Renting a House in Berlin



From old, traditional German houses to modern and sleek condominiums, Berlin’s housing market offers a perfect mixture of both the past and the present. Unlike with other world renowned capitals, foreign assignees relocating to this city will find it easy to find the best home without shelling out a huge sum of money. 

The real-estate market of the coolest capital in western-Europe has a reputation of offering beautiful houses/apartments at an affordable price. Even foreigners from non-EU countries will encounter no restrictions when purchasing a property in Berlin. However, buying a home in the city is considered to be a more desirable to step to those who are staying for a long time and expats on short-term assignments are best to rent instead.

Several companies provide the housing needs of their employees, and there are some who don’t have such benefit. For foreign assignees that are relocating and need to take care of their accommodation, it is best to prepare ahead by going through some of the websites for real estate in Berlin.  As mentioned earlier, there is no shortage in the local housing market, but it will be of great help to have an idea about the several neighbourhoods to make the search easier. Expats can also hire the services of Immobilienhändlers (real estate agents) that have broad expertise in the different residential areas and rentals in Berlin. 

Renting a house

When planning to rent a home or apartment, foreign assignees must be prepared to provide some documents that are mostly asked by the German landlords: 

  • Residence or Work Visa
  • Passport
  • Proof of Income
  • Letter of recommendation from employer (for new arrivals in Berlin) 

Most landlords require a Kaution (deposit) which is 2-3 months worth of rent. Expats who can secure an apartment will be given a Mietvertrag (contract) which states several details such as: 

  • Length  of the lease agreement (short-term or long-term)
  • Inventory of the items inside the accommodation (for furnished rentals)
  • Amount paid to the landlord as deposit
  • Hausordnung (house rules) 

Types of Housing 

  • Apartments 

Is the most common type of housing in Berlin, especially in the city centre. Expats will find a selection of Soviet-era apartment blocks and seven-storey buildings with studio-type units or three bedroom flats. There are also several condominiums that use the ground floor for commercial space and some units that resemble an urban villa. Apartments are typical in the area of Mitte where the spaces are limited, and the rooms are designed to meet the taste of young couples and professionals. 

  • Houses 

Detached homes are more common in neighbourhoods outside the city centre or in Berlin’s outlying areas. Though there are many parks in the metropolitan, the suburban districts are more known for offering wider outdoor spaces and family homes. Also, most houses in Berlin are situated in what they call as the ‘green residential zones’ such as Zehlendorf which is near the beautiful Wannsee Lake, Havel River and Grunewald Forest.


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