Home Search in Berlin

Flat Search Berlin

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 Finding a Flat or Apartment – Home Search in Berlin.

So, you moved here and you want to find a flat in Berlin? Great minds think alike! Berlin is one of the most sought-after places to live in Europe. Despite increases in housing costs, the other costs of living and family services make Germany attractive to expats and expat families a like. The city has a lot of options for Engineers, Creatives, and all sorts of other professions. Though, the housing market is tricky. Which is why we are here to help you find a flat in Berlin. Before taking on this task, you might want to first read Temporary Accommodation

Things You Need To Know About the Flat Hunt In Berlin

Being Open Minded and Patience

Flat hunting in Berlin can be daunting.  The market is moving very quickly, and the process can be frustrating. So bring some patience when trying to find a flat in Berlin. You have to come into the flat search with an open mind. If you stick to just one neighborhood when searching for a flat, it can take a very long time to find a flat in Berlin. Especially if you have a low income. Open up your horizons and look in other districts, check out the suburbs. Berlin has an amazing transportation system!

Where to look for flats?

There are plenty of other resources on Ebay, Facebook, and Wggesucht as well. We have had the most success with the above links.

Who is who?

The market is made up of many different stakeholders. There are real estate agents, property management companies, companies owning flats, and private owners owning flats. For each flat that you look at the deciding person could be different, depending on who is the owner of the apartment. This is why decision making can take a long time when trying to find a flat in Berlin.

What are the costs related to renting in Berlin?

If you are renting an unfurnished apartment you can expect the following:

  • Cold Rent – Your Rent
  • Warm Rent – The amount you actually pay each month. Your Rent including operating costs and heating (depends on the apartment).

Additional Monthly Costs:

  • Gas *If Applicable* – Usually for heating you can calculate approximately 1 Euro Per Square Meter per month.
  • Broadcasting Fee: 17.50 per apartment per month.
  • Internet: ~30 Euro per month
  • Electricity: ~50 Euros per month
  • Deposit – 3 X your cold rent. Paid once or in three payments. You decide usually, but some landlord’s want the whole sum upfront.

How much can we afford?

There is an unwritten rule about how much you can afford to pay for rent. Some make a calculation that you should not spend more than 1/3 of your Netto income on you cold rent. Others calculate the same by warm rent.


  • Your monthly income: 3,000 Euro Netto (if you collect Kindergeld, or Elterngeld tack it on!)
  • 1/3 of 3,000 = 1,000. According to the cold rent rule you can afford up to 1,000 Euro Cold Rent.
  • According to the warm rent rule you can only afford up to 1000 Euro warm rent.
  • This rule isn’t a law – it depends on how strict the deciding person is!

What documents are required to find a flat in Berlin.

  • Application Form – This will be provided often by whoever is showing the apartment. Either in the expose, in the e-mail inviting you to the viewing, or at the appointment.
  • Passport Copies and or European ID Cards
  • Visa Copy or Residence Permit Copy
  • Anmeldung – City Registration Copy
  • Mietschuldenfreiheit – Document Stating You Nave No Debts – This is getting more and more strict in Berlin. If you’re staying in a temporary apartment in Berlin this document should be collected from the temporary housing. If your employer is paying for your temporary housing, then a letter from the employer stating this can be also helpful. If you are an owner in your home country and proof of this can be helpful. Or a recommendation letter from your landlord or owner’s association.
  • Proof of Income: Work contract for employed people or an employer’s confirmation, or your last three salary slips. Or if you’re self-employed your previous year’s tax declaration.
  • SCHUFA- This is Germany’s version of a credit score. Without explaining and confusing you too much, usually as long as you have a bank account in Germany and access to your online banking you can order your SCHUFA online and the certificate will say “positive” that’s all that landlord wants to see. If you have a bank account, but not yet access to your online banking that is okay too. The document will be sent to you via post. You can order SCHUFA here it costs 29.95 for a 1x fee. Do not order any subscription. – https://www.immobilienscout24.de/ratgeber/lp/schufa-bonitaetscheck.html

 Life Hack Tip:

If you’re looking for somewhere to land in Berlin, you might want to book a temporary apartment. There the requirements are quite different. Those are more expensive per square meter as all of the bills are included. You can book a flat hunt service with Expat Mgmt today! Send an e-mail to info@expatmgmt.com.

Viel Spaß, Viel Glück & Viel Erfolg.

Du packst das schon!!!

Your Expat Mgmt Team





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