In Germany, the renting process for flats and apartments can get quite challenging for expats, especially if you do not know the native language well. When it comes to the facility of the agreements with the landlords, it entirely depends on the individual you are dealing with. However, usually throughout all Germany, landlords ask for six types of documents that you have to provide in order to start renting.
Ausweiskopie - A copy of your Identification or Passport
In most agreements, a copy of your identification or passport is always required. Recently a new law on identification came out, which states that estate agent must make a copy of your identification regardless if you actually want to buy the flat or just viewing.
Mietkostenfreiheitsbescheinigung - Proof of no previous rental debt
This document acts as a guarantee for your landlord, that you have no previous owed money to other landlords and that you always paid your rent on time. If your previous accommodation was in another country, get your previous landlord to write you something similar to a work reference letter. Ensure that that document is in English, or else have it translated in German.
Gehaltsnachweis – Proof of income
This document proves that you receive a fixed income, and basically, that you will be able to afford the property you are choosing to rent. As proof of this document, you can show any payslips or invoices issued by your previous employer. Most of the time, it is best if you have documentation of the salary from the previous three months.
Kontoauszüge – Bank Statements
Even though this might seem somewhat intrusive, this assures the landlord that you have a working bank account, a salary and the ability to pay your rent. If you are still a student and depend financially on your parents, you have to provide proof that your parents will cover your bills.
Schufa Selbstauskunft – Credit History
This doesn’t usually apply for individuals that never lived in Germany before. Basically, a Schufa record in Germany, acts as a credit history that tracks any previous or current debts. By providing this, the landlord will know if you ever had trouble paying previous bills and if you can actually afford the flat or apartment.
Bürge – A Guarantee that someone else will pay your bill if you cannot
This document is usually required from people that cannot provide a proof of income, bank statement and credit history. Since the landlord wont have any guarantee that you have the ability to fully pay your rent on time, they will need a document stating that someone else(for example, your guardian) is willing to pay for you, if you fail to pay.
The above documents are all that are required when renting a flat or apartment in Germany. If you are able to provide them, then you shouldn’t have a problem to rent. As a general recommendation, we suggest that you always pay your rent on time, especially in Germany. The landlords have the authority to kick you out of the apartment without notice if you do not pay.