- What is rent?
If you occupy an apartment for a limited period of time, you are the tenant of that residence. The person with whom you entered into the tenancy agreement is the landlord. You can rent a room in a shared apartment as well.
Renting an apartment means that you have a right to use the residence for the duration of the agreement. The room or apartment does not belong to you, however. Before moving in, you should therefore learn about the house rules and any responsibilities you may have as tenant. This could include a heating requirement. You usually have to speak to your landlord before converting or renovating the apartment.
In return, however, you also have rights as a tenant. For the duration of the rent, the landlord may for example only enter the apartment with your permission, except in special cases. Additionally, the landlord has to ensure that you can live in the apartment. Therefore, they have to solve some problems that may occur in the apartment.
- What should I pay attention to?
When you enter into a tenancy agreement, you should check whether or not it is temporary, i.e. specifies a fixed date for the end of the tenancy. In addition, you should check the apartment for any existing defects and document them together with your landlord, so that you cannot be held responsible for these later.
If you want to end the rental of the apartment, you must submit a notice in writing to your landlord.
You pay money to your landlord in exchange for being allowed to use the apartment. This amount is called rent.
Before you move in, you may have to pay an additional sum to your landlord that they will return to you after the rental period (Deposit (Kaution)). The landlord is allowed to keep part of the money if you damage the apartment. If you receive money from the Jobcenter or Grundsicherungsamt you can apply for them to pay the deposit for you.
In addition to rent, you will likely have to pay for power and an internet connection and pay a licence fee (Rundfunkbeitrag). The Rundfunkbeitrag (Rundfunkbeitrag) finances a number of radio and television programmes.
The licence fee (Rundfunkbeitrag) amounts to 17.50 € per month for each apartment. It may be possible to get an exemption from the fee: for example if you receive social security benefits such as the employment benefit II (Arbeitslosengeld II) from the Jobcenter or the Grundsicherungsamt.
You can register and apply for an exemption here: https://www.rundfunkbeitrag.de/.
You can find more information here: https://www.rundfunkbeitrag.de/welcome/englisch/index_ger.html#exemption_and_reduction.