Looking for a home

You can look for flats and houses in the daily newspapers (often in the weekend editions), advertising papers and on the web. The easiest way to find offers is with an Internet search engine. Properties may be leased either directly from the owner or from a building manager. As a student, you can also turn to the student union directly to find a flat in a student residence.

You can also search using real estate brokers. These brokers find flats and houses in exchange for payment of a commission (Maklerprovision). You can find brokerage addresses in industry directories, local phone books or on the web. The brokerage fees for a successful search can amount to up to two months' rent (without utilities) plus 19% value added tax. For purchases, the brokerage fees are generally three to six percent of the purchase price plus value added tax.

It is customary for you to have to present your financial situation openly to the broker or landlord. A copy of your employment contract, account statements or pay slips is sufficient. This allows the landlord to verify that you can afford the rent for the desired residence.

Flats and house ads

Furnishings

Lease

Broadcasting dues

Broadcasting fees (Rundfunkbeitrag) must be paid in Germany to support public radio and television broadcasters. The broadcasting dues must be paid for every residence. Changes of residence must be reported to the “Beitragsservice ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio”.

Registration for broadcasting dues
www.rundfunkbeitrag.de

Electricity and gas

There are many electricity and gas suppliers. Some providers only allow you to sign up for service online. Electricity and gas are generally billed monthly, and calculated based on an estimate of the annual household consumption. Calculation of the exact usage is presented in the bill at the end of the year. You must then either pay more to the electricity or gas service if you consumed more than the estimate, or you receive a reimbursement or credit. Payment of the monthly amount takes place either via bank transfer or direct debit. In this latter case you allow the provider to debit the money from your bank account (see Banks).

Sorting waste

There are many different coloured bins for different types of trash in Germany. The city or municipality informs you of the details. Please take care to sort your waste properly. If you have questions, it is best to ask your neighbours or the Welcome Center team. We would be happy to assist you.

Sorte waste - but how?
Verbraucherzentrale

Household insurance

If you rent or buy a home in Germany, you should purchase a household insurance. Household insurance provides insurance protection for the furnishings and other personal effects in your household (Hausrat). Almost all movable items in the household of the person purchasing the insurance are insured. These include, for example, furniture, household electronics, clothing and food. These items are insured against damage from fire, water, storm, hail, theft, robbery and vandalism.

We recommend that you ask about the precise scope of the insurance protection in a personal consultation with the insurance of your choice.

 

 

What comes after the move
Register your change of address

As soon as you have a new home and thus a new address, you must register with the registry office (Meldebehörde). Go to the town hall of the municipality (city, association of municipalities or independent municipality administration) of the location you have moved to. If you register too late, you might have to pay a fine. Late registration can also have a negative impact on your residency status in some circumstances.

registration of change of address (Unfortunately, this page is only available in German. Our Rhineland-Palatinate Welcome Centre will be happy to help you.)

Mail forwarding request

After you have moved, you should provide a written request for mail forwarding (Nachsendeauftrag) to the post office. Your letters and packages will automatically be forwarded to your new address for a prearranged time period. This service is subject to a fee.

Mail forwarding request (Unfortunately, this page is only available in German. Our Rhineland-Palatinate Welcome Centre will be happy to help you)

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