Short-term rental services are a great solution for people moving to Germany for a few short months, or for current residents looking to sublet their apartment while they’re away.
Sometimes expats are in need of short-term housing: they’re on a temporary work assignment, or they want to test the waters before settling in to a new country. A quick and easy solution is to find a serviced apartment: a short-term, furnished rental that will take much of the stress out of the move.
Local residents may also want to rent out or sublet their home while they’re away – on a business mission, or an extended vacation, or if they’re tending to family affairs. Temporary housing services can be an easy way to find reliable tenants, and a much needed peace of mind.
Tempoflat.de is an online portal that offers commission-free, furnished apartments in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, and all over Germany, for short- and mid-term rentals running from one month to two years. 75 percent of expats seeking a temporary home through their services find a solution after no more than two viewings or skype meetings.
Temporary accommodations in Germany
If you’re going to be in Germany for just a few months and need somewhere to live, you have several options. You could stay in a hotel, rent a traditional apartment and try to negotiate the terms, or select a specialist short-term letting service.
It’s easy to see the attraction of a short-term furnished apartment. It’ll offer a better, cosier and more personal lifestyle than living in a hotel. It will also be a lot cheaper! And save you the hassle of navigating the German property market. You won’t even need to select and transport any furniture – not even window shades.
How to find a serviced apartment in Germany
Choosing a specialist relocation company or using an expat-focused listings website could significantly cut down on the amount of time it takes you to find an apartment.
Tips for finding a temporary apartment:
- Start your search as soon as feasibly possible, and ideally at least a month before you plan to move.
- Any flexibility you can show around your arrival date will increase your chances of getting the best property.
- Get your head around main terminology and contractual aspects, such as minimum rental durations, notice periods and cancellation terms – and get a German speaker to go through the contract with you.
- Don’t transfer any money until you’ve finalised the contract and it has been signed by both parties. While they’re rare, scams do exist, so it makes sense to be as diligent as possible.
Some companies such as Tempoflat specialize in short-term rentals of serviced apartments, making the expat’s life much easier. In their trustworthy hands, you won’t have to worry about the legitimacy of the contracts or the reliability of the tenants: the intermediary service takes care of everything for you!
Other options to find a short-term apartment
In addition to online portals such as Tempoflat, consider using the old fashioned method of word of mouth by talking to people in your expat network and checking out noticeboards. These online resources could also come in useful:
- Our Expatica guide on renting in Germany will help you understand how the property market works.
- Property portals such as Immobilienscout24, Immowelt and Wohnungsbörse list thousands of properties across the country, though you will need to be able to speak German.
- Zeitwhohnwerk is a network of local agencies across Germany that offers furnished accommodation.
Rental prices in Germany
As with anywhere, you’ll need to think about your local market and budget accordingly. Though prices are high in the major cities, a 2017 report found that the proportion of tenants in Germany struggling with their rent was 23%, considerably lower than the 33% recorded in the UK.
Germany also offers greater support for tenants than many other countries, with three million tenants belonging to tenancy organisations that offer support on issues such as disputes with landlords.
In the short-term rental market, meeting your prospective landlord early in the process is a very good idea – and it could save you money. While most landlords will price their property to cover their expenses, some actually charge below market rate if they are sure their home will be in good hands.
Subletting your apartment in Germany
If you’re currently renting a property in Germany but need to leave for a few months, you might want to consider sub-letting.
According to sections 540 and 553 of the German Civil Code, sub-letting is permitted, but it does require consent from the landlord or property manager. When sub-letting in Germany, you’re not supposed to do so for profit – any rents you bring in should only cover your costs.
Before agreeing to sub-let the property to someone, you should send your landlord a draft of your proposed contract. This contract should contain all of the vital details such as letting durations, rent prices and the sub-letters personal information. Providing this at an early stage should help you to get consent.
If you fail to follow this procedure and sub-let without permission, your landlord could terminate your rental contract.
Sub-letting in Germany: important tips
While things can be very fluid in the short-term accommodation market, rushing into things will only create problems in the long run – so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, speak to an expert before deciding to sub-let, or hire the services of a specialized service such as Tempoflat.
As a general rule, it’s important to follow these pointers:
- Don’t be charmed. Carry out legal checks on potential sub-tenants, and get references from their employer and current landlord, if applicable.
- Get an inventory check, and ensure that the condition of the apartment and any furnishings are covered in the sub-lease.
- Don’t hand over the keys to the property until the contract has been signed and the first payment has reached your bank account.