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Home Housing Renting Short-term rentals for expats in Germany
Last update on March 30, 2022

If you’re moving to Germany for a brief time, use these tips to take the stress out of finding a short-term rental.

Many expats rent temporary housing when they move to Germany. This might be because they are on a temporary work assignment, or they want to test the waters before settling in to a new country. Finding a short-term rental in Germany is a good solution to help you get settled, even if only for a limited time. This could be a serviced apartment or a furnished rental.

If you own your home, you may also want to rent it out or sublet it while you’re away – on a business mission, or an extended vacation, or tending to family affairs. Temporary housing services can be an easy way to find reliable tenants, and much-needed peace of mind. Read on to find out about:

Tempoflat.de

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 accommodation 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.

A modern furnished living room interior

It’s easy to see the attraction of a short-term furnished apartment. It’ll offer a better, cozier, 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

One of the easiest ways to find a temporary apartment is by using an online portal. Some of the main short-term rental portals in Germany include:

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; this includes things like minimum rental durations, notice periods and cancellation terms. If you still need to brush up on your German, make sure you have a competent 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 those listed above, specialize in short-term rentals of serviced apartments, making your 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 that specialize in short-term rentals, you could search more general German property portals. For example, Zeitwhohnwerk is a network of local agencies across Germany with furnished accommodation.

Other well-known German accommodation websites include Immobilienscout24 or Immowelt. These are good options if you’re also open to longer-term rentals or buying. You could also use the old-fashioned method: word of mouth through people in your expat network and local noticeboards.

Rental prices in Germany

As with anywhere, you will need to think about your local market and budget accordingly. In the last quarter of 2021, rents were stagnating or falling in many German cities, after having risen for many years. However, rental prices in Berlin are set to rise after the removal of the rent cap in April 2021.

Munich was the most expensive city, where existing apartments cost €16.50 per square meter to rent. In Berlin, that was €9.39, up from €9.06 at the beginning of the year. Bear in mind that these prices do not include utility bills.

Apartment blocks in Berlin

Thankfully, Germany offers greater support for tenants than many other countries in Europe. There are a couple of hundred tenants’ associations in the country, the largest of which is the Berlin Tenants’ Association, with around 180,000 members.

With all this in mind, it pays to be smart when searching for a rental property. In the short-term rental market, for instance, meeting your prospective landlord early in the process is a very good idea; this 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 are 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. However, it does require consent from the landlord or property manager. When sub-letting in Germany, you are not supposed to do so for profit; therefore, any rents you bring in should only cover your costs.

Modern apartments in Berlin

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. Therefore, if you are 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 is 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.

Useful resources

  • Deutscher Mieterbund (in German) – a federal association of tenants’ associations in Germany. Over 300 local tenants’ associations belong to it.
  • Immobilienscout24.de (in German) – the largest accommodation in Germany.