So you have managed to take the leap and move to Munich but now are in search of the second essential piece; a flat! And I’m certain as you have heard-or experienced- it is a double doozy trying to find accomidation in this sweet little city.
However, my dear expats, Aspen is here to help. I shall provide you with some of my best resources and advice to kill the 089 housing game.
Know German ( or someone who does)
When in Germany, speak German! Most ads are in German and most landlords prefer a German speaker. When applying it is far more effiencent to write applications in German-you get much better and more feedback.
2. Types of rent
Unlike in the United States, rent is not such an easy topic to break apart, so here are some key words you should keep in your flat hunting vocabulary:
Kaution: The deposit. Typically in Germany the deposit will go into a special bank account held by your landlord that requires signatures from both parties. Although sometimes it is just transfered over with your first months rent payment, in which case it is always smart to keep bank statements tracking these transactions.
Kaltmiete: Literally ” cold rent”, this describes a contract in which utilities are not included in the rental price.
Warmmeite: The price of rent which includes utilities and Nebenkosten.
( Warmeite does not include internet, or Rundfunkgebühr)
Nebenkosten: These are basically building management fees. So anything associated with the building such as trash removal, cleaning services or elevator maitenence can be included in the NK. This will cost will change due to how much heat you use, in addition once a year you should recieve a seperate water bill. You will have to pay for the water bill if youve gone over your allowence, but sometimes if your under you can get a refund.
The Kitchen: This, to me, was always a strange topic. In Germany you can rent flats that don’t have kitchens, i.e bring your own stove. Coming from America where kitchen is not counted as furnishing I have had quite a few disapointing experiences. It is important to read ads well as sometimes there is a kitchen, sometimes not and sometimes you must even pay extra for the kitchen that is already there.
Wohnungsbewerbung: The rental application. Sort of similar to applying to a job, when applying for housing you will need a cover letter, CV and proof of income.
3. Rental Abbreviations to know:
2 Zi. Whg : 2 Zimmer Wohnung :2 room apartment
WG :Wohnung Gemeinschaft : Flatshare
Mobliert : furnished
EBK : Einbaukuche :Kitchen is included (stove, cabinets, fridge, sink)
EBK (Abl VHB____) : Kitchen include, but for a cost (VHB; verhandelbar; negotiable)
Parkett Wood floors
Laminate: Laminated floors
Tiefgarage : Car garage, usually an additional cost associated
2 OG m. Lift : 2nd Obergeschoss: Third floor (English) , with elevator
Spulmaschine : Dishwasher
ca. 100 qm (or m2) : About 100 square meters multiply by 10 to get square feet
Nachmieter: Someone who is looking to leave a lease earlier than scheduled
ab. 1 Juli: Available 1st of July
ab sof. :sofort frei : Available right away
4. Websites to find housing
Hopefully this can be a helpful start to your search. As always, feel free to contact me if you need some more advice or have some to share.
Best wishes little fishes