In the whole continent of Europe, Germany tops the list as the largest country and strongest economy with a GDP of about €4.0 trillion. This fact alone indicates that people living in Germany can largely afford good standards of living that boils down to ability to meet basic needs of which housing is part and many more. So, any person planning to relocate to and live in Germany must be well aware that housing choices must be well decided. With a keen eye not to bluff about housing, you need to know your way to sign up for waiting list, when to do it and how log it may take to get a dream apartment. It is only a properly chosen house and calling home that will give much comfort in the initial stages of living in Germany.
The cost of housing in Germany varies from city to city. However, to live comfortably in this large country you require perfect accommodation. The best part is you can get the kind of accommodation that suits your needs. With patience and a critical search, you can be certain that you will get suitable housing.
To buy or rent in Germany
Once you are in Germany you will realize that many people prefer to rent rather than buy houses. Why is that so? Many residents choose to rent for the long term. If you are new in Germany, it is wise to rent first. This will help you understand the housing market much better.
However, owning a house in Germany is a great way to build wealth. Once you buy a property you can choose to rent it out. That way you make money from your property. We all know that properties accrue in value with time.
Buying or renting is a question of comparison. Do you want to keep paying rent or is it better to buy your own house? Of course, buying a house is much better because you will be free from paying rent every month. It makes more sense to buy rather than to rent.
What to do before buying a house in Germany
Now that you have found the ideal house, it is time to engage the landlord or real estate agent. Let them provide you with the terms before the actual purpose. Understand the terms carefully to avoid any conflict. Consider the following before making the final decision;
- Buy what you can afford. Work with your budget. This is very important.
- Do not sign any document without your lawyer. Engage your lawyer who will make the entire process flawless.
- Get to know of any additional costs. Who will cater for the costs if any?
Tenancy Agreements in Germany
In Germany, most landlords ask for a lease period of two years for starters. Once the landlord tables the lease agreement, you must go through it. This is to ensure that it comes with all the relevant details. It is paramount that you understand what happens if you break the terms of the agreement.
Once the tenancy commences, the landlord has no right to evict you. The landlord should either give you a minimum of three months’ notice or take you to court. Nonetheless, if the landlord has a good and valid reason to evict you, you must leave.
In Germany, you will notice that tenancies are unlimited. Limited contracts also exist. This comes in when the landlord cannot continue renting the property. Planning to sell may be one of the reasons. When such cases happen, the landlord should also give notice.
What to know about Housing in Germany
Whether you are planning to rent or buy a house in Germany you have to factor in utilities. Catering of utilities should not be at the back of your mind. We are talking about electricity, water, and gas.
Electricity and gas connection in Germany
When it comes to electricity, you should choose an electricity provider. The aim is to cut costs. Go online and select a power provider. The process is pretty straightforward.
As you apply for an electricity connection, learn how much the provider is charging per kWh. That is what dictates how much you will be paying for your usage. Some providers give fixed prices while others are dynamic.
Apply the same principle to your gas provider. Take note of some of the providers that give huge discounts for purchasing both gas and electricity. At this point, you need to do your research and choose a provider that will offer both gas and electricity at a good price.
Water connection in Germany
You will enjoy the quality of water in Germany because it is top-notch. What is even more interesting is the tap water. You can drink straight from the tap without fear. That is pretty awesome.
That said, you will find a water provider in your vicinity. In Germany, a water connection means you will have a meter. The amount you end up paying will solely depend on your usage. So, the more the usage the higher the bill, and vice versa.
Heating bills in Germany
In Germany, a central heating system is normally in place. Note that heating bills are part of the rent. But as a homeowner, you pay for heating bills separately. Always remember, the higher the consumption, the higher the bill.
Tenant’s Rights for Housing in Germany
German law has for years been in favor of the tenant. Anytime you have an issue as a tenant, all you have to do is get in touch with the national tenants’ association. You can still contact your local tenants’ association. That is to show how much German law is in favor of the tenant.
In as much as a landlord has the right to evict a tenant, the eviction process is painfully slow. The law does not allow landlords to increase rent anyhow in some urban areas. That is why you find some landlords or developers changing tenants to hike the rent.
When it comes to increasing rent, it should not be drastic. It should happen over some time. Seek legal advice if your landlord notifies you suddenly about the rent increase. In general, the rental increase should not exceed 20% and this is after three years.