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What should I consider when looking for accommodation?

In Germany, empty, partially furnished, and fully furnished apartments may be available. Empty apartments really are empty: no furniture, lamps, curtains or, in many cases, not even kitchen fittings, sink, or appliances. Partially furnished apartments have at least some furniture, and sometimes even a completely equipped kitchen. Usually, however, German apartments are leased unfurnished. Single rooms and rooms in student dormitories are usually furnished, so be sure to check advertisements carefully or enquire by phone for places you are interested in.

When you lease an apartment, you can expect to pay a deposit sum equivalent to one- to three-month’s rent. However, this payment will be returned to you—with interest—when you move out, provided you leave the apartment in its original condition.

An apartment is considered leased as soon as you and the landlord have both signed the lease agreement. With your signature, you are legally bound to recognize the points covered in this contract. Therefore, it is extremely important to read this very extensive document and all its provisos very carefully—including the small print—before you sign.

In particular, a lease agreement covers the price of rent, additional costs, periods for giving notice, payments for any necessary repairs, payments for cleaning and refurbishing before moving out, the period of the rental agreement and conditions for any raise in rent. In addition, it can also contain special agreements (such as the use of yards, parking spaces etc.). If you do not understand parts of the lease agreement, or have the feeling you are being given unusual demands, feel free to seek the help of the RCC’s administrative team.

Before moving into an apartment you have decided to rent, make sure to arrange an appointment with your landlord at the property for the official transfer of the apartment. At this meeting together you can inspect the apartment for any flaws (cracks, stains, wear, damage, etc.). Record all damages in writing, even if they appear minor. Otherwise, you risk losing part of your deposit as payment for repairs when you move out because the assumption will be made that these damages were caused by you. Your list of damages should be co-signed by the landlord and remain in your possession.

For further information on living and renting an apartment in Munich please see: