are interested in more than one apartment. Just add more flats to your wishlist (by clicking on the "orange eye") and click "Apply for apartments currently on the wishlist". 

  • Contacting the Owner

As soon as we have received your application, we try to get in touch with the owner. If your application has been successful, you will receive the contact details of the owner. You can then contact the owner to arrange payment, deposit or a viewing etc..

  • After that please get in touch with us: Let us know what you have arranged with the owner and whether you want to rent the apartment or not.

  • Rental agreement
  • The rental agreement will be completed between you and the owner. Crocodilian- Rooms in Berlin provides contracts in English and German, which can be filled out online. 
  • Payment

You pay the monthly rent directly to the owner. The commission fee is due when you have concluded the rental agreement and you will receive an invoice from us by email.

1.c.) Which apartments are available ?

All apartments that come up in your search results are available. This means that no rental agreements have been officially signed yet. However, it is possible that other applicants have also requested a certain apartment. In order to let you know if you have a chance of securing an apartment, we need an application form with your general details. We always have to introduce applicants to the owner. Length of rental and number of tenants are often the deciding factors.

1.d.) Is it possible to view an apartment ?

It is usually possible to view an apartment, but not always. Most flats are rented out to other tenants. Owners usually only arrange one viewing. This is because most good flats rent out without a viewing or after just one viewing. Also, the time they spend on arranging and attending viewings is not calculated in the rent.

We check the apartments in advance and only list those we like and are of good quality on our website. The pictures should always give you a good idea.

Sometimes it is only possible to view the apartment, after the current tenant has moved out. If you can book a viewing with the owner, this most often depends on your rental period. 
A viewing is hardly ever possible more than one month before you plan to move in. Before we can arrange a viewing, we need an application form with all your details. Owners usually want information on their future tenants in advance. 

1.e.) How and with whom is the rental contract concluded?

The rental agreement is always between you and the owner. Crocodilian is not a contracting party. We are brokers. All information on the exposes is given to us by the owners. We provide contracts in English and German on our website. Before signing the contract, please make sure that all information (such as WiFi, number of beds etc.) is still correct. You can conclude the rental agreement online. All information will be send to you via email.

1.f.) How far in advance should I apply for an apartment?

This is hard to say. If you are looking for a longer rental period (e.g. a year,) it makes sense to apply early. But before you do so, please give us a call. Owners prefer early applications, if you want to rent for longer and/or in the higher price range (1600 Euro +).
If you are looking for accommodation for a shorter period of time, you can sometimes rent months in advance, e.g. if you were to check our website in November 2016 and it says that an apartment will become available from 1st June 2017 and you want to rent from 1st June 2017, there is a good chance that you will secure the flat. However, in some cases the owner may not commit to a new contract as the current tenant might want to extend the lease. 
If an apartment is available from 1st April 2017 and you want to rent from e.g. 1st June 2017, your chances may not be so good. Another applicant may want to move in before you. It can also be difficult if you want to rent from the middle of the month. Owners are likely to want to start their contracts on the 1st of a month. In this case, you must be prepared to pay a full months' rent.

1.g.) Can I apply last minute?

Yes, you can, but we recommend sending your application 2-4  weeks before you plan to move in. Otherwise most flats are most likely to be gone.

1.h.) Is it possible to postpone my application until I am in Berlin? Can I come to the Crocodilian office?

If you want to secure a good and centrally located apartment, you should not postpone your application until you arrive in Berlin. Even if you want to view the apartment first, you should get in touch with the owner beforehand. It is possible to come to our office to apply, but it is much faster if you do it online. It always takes one or two days before we hear from owners and more often than now, it won't be possible to arrange anything immediately.

1.i.) How often is the website updated ?

Our website is updated every hour. Please always check availability before you apply for an flat.

2. Rental Period

2.a.) Are the details regarding the minimal rental period binding?

