Best Websites To Find Apartments in Germany

Finding a place to live in Germany can be a challenge for everyone, especially if you don’t know where to look for. There are many online resources for the apartment search in Germany. Some offer listings from landlords and some from real estate agents, where you will pay additional fees.

The best property websites to find apartments in Germany include:

  • ImmobilienScout24.de
  • eBay – Kleinanzeigen.de
  • Immowelt.de
  • Meinestadt.de
  • Immonet.de
  • Wohnungsboerse.net
  • WG-GESUCHT.de

Usually, real estate brokers will charge you a commission of one month’s rent. To avoid these unnecessary expenses, you should look for private offers. Yet, keep in mind that German landlords charge a 2 to 3 month rent in a security deposit that you have to pay upfront. In this article, we list the best free resources to find long and short-term rentals in Germany.

Before you start your apartment search in Germany, learn about current rent prices.

Renting in Germany

Renting is very common in Germany. You might be surprised that over half of the population in Germany rent property instead of owning it.

Moreover, tenants are highly protected by law, so renting is also very safe and secure. On the other hand, landlords have many responsibilities, and it’s not an easy job to be one!

Since the majority of the population lives in rented homes, people are constantly looking for apartments and rooms. Hence, you will find plenty of resources available on the internet.

However, be aware that all websites for long-term rent are exceptionally in the German language, if you don’t speak German, it might be challenging. In this case, use Google Chrome; it will automatically translate every page into English.

When communicating with landlords, write a message in both languages, German and English, and tell them upfront where you are from. Some owners prefer not to lend their homes to foreigners.

Best rental websites in Germany

Here are the best websites for finding apartments and rooms in Germany for long-term rent.

1. ImmobilienScout24.de

ImmobilienScout24.de is by far the most popular and largest platform for apartment hunting in Germany. Every month 12 million people use this website to find their future homes. The website was created back in 1998, and so it’s the first online platform for housing in Germany.

On ImmobilienScout24.de, you will see over 500.000 offers directly from owners and from real estate agencies & brokers.

The regular account is free to use, so you can see the offerings and contact the landlords. However, some features are available only with a premium account.

For example, a premium account gives you an option to create a user profile and add relevant for landlords information like SCHUFA, income reports, CV, etc. This will increase your chances of finding an apartment.

Some apartments are available only for premium users, so you even won’t see them without paying.

The price of the premium account depends on the period you sign up for it, but two months is the minimum, and it costs 30 EUR per month.

However, in particular cases, it does make sense to buy a premium membership. The housing situation in some German city pretty bad with the high competition in major cities. So, if you want to get a place in the fastest way, the premium might be worth it.

Do you need to terminate your current apartment? Read this article about the apartment’s lease termination in Germany.

Keep in mind that in Germany, you need liability insurance when you rent an apartment or house. It will cover you in case something bad happens. For example, an apartment or furniture gets damaged or something gets broken. With private liability insurance, you can claim reimbursement of costs if the damages were caused by you. One of the most reliable and affordable coverages is offered by the insurance company Lemonade.

Read more about liability insurance and why you must have it.

2. eBay – Kleinanzeigen.de

German eBay.de has a special feature called Kleinanzeigen dedicated to private listings. There, you can find various offers from apartments, rooms, and cars to jobs to diverse services. This website is essentially the German version of Craigslist or Gumtree.

Go to the Immobilien section of your city, select Mietwohnung, and select Angebote. On eBay-Kleinanzeigen.de, you will find listings from landlords and current tenants rather than professional brokers.

That said, many people post their listings there as it’s free for both parties, compared to the ImmobilienScout24.de, where landlords must pay a fee.

Sometimes you can even bargain for an offer if you see a negotiation mark VB) near the price. But it’s more common for products and not for apartments.

The major benefit of this platform is that you can rent an apartment directly from an owner avoiding agents and brokers. Listings are only private with the direct contact information of owners.

If you live in Germany, you should have a profile on eBay-Kleinanzeigen.de anyway. It’s a very useful platform where you can buy and sell literally everything.

For example, after renting an apartment, you will need to buy furniture since most of them come empty. So you can use eBay-Kleinanzeigen.de to buy some inexpensive pieces of furniture; there are plenty to choose from.

Read our guide about renting an apartment as a foreigner in Germany.

3. Immowelt.de

Immowelt.de is the second largest rental platform in Germany after ImmobilienScout24.de. It was founded in 2000. The platform allows you to set your preferences with the help of many filters.

