Renting your first apartment in Germany: Checklists and Tips

first apartment

Your first apartment in Germany! – For many this is the longed-for first step towards great freedom in Germany. Young household founders have to keep an eye on the effort and costs: How do you find an apartment that suits your needs? What formalities do you have to complete? Which insurance should you take out for your first apartment, which can you wait?

your first apartment

Internet portals give a good overview of the current housing market. With a large selection and mostly richly illustrated apartment advertisements, they simplify the search for an apartment.

Overview of online apartment rental portals in Germany


The real estate portal is one of the leading online marketplaces for apartments, houses and commercial real estate. Together with, the real estate portal has a reach of 48 million visits * per month. is a portal of the Immowelt Group, which operates other high-reach portals with and and develops high-performance CRM software for the real estate industry. Axel Springer SE has a majority stake in the Immowelt Group.


ImmobilienScout24, the market leader among real estate portals in Germany. ImmobilienScout24, with a reach of over 1.5 million real estate offers, around 250 million views of exposé, more than 900 million page views and over 7 million visitors per month, is equally attractive for property providers and property seekers. is the platform for exclusively commission-free real estate – for sale and rental. Buyers and tenants will only find brokerage-free offers here. Sellers and landlords can post their commission-free offers on and automatically publish them on other portals such as ImmobilienScout24,, and thus on more than 15 other Internet real estate portals. With more than 7 million monthly visitors to these portals, sellers and landlords reach the largest possible number of interested parties.

Expaturm Rentals

Trying to find an apartment or house rental in Germany through our online portal! It should not feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve collected hundreds of short-term and long-term home rentals in Germany here, from the capital city of Berlin to other large German cities such as Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Frankfurt and many others.

Our tip: take a look at the daily newspapers

The regional daily newspaper offers an alternative to looking for an apartment online: Older people in particular, who are often less internet-savvy, like to advertise their apartments in the regional daily newspaper. For you as a house hunter, this has the advantage that you are competing with far fewer competitors than on the Internet.

Who actually pays the broker’s commission?

If a broker is involved in the brokerage, a so-called broker commission is due. But be careful: contrary to what many think, this does not have to be done automatically by the tenant, because the so-called ordering principle has been in effect in Germany since 2015. This means that when real estate is rented, the person who has hired the agent pays the broker’s commission. So if the landlord has hired the broker, he must also pay the commission.

Your first apartment in Germany: which insurance coverages are important?

When moving out of their parents’ apartment, many deal with the topic of insurance for the first time:

  • Am I still insured with my parents?
  • What insurance should I take out now?
  • Which insurances are really important, which ones can still wait?

1. Private Liability Insurance: A Must

red wine glass falls over , ruining your friend’s expensive carpet and laptop. As the polluter, you have to pay for the damage.

You ride your bike and miss a pedestrian. This injured himself so badly that he came to the hospital and had to undergo an operation. As the cause of the accident, you not only bear the immediate treatment costs, but you may also have to pay later for pain and suffering and loss of earnings for the injured person.

As long as you are still in training or studying, you are usually covered by your parents’ personal liability insurance. As soon as you “stand on your own two feet”, the parents’ insurance is no longer responsible . If you then cause harm to others, you are legally obliged to pay for it – indefinitely and possibly for a lifetime. Often your own savings are not enough. One of the most important insurances of all is therefore personal liability insurance

2. Home insurance: you should think about it

You put a lot of work, love, effort and money into your first four walls. But what if there is tap water damage , for example ? Or if your new bike that you have been saving on for a long time is stolen? So that you do not incur any financial losses in the event of damage, you should adequately protect your household effects. With the best coverage following applies if the living space is correctly specified :

  • Insurance cover for the new value of the contents without limitation by an insured sum
  • No deduction due to underinsurance

The ultimate checklist for your first apartment in Germany

1. Bring a witness to see

your first apartment

A witness can later confirm verbal agreements and state whether any damage to the apartment was already present during the inspection. The handover protocol is also intended to document such damage.

With the handover of all keys – the landlord is not allowed to keep any for himself – the apartment is definitely your own realm. The walls can be painted in bright colors, but most rental contracts require that neutral colors be applied again when moving out.

2. Location

your first apartment

Would you like to centrally live in the city or prefer just outside where it’s quieter? This is the question you should ask yourself first.

3. Living space

your first apartment

Especially if you are not moving into the new apartment alone, you should pay attention to the living space and think carefully about how big the apartment needs to be. Is there a separate room for each flat share resident? Do you have enough common room available?

4. Bathroom

your first apartment

Do you like to relax in the bathtub after a busy day ? Or are you more of the shower type ? How important is a window in the bathroom to you? You should consider all of this when looking for an apartment.

5. Pets

your first apartment

Many landlords do not like to see pets in their homes. Small pets such as fish, birds or guinea pigs are always allowed. According to a ruling by the Federal Court of Justice, dogs and cats are also not generally prohibited. If you ask the landlord for permission in advance, you will save yourself trouble.

6. Balcony / terrace

your first apartment

How important is a terrace or balcony to you? Would you like to sit outside and relax after university or after work? Or is that not so important to you? You should also consider this aspect when looking for an apartment.

7. Garage / parking lot

your first apartment

Do you need a private parking space or a garage for your car ? Do you have an expensive bike or other high quality sports equipment that you would like to keep safe? Is there enough parking space near the apartment? You must also take this into account when looking for an apartment.

No more than a third of your income for rent!

Whether the required rental price for an apartment is justified depends on the individual case. However, seekers can find out about the general price level in advance – the rent index is usually provided by the respective municipality. If in doubt, the tenants’ association will help on site .

However, the rent should fit your budget. A rule of thumb: The warm rent should not amount to more than a third of the monthly household income.


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