Yes, they are. However, if the minimum rental period is e.g. 6 months and you only want to rent for 5 months, it is worth applying for this specific apartment anyway. We cannot guarantee that it will work out, but you will have a good chance. If you want to rent the same apartment for only 3 months, chances of securing it are very slim. An exception may be made if the apartment is available immediately. 

2.b.) Can I rent an apartment for any period of time?

Most apartments are rented out on a monthly basis (from the 1st until the 31st of the month) If you arrive later, you have better chances if you are prepared to pay for the full month. 
Please note, it is normally not possible to rent from e.g. 18th Jan until 17th Feb and pay for one month only. There are exceptions though - if you rent for one year, owners will be a bit more flexible. Especially during the busy months, most owners only rent out their properties for the whole month.   
Owners normally rent out their apartments for a maximum of one year. In some cases, it is possibile to extend the contract.

2.c.) What is the minimum, what is the maximum rental period?

The minimum rental period differs, depending on the property. 
On this website, we offer furnished apartments which are rented out on a monthly basis (with only a few exceptions).

The maximum rental period normally is 1 year. In some cases, you may be able to extend the contract after one year, but this cannot be guaranteed. Owners may not usually want tenants who stay for a longer period of time.

3. Apartments

3.a.) What average rent should I expect?

The rent you pay depends on the area and has considerably increased in the last few years. The rent includes all bills (heating, water, electricity). Those costs have also gone up in the last the last years. There is no commission fee for tenants.

1 room apartment
one combined bed- and living room, separate kitchen and bathroom = studio
850 € - 1200 € (no commission fees for tenants).

2 room apartment
1 Living room, 1 bedroom, kitchen and bathroom
1150 € - 2000 € (no commission fees for tenants).

3 room apartment
2 bedrooms, 1 living room, kitchen and bathroom
or:
1 bedroom, 1 living room, 1 study or dining room, kitchen and bathroom
1300 € - 3500 € (no commission fees for tenants).

4 room apartment
2 or 3 bedrooms, living room, kitchen, 1 or 2 bathrooms
2500 € - 4000 € (no commission fees for tenants).

 

3.b.) What is the standard of the apartments?

The standard depends on the rent you pay - i.e. you get what you pay for. Crocodilian only offers apartments that have been selected by us. We do not list all apartments that have been offered to us. We look for quality. Tasteful modern furnishing, cleanliness, location and price are our deciding criteria. 
Even if you might not see everything on the photos and in the videos, all apartments have a bathroom, cooker/oven, fridge etc. All that is standard, of course.   

3.c.) Does Crocodilian also rent out unfurnished apartment?

No, we only offer furnished apartments.

4. Our Target Group - who do we let out to?

4.a.) Who is our service for?

Crocodilian specialises in renting out furnished apartments to clients from all over the world who are unable to come to Berlin to view an apartment before they rent. On our website, you will find plenty of photos of each apartment. If you tell us your criteria we will give you honest feedback and tell you whether we think an apartment is suitable for you or not. 

Most owners prefer to rent out apartments to professionals and academics. There are not so many options for young students on our website and we no longer offer the possibility for flatsharing. 
Students who are looking for accommodation in Berlin, should get in touch with the university or check the student websites.

4.b.) Is there a minimum age for applicants?

There is no minimum age, but owners do not tend to rent out their apartments to very young people. If you are under 20, it will be difficult to find your own flat. 
Please note that we do no longer offer the possibility for flatsharing.

4.c.) Is there a maximum number of tenants/ persons staying at one apartment?

Yes. Most apartments are only suitable for one or two people (at maximum). 
Families should go for apartments with two bedrooms or rooms for children.
There are only very few apartments - all of them in the higher price range-, where more than 4 tenants are accepted.

5. Rental Agreement

5.a.) Is the rental agreement between me and the owner or Crocodilian?

The rental agreement is always concluded between the tenant and the owner. Crocodilian provides the form, in German or in English. Since most of our clients come from abroad, you can also conclude the rental agreement online. 
As soon as both parties have filled in the rental agreement, they can print it out and the contract, once signed, is concluded.

