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Change of Perspective. Show image information

Change of Perspective.

Photo: Paderborn University

Tips regarding "housing in Germany"

In the following, we provide some tips and recommendations regarding „housing in Germany“.

Some further useful tips for finding a flat and moving in Germany can be found here.

Rent index

The city of Paderborn povides a rent index („Mietspiegel“) as well as a rent calculator so you can compare rental prices of flats depending on their size and location in Paderborn. Unfortunately, it is only available in German at the moment.

Furnishing

In Germany, it is common to rent flats without any furniture, sometimes also without a kitchen. In some housing exchanges, however, you can choose the "furnished" search option.

Search within the surrounding area

If you cannot find a suitable flat in Paderborn, you can also look for accommodation in the surrounding area, for example in Schloss Neuhaus or Paderborn-Elsen.

Documents required when renting/applying for a flat

If you want to rent a flat, most landlords will ask for certain documents. Usually you need the following documents:

  • Tenant's personal information ("Mieterselbstauskunft"): This is an overview of information about the tenants, e.g. contact details, employer, salary etc. Some landlords/housing companies have their own forms which they will send your or can be downloaded on their websites. Sample forms can also be found online.
  • A copy of your Schufa credit report (“Schufa-Auskunft”).
  • Proof of income from the last three months or your most recent tax assessment Proof of
  • A copy of a “rent payment certificate” ("Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung")
  • A copy of your passport and residence permit.
Abbreviations in flat advertisements

In some advertisements you will find many abbreviations so you should make sure that you understand the details of the advertisements. An overview of what the abbreviations mean can be found here (in German).

A list of frequently used words in flat advertisements and their English translations can be found here.

Real estate agent

You can also look for a flat or a house with the help of a real estate agent. Please note: Those looking for a flat only have to pay fees if they have called in the agents themselves. If the agent is commissioned by the landlord, the landlord must pay the services of the agent himself/herself. You can find a list of real estate agents for example on the Yellow Pages (in German) by entering „Makler“ (real estate agent) and „Paderborn“.

Deposit

Landlords often require a deposit (up to three months’ net rent) that will be refunded to you when you move out and you are not leaving any damages or outstanding payments.

Checklist for moving in

When you receive the keys, you should take a handover protocoll with you to note, for instance, any damages as well as the meter readings for electricity, water and gas/heating. A useful checklist for moving in can be found on the website of the Consumer Association.

Redirection of your mail

If you move into a new flat in Germany, you can set up a redirection of you mail to your new address. You can do so online (in German only) or at any post office.

You should also communicate your new address to other authorities, such as the university, your energy provider, your bank, your health insurance providers, etc.

Checklist for moving out

Useful information regarding moving out can be found on the website of the German Tenants‘ Protection Organization („Mieterschutzbund“) (in German only) and of the German Tenants‘ Organisation („Mieterbund) (in German only).

Illustrated dictionary

In cooperation with the Studierendenwerk Bielefeld (Student Services Organisation), the Deutsche Studierendenwerk (German Student Services Organisation) has published an illustrated dictionary regarding „living in a student dorm“ in various languages. Although it is mainly aimed at students, it may come in handy when you communicate with the property owner

Beware of scams

Some advertisements for accommodations may be scams. Please do not make any advance payments without having signed a contract first!

Tips regarding how to recognize scams can be found here.

 

The University for the Information Society