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Renting an Apartment in Germany

If you ever decide to move to Germany, you may be looking for an apartment or house to rent. Let's take a look today at some of the basic terminology related to renting a place of your own!


Hallo, ich bin Fine und heute bin ich auf Wohnungssuche.

Hello, my name is Fine and today I am apartment-hunting.

Caption 2, Fine: sucht eine Wohnung

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The first step, of course, to find an apartment is auf Wohnungssuche gehen ("to go apartment-hunting").


Ich habe das Internet nach Stellenanzeigen durchsucht.

I have searched on the internet for job listings.

Caption 5, Berufsleben: das Vorstellungsgespräch

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In much the same way as you would search for work via job listings on the internet, you can search die Wohnungsanzeigen ("the apartment listings") online on sites such as Immobilienscout.


Ich würde vorschlagen, da machen wir einen Termin am Freitag um zwölf Uhr.

I'd suggest that we make an appointment for Friday at noon.

Caption 26, Mein Weg nach Deutschland: Beim Arzt

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Once you have found an available apartment that meets your requirements for size, price, and neighborhood etc., you can make an appointment to see the apartment.


Hat der keinen Antrag gestellt? Das würd' ich dringend raten!

Didn't he file an application? I would strongly advise that!

Caption 75, Meine fremde Freundin: Was alle denken

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When you find an apartment you like, you will need to then fill out an apartment application (der Wohnungsantrag or die Wohnungsbewerbung). You may also be required to give a credit report, called a Schufa. This syllable word abbreviation is short for Schutzgemeinschaft für allgemeine Kreditsicherung ("Protective Association for General Credit Security"). It's easy to understand why this is commonly abbreviated!


Es gibt jetzt einen Vertrag.

There is now a contract.

Caption 37, Wincent Weiss & Benni Freibott: Musik sein

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Once your rental application and credit report are approved, the next step is for you to sign a rental contract (der Mietvertrag).


Muss man denn Kaution bezahlen?

So do you have to pay a deposit?

Caption 20, Nicos Weg: Auf Wohnungssuche

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The answer to that question is unfortunately "yes." In most cases, you will be required to pay a rental deposit (die Mietkaution), either directly to the landlord or into a shared escrow account. The amount is usually the equivalent of two or three months' rent.


Ich habe Ihnen den Schlüssel im Vertrauen gegeben.

I gave you the key in confidence.

Caption 47, Lerchenberg: Sascha hautnah

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Once you have signed the contract, it is normal for the landlord to hand over the keys to the apartment. German even has a specific noun for the handover of the keys: die Schlüsselübergabe.


Wie ist denn deine neue Wohnung?

What is your new apartment like then?

Caption 5, Lilly unter den Linden: Umzug in die DDR

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It's really nice, hopefully! Herzliche Glückwünsche on getting your first apartment in Germany! In an upcoming lesson early next year we'll discuss the less-expensive option of moving into a Wohngemeinschaft, called WG for short. Do you already know what that is?


Further Learning
Go to Yabla German and watch the full Auf Wohnungssuche videos from the Mein Weg nach Deutchland, Nicos Weg,  and Fine series.

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