Did you know that Germany is one of the countries which has the largest population of people living in a rented apartment? Just in Berlin alone, more than 85% of the population lives in a rented apartment. Germany is one of the countries with the lowest home-ownership rate.
There are more than 7 million expats living in Germany and 375,000 international students are coming to Germany each year. It is not easy for expats and international people to find accommodation in larger cities like Berlin or Munich, especially if they do not understand or speak the German language.
It is very important to know the “Mieterverein” – tenant’s association which can be of great support if you run into issues in your apartment or with your landlord.
There are around 320 such associations in Germany among Deutscher Mieterbund (German Tenant’s Association).
They provide information tenancy law in Germany. In case of any disputes with your landlord, you can receive a personal advice or consultations from them. They will get in touch with the landlord on behalf of you and dispute the issue. Especially, when the landlord increases the rent or terminates contract without proper notice or reason.
In Germany, the notice period is three months if you live in an apartment for less than five years. Despite that, the notice has also to be given in written form. The Tenant’s Association also helps in deposit disputes, if the landlord fails to give you the full deposit without proper reasoning or within six months of leaving the apartment.
The landlord can increase the rent to the current local comparable rent. In this case, the rent increase has to be unchanged for at least twelve months. In the case of modernization, the rent increase should account to only 11% of the modernization costs.
In case of any mold, issues with the water supply or heating, faulty windows, etc, the tenant can inform the landlord to rectify those issues. Mostly, this has to be given in written form stating the completion date.
There is a membership fee in case if you want to be a part of the local tenant’s association. The entire list of tenant’s rights can be found here in the Mietrecht Document. Thus, the tenant’s association serves as an important organization in supporting the rights of the tenants (Sources: Mieterbund, Berliner-Mieterverein).
Unfortunately, all their services and consulting are provided only in the German language. This is an issue for expats and international people. MyHelpBuddy mission is to assist expats and international students in all possible processes to make their integration into a new city stress-free. In case you have issues with your apartment or your landlord, at MyHelpBuddy, we are providing Interpreters who can assist you during the consulting, making calls or appointment with the association, translation and many more.
Apart from that, you can also share a request for the below-mentioned services and Book a Buddy who can support you in those issues. You can Join us here and share a request if you need some help.