Apartment viewing checklist: tips for Expats


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The German rental market is very competitive in most cities. So you need to be fully prepared for a few viewings before you find the right apartment. Below is a checklist to help you.

Are you going to view an apartment? During a viewing you will bet an opportunity to access the apartment and what will potenttially be your home in Germany – from the condition of the property to the electronics. Find out below what should be on your checklist.

Visiting an apartment: this is how you make a good impression

When viewing the apartment, you will get a first impression of your potential new home. But not only you can get an impression. Rather, landlords or brokers also get an idea of ​​you.

Therefore, if possible, make an individual appointment. This way you are more likely to be remembered than with mass viewings – and increase your chances of being accepted.


Visiting a new apartment: You should consider that in advance

Ideally, you should schedule the afternoon viewing on a working day . This has several advantages:

  • In daylight you get a better impression of the condition of the apartment. Possible defects can be identified more easily in the light.
  • In daylight you can see whether the rooms are rather light or dark.
  • On weekdays, the afternoon is usually the busiest time on the streets. In addition, many neighbors are already back home. So you can realistically examine the traffic, the parking lot situation and the clairaudience in the house.
  • Do you want to move into the apartment alone? In this case, you should take a friend with you to visit. After all, four eyes see more than two.

Are you already planning your move? The notice of move from Deutsche Post should definitely be on the checklist. This is because your contractual partners (e.g. banks or insurance companies) can use it to find out about your new address independently. This saves time and nerves during the relocation phase.


Exploration tour: what is the location of the apartment?

In addition to the layout of the apartment, the location is also decisive for whether you will feel comfortable later – or not. It is therefore advisable to take a short tour of the district on the way to the visit. You should pay attention to the following criteria:

  • Does the infrastructure fit your needs (shopping, restaurants, local public transport, parking lot situation, kindergarten, school, doctors, etc.)?
  • Can you easily reach your workplace?
  • Are there any sources of noise or odor in the vicinity (main road, rail traffic, industry, restaurants, etc.)?
  • Are there suitable leisure activities nearby (playgrounds, sports clubs, etc.)?
  • How do you like the neighborhood? Are there nice shops or green spaces in the area?

The first impression of the apartment

When actually viewing the apartment, you should keep your eyes open. As soon as you step into the hall, you get a first impression of the property. You can ask yourself the following questions:

  • In what condition is the house (windows, doors, walls, roof)?
  • What does the hallway look like? Is everything clean?
  • Are there parking spaces for bicycles, strollers, etc.?

Viewing day: Visit the apartment and check its condition

Is the first impression correct? Then the next thing on the program is a tour of the apartment. Of course everyone has different demands on their new home. It is best to think about what you want in advance. And these points should also be on your checklist:

  • First of all, it is about the layout of the apartment : is it big enough? Are the individual rooms a sufficient size? Are the rooms designed so that you can accommodate your furniture? Tip: Take a folding rule with you and measure the most important things (such as the kitchen) right away.
  • Is there a balcony or a terrace? If so, the location is critical. If you want to sunbathe, a north-facing balcony is not ideal. Street noise or shady trees can also stand in the way of relaxed sunbathing. Tip: take a compass with you. This means you know exactly which direction the balcony and the individual rooms are facing.
  • In what condition is the apartment (floors, walls, doors)? Is everything new or is there a need for renovation? Are there any spots of water or mold on the walls?
  • In what condition are the doors and windows ? Is there double glazing and are the seals intact? Do windows and doors close properly? This is important because otherwise a lot of heat is lost during the heating season.
  • Are there sufficient electrical installations (sockets, light sources)?
  • Does the apartment or house offer enough storage space for your belongings (cellar, attic, etc.)?
  • What about the connection for the washing machine? Is there one in the apartment or is there a laundry room? Is there perhaps even a drying cellar for tenants in which they can dry their laundry?
  • What do the sanitary facilities look like and above all: do they work? Try out faucets and toilet flushes on site.
  • The best thing to do is to have your previous tenant show you the energy certificate and consumption figures. In this way you can avoid unpleasant surprises.

Partment viewing during the coronavirus crisis

Due to the distance requirements and the contact restrictions, individual viewings must currently take place. In any case, providers and interested parties should pay attention to the applicable hygiene rules and, for example, avoid the handshake to greet them.

The nationwide mask requirement also applies to sightseeing. For optimal protection, the medical FFP2 masks may also be recommended here.

Tips for viewing during the corona crisis

  • Already refer to individual viewings in the synopsis .
  • No physical contact – avoid shaking hands and also pay attention to the sneeze and cough label, and keep a distance of one and a half to two meters from one another.
  • No exchange of documents – it is better to send them digitally to the interested party in advance or directly after the appointment.
  • Avoid contact with objects – open interior doors allow viewing without constantly having to touch the handle. If this is not always possible, all contact surfaces must be thoroughly disinfected on a regular basis.
  • Disinfectants – a bottle of disinfectant is recommended for suppliers so that interested parties can disinfect their hands and take a relaxed look at them.
  • Protective mask – the nationwide mask requirement also applies to sightseeing, the medical masks now prescribed, for example for public transport, may be recommended.
Tim Gumbert
Tim Gumbert
Tim is the go-to guy when it comes to finding all the gems regarding life as an Expat in Germany. His whole motto is discover Germany on your own and without a roadmap, explore new routes while climbing or mountain biking.


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