Finding a fitting apartment in Munich is often harder than finding a job. In our posts about the topic of apartment hunting in the Bavarian capital you can find lots of tips to prepare you for the adventure and we also have a post about the most commonly used abbreviations in apartment ads in German newspapers and specialised online publications. Here is a small list with brief explanations about the terminology used in apartment renting in Germany, which also offers some insights into some German usances.
Provision/Maklerprovision – Agent’s Commision
Property agent's fee, normally equivalent to 2-3 months' rent usually payable on signing the letting agreement. Sometimes the agent is willing to spread payment of the commission over a few months. Landlords don’t always engage the services of an agent. If they let the accommodation directly to the tenant, there is no commission to pay.
Untervermietung - Subletting
Rental arrangement between the tenant and a third person. Subletting is often prohibited in rental agreements between the owner and the tenant. Provided it is allowed, however, the tenant can charge the subtenant rent.
Kaution – Security Payment
This is a one-off security measure payable to the landlord by the tenant at the beginning of the rental term. It normally amounts to 1-2 months' rent. The deposit is designed to compensate the owner for any arrears in rent and to finance repair work when the tenant moves out. Otherwise, the landlord must repay the deposit, with interest, to the tenant at the end of the rental period.
Hausordnung – House Rules
Apart from the provisions laid down in the rental agreement, there are usually so-called house rules to observe. These guidelines regulate how the individual tenants have to conduct themselves with regard to the community of occupants: respecting the quiet hours, looking after communal areas such as corridors, cellar, garage, use of the washing machine, etc.
Hausmeister – Caretaker
In larger rented properties, the owner usually employs a caretaker or caretaker service to look after the communal areas such as the garden, garages, indoor corridors, stairs etc. The caretaker is also the person to contact if a key is lost or minor repairs need to be done.
Wohnungsabnahme - Acceptance Inspection of the Apartment
The tenant has to leave his flat in immaculate order when moving out. Any damage must be rectified by the tenant. TUM recommends that you draw up and sign a detailed record of the state of the flat together with the landlord when you move in. The same procedure should be followed when you move out, so the owner cannot raise objections after you have moved out.
You can also find apartment finding tips at the website of the Technical University of Munich (TUM).