5.b.) What do I have to pay attention to when signing the contract?

We always recommend completing the rental agreement in writing. Crocodilian provides rental agreements in German and in English, and you can conclude the rental agreement online.

Please talk to the owner about the following aspects, before they fill in the form:

  • Rental period - when and for how long do you want to rent? 
  • Do you need an option to extend the lease and when do you have to give notice?
  • What is the deposit and when do you have to pay the deposit and the first month's rent? 
  • How many people will stay in the apartment?
  • When and how will you receive the keys?
  • Will you have to clean the apartment before you move out or will a cleaning service be provided by the owner? Will there be an extra charge for this service?

    All  such details will be specified in the contract.

6. Application and personal Details

6.a.) Why do I have to fill in the application form?

All apartments on our website are currently available. It is no possible to book them immediately, however. We always have to introduce you to the owner of the apartment. The owner has to agree to the rental period etc.  Sometimes there are several potential tenants. In such a circumstance, we will let you know what your chances are and, if possible, send you alternatives. As soon as we have your application form, we will start searching for a suitable apartment for you. In order to introduce you to the owner, we need personal information from you, since owners always want to know who would like to rent their apartment. You are also required to agree to our terms and conditions.  

6.b.) Do I have to send an application for each property that I am interested in?

No. It is not necessary to fill in several application forms. You only need to send us one application form with all your details. If you are interested in other flats, put them on your wish list in order of preference and click "apply for apartments currently on the wishlist". The information will be sent to us. 

6.c.) Why does Crocodilian ask forn an I.D.?

If you apply for an apartment, we always need to call the owner, introduce you and ask if they are interested in renting out their apartment or room to you. We also need to call the owner if you have further questions regarding the apartment in case you couldn't find the answers on our website.

We need to know what you are looking for and we need proof of your identity. Proof of your identity can be obtained by checking your credit card details. The details are automatically checked and you will only be able to apply if you have a valid credit card. Owners want to know who their potential tenants are and, of course, they need to be sure that tenants will be able to pay the rent. Before the rental period is agreed, you will be sent the owner's contact details. We can only send these out to you if we have received your credit card details. Your credit card details are sent through an SSL secure connection and nobody, including us, has access to the details. 

6.d.) What do I do if I have problems with sending the application?

f the online application cannot be sent

  • Please check again if you have filled in all fields marked with a pink asterisk. 
  • On top of the page, you always find an explanation for not being able to send the form. e.g.  
Example for message you will find on top of the application form, if your application cannot be sent:
 

Error!!! The form couldn't be sent

 

Please fill in the following:

  • zip code
  • credit card details
 
The end of the rental period has to come after the start of the rental period.
Security code has the wrong format.
Valid until (e.g. 12/7/2018) has the wrong format

Please also note, that the form can only be sent if you register a valid credit card. It has to be a Visa or Mastercard, not a Debit/ EC card.
You only pay our fee if you rent an apartment through our agency.  

7. Fees, Rent and Payment

7.a.) What is the commission fee?

Our service is free of charge for tenants, therefore there are no commission fees for tenants.

7.b.) What is included in the rent?

If no other costs are mentioned, all bills are included in the rent. Anything that is not included in the rent, e.g. electricity or broadband, should be listed separately in the exposé. All information is given to us by the owners. When you receive the owner's contact details from us, please make sure to check with the owner that the rent and extras mentioned on the website haven't gone up. This can sometimes happen due to the rise of costs such as gas or electricity. In most cases the information on our website is correct. Very rarely it may so happen that the owner forgets to tell us about the changes they have made. Please always ask the owner about the rent and additional cost such as cleaning. 

 

 

7.c.) How and when do I have to pay for the rent and fee?

You pay the rent and the deposit to the owner.

Please arrange the rent and deposit payment with the owner - sometimes you can pay in cash on arrival (in that case, please make sure that you get a receipt). If you live inside the Eurozone, you can transfer the money with a Euro standard form, which is free of charge. Please note that you cannot pay the rent or deposit by credit card. Usually, you pay the deposit when the contract has been concluded. the first month's rent is due before you move in. The rent is always paid in advance. Please also speak to the owner about the payment.
If you rent for a short period, you might be asked  to pay the rent for the whole period in advance.

