Munich - House Rentals
Due to high demand it is extremely difficult to find rental properties in Munich.
Properties are not advertised with 'For Rent' or 'For Lease' signs on the front of the building, nor is there a common listing system among real estate agents 'Immobilienmakler'.
Real estate agents will only show properties that they have been contracted to by the owner, so each real estate agent will have a different list of apartments and houses to show.
*Note: Owners can choose to advertise through multiple real estate agents. If you view the same property through more than one agent and decide to move in, you may have to pay each agent the insubstantial finders fee of 2 months' rent, so be careful!
The Friday edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung lists properties for rent, both privately and through real estate agencies. 'Kurz und Fundig' also lists private properties for rent. Pay special attention when you read the advertisement: apartments are advertised according to the number of rooms. This is not the number of bedrooms, but the total number of rooms excluding kitchen, bathroom and passageways.
Another thing to look for is whether the monthly rental is 'warm' or 'kal'".
Kalt means the rent is purely for the right to live in the property. Additional costs, which can include Nebenkosten for the building caretaker and Hausmeister (sewage, water, rubbish haulage, and heating) will be charged on top of the rent.
Warm means that Nebenkosten are included. Generally electricity and phone are the tenant's responsibility.
Rental contracts typically go for a minimum of three years, so it will be very difficult to get an apartment if you say you'll be living in Munich for less than that time. Since long leases are typical, painting and paying for new carpet at the end of the tenancy is not uncommon. If either party wants to discontinue the lease, 3 months' notice must be given. On the tenant's side this can be shortened to one month if the tenant finds someone to take over the lease, a Nachmieter.
As well as the horrendous finder's fee, renters also need to pay three months' rent as bond Kaution, plus the first month's rent in advance. All up that is 6 months' rent before you even move in! Additional setting-up costs also include buying curtains, light fittings, cupboards, floor coverings, and most surprisingly, a kitchen! For some bizarre reason, Germans tend to take their kitchen with them when they move house (stove, oven, sink, cupboards, everything!). Other white goods such as a fridge, washing machine, etc. are the responsibility of the tenant. German fridges are small - generally the size of a bar fridge.
If you have pets, then you will need written permission from the landlord to keep them at the property. Having an animal visit for a few hours or a few days does not seem to be a serious violation of this rule.
Many buildings have strict rules on the installation of satellite dishes. The laws governing satellite dishes are changing all the time, so try to negotiate something with your landlord in writing.
You should be aware of strict noise disturbance rules. In most neighbourhoods, loud repair work or gardening can only be done in the mornings between 8am and 12am Monday - Saturday and in the afternoons from 3pm to 6pm Monday to Friday and from 3pm to 5pm on Saturday. The same time restrictions are placed on the playing of musical instruments. There are also general noise level restrictions between 10pm and 7am seven days a week.
It is advisable to become a member of the Mietverein München, Tenants' Protection Union. This entity provides a legal advice service for tenants, which is very useful as Munich landlords are notorious for charging substantial fees for repairs at the end of a tenancy. (Note that it is generally expected that you paint and have spotless floor coverings at the end of the tenancy.)
Mietverein München e.V.
Sonnenstrasse 10 (am Stachus)
Tel: + 49 (0) 89 5521 430
Fax: + 49 (0) 89 554 554