To rent accommodation, you will conclude a tenancy agreement with the landlord. The respective rights and responsibilities of the contract partners are listed on numerous pages of this document. Before signing a tenancy agreement, you should check it thoroughly and make sure that the price of the rent is right for what it is. You can get an idea of this from the rent index for your town, city or region. There is also support for you from the German Tenants' Association which provides advice in many cities.
- Paying rent: A tenant's main responsibility is to pay their rent regularly and on time (no more than three days into a month period).
- The total rent for a property is made up of ground rent (basic rent) and the monthly prepayments for operating costs (utilities such as cleaning, water and heating). Electricity, telephone and internet costs are not part of the rent.
- Deposit: You will usually have to pay a security deposit to the landlord when you move in. It may be equal to a maximum of three months' basic rent. The deposit has to be refunded after moving out unless you have any unpaid charges or debts. You may have to wait some months until you finally get your deposit back.
- Statement of operating costs: Once per year you will receive a statement of operating costs, including water and heating etc. Depending on how much you have used, this can either result in an additional payment or a credit.
- The obligations of tenants include mutual consideration. In Germany there are, for example, regulations on noise levels in rented accommodation. Loud music and other noise disturbance are not permitted - especially at night or noon.
- For major building work or renovation work inside the property, the landlord's permission must be requested in advance. The landlord's permission is also required before housemates or sub-tenants can move in.
- Moving out: Tenants have a statutory notice period of three months.