7.d.) Can I pay the rent with my credit card?

No, this is not possible. Owners cannot accept credit card payments. You can either transfer the rent into the owner's bank account or pay in cash.

7.e.) Is it possible to extend the rental agreement ? What is the commission fee?

Sometimes it is possible to extend the contract, sometimes it is not. Please speak to the owner if you think, you might want to extend your lease. Please arrange details such as the notice you have to give for your moving out date, in your rental agreement.

7.f.) Is the rent, stated in the exposé, calculated per flat or per person?

The rent stated on the website, is calculated for the use of the apartment. Occasionally you pay extra for an additional person. If this is the case, it will be specified on our website.

7.g.) Will I receive an invoice?

You will not receive an invoice for the rent. The rental contract is your invoice and this, together with your bank statement, is enough to prove that you have paid the rent.  According to German law, private individuals cannot issue invoices.

8. Deposit

8.a.) What is the deposit?

The deposit depends on how long you rent the apartment, number of tenants etc. Please negotiate the deposit with the owner. 

8.b.) When will the deposit be refunded?

Please make sure that you arrange the refund of the deposit with the landlord before signing the rental agreement. Ideally, you receive your deposit the day you move out. It may be transferred to your account shortly after your moving out date. If you have used the telephone, you will get the deposit back after the last telephone bill has arrived. If you want to use the telephone, please be aware that you might receive the rest of your deposit one month late.

9. Our Service - Quality Control

9.a.) How can I be sure that Crocodilian is a legitimate company?

Crocodilian only offers apartments of a certain standard and quality. We do not list everything on our website. We check all apartments and we give you honest feedback. We have known most owners for some time, even years, and we only work with owners we trust.  


Some applicants want to know why they have to give us their credit card details before they even rent an apartment. This is our standard procedure and owners expect us to do this. Proof of identity can be obtained through your credit card details and, of course, owners want to know whether you will be able to pay the rent. We will not check your credit card and you will not incur any costs for if you decide not to rent an apartment with us. The credit card only acts as a safeguard.
If you do not have a credit card, we are sorry. Unfortunately, it is not possible to apply if you do not have a credit card. 

10. Living in Berlin

10.a.) Is Berlin a dangerous city? Which areas are safe?

Compared to other big cities Berlin is safe. This does not mean that you should be careless. Armed robbery and mugging are not common occurrences. Crocodilian only offers flat in central areas, and all of them are safe.

10.b.) How long do I travel by public transport from the flat to a certain place?

Please check the S-Bahn Berlin website. There you find a journey planner and detailed information on how long it takes to travel from door to door.

10.c.) Is parking a problem?

Yes. If you come to Berlin by car, you should look for parking options before you arrive. Parking is difficult in the city centre. Charges for on-street parking have been introduced in City East and City West. This means, that you pay by the minute or the hour ( from 9.00-24.00) or you can apply for a residential parking permit at the local office (Bürgeramt). The parking permit is valid for 2 years and costs 20 Euros. But to apply for it, you have to register at the local office and make Berlin your principal place pf residency. In order to get the parking permit, you need to present the certificate of residency, your ID and your vehicle registration documents. It is not possible to apply for the parking permit in advance. It can only be issued at a Bürgeramt and it has to be collected there.  Here you find a map with on-street parking control areas.
If you only stay for a short period (4 weeks maximum), you can get a parking permit for guests which costs 25 Euro. To get a parking permit for guests, you also have to present an ID and vehicle registration documents.     

Here you can find a list of car parks in Berlin: http://www.berlin.de/special/auto-und-motor/893408-44826-parkh%C3%A4userinberlin.html

Green Badge for Cars
If you want to park your car inside the the city centre, you need a green badge. Please read all information on the badge and the Environmental zone.