Like with ImmobilienScout24.de, you will find private offers and listings from real estate agencies. It’s also free to use for tenants, but landlords must pay a fee.

You can contact the owner directly on the platform, and there are no additional fees and no premium accounts. Therefore, the website is totally free in its full functionality. However, landlords will need to pay the price; here are the rates:

  • 1 week 0 – 64,90 EUR
  • 2 weeks 0 – 124,90 EUR
  • 4 weeks 19,95 – 174,90 EUR
  • 8 weeks 34,95 – 299,90 EUR

So it’s not clear how much landlords have to pay; prices vary according to the property’s value, selected ad package, and if any discounts are granted. But after all, it’s not important for you, as you only search for an apartment.

Immowelt.de has only a few listings compared to previously mentioned sites like ImmobilienScout24.de and eBay-Kleinanzeigen.de. On the positive side, Immowelt.de shows you apartments without selling you a membership, as ImmobilienScout24.de does.

Wondering why German apartments come without a kitchen? Read the full article on that topic.

4. Meinestadt.de

Meinestadt.de is similar to the eBay platform, where apart from real estate and rentals, you can find jobs, cars, events, and even a partner (dating).

It’s a much smaller housing platform than we mentioned so far, yet, it has a good number of listings. Moreover, Meinestadt.de has around 15 million monthly users, so that it can be worth your time.

Most of the offers are privat from landlords, and the platform is free to use with its full capability.

Read our guide about renting an apartment as a foreigner in Germany.

5. Immonet.de

Immonet.de is a partner of the Immowelt.de platform. It works the same way as Immonet.de and is free to use for both parties. The company has existed since 1999 and has less popularity than ImmobilienScout24.de.

6. Wohnungsboerse.net

On this platform, you can, as usual, see rental offers and publish your listings for free. You can also see the full information on the offer and contact the landlord. Wohnungsboerse.de is the smallest platform, but you can still spot some good deals there.

The website also has helpful checklists and tips for housing under the Info&Tips, which will make your life easier in Germany.

7. WG-GESUCHT.de

The final platform is WG-Gesucht.de, and in contrast to others, the entire site is available in English. WG is the acronym of Wohngemeinschaft or flatshare, but there’s a variety of listings at any given time. So you can find a room, apartment or even a house. It’s a completely free website for tenants and landlords.

WG-Gesucht.de, in my opinion, has the most attractive and user-friendly interface that makes it easy to see the apartment, the price, the time it’s been online, address, availability, details, and high-quality pictures. However, many apartments are rented temporarily due to the absence of the main tenant.

The website doesn’t offer commercial real estate as such and properties for sale. All listings are from landlords or people who rent their current rooms & apartments.

WG-Gesucht is the first choice among Germans to search for shared apartments and rooms. Usually, students and young adults prefer to share the flat. Hence, you will most likely see offers from students renting their room, and your roommates will likely be students too.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of shared apartments rented by working adults. Some people just don’t want to live alone or don’t want to spend much money on housing.

The WG-Gesucht.de is the largest platform for shared housing on the market. Before applying for rooms, you should have enough information in your profile. That way, owners and people who post listings can check whether you will be a good match.

Rooms in WG (shared apartments) are in times cheaper than entire apartments. Expect to pay from 250 EUR to around 500 EUR for the room, depending on the location, size, and conditions of the apartment. Munich is the most expensive city; you can see rooms renting for 600 EUR and above.

When searching on the WG-Gesucht.de, you will usually communicate with a person who rents their room and not with the property owner.

WG usually has only one rental contract for an entire flat with a landlord, and each person is eligible to rent their room on their own.

Thus, you won’t have much contact with the owner, and full responsibility for apartments is in the hands of roommates.

The person you will rent a room from will also ask for a security deposit. Hence, if something happens with the room or objects in shared spaces, they will charge you. The deposit amount ranges from 1 to 3 monthly rents.

How much should you pay for rent in Germany? Read the detailed article about rental prices here.

Other options

In addition to these resources, you can search on Facebook for groups related to the apartment search in your city, such as Wohnungssuche in ….(city), Wohnungen in …. (city), WG-Zimmer in …, etc.

Most of these groups are private, but you’ll typically get approved within a day if you request to join. Facebook has made it easy to message the person who posted the listing, but there are no search filters, so you have to manually scroll through all the listings.

And word of mouth also works perfectly in this situation; you can ask your friends and people you know if they have some options or have heard from other friends.

This is quite common in Germany, and a lot of people find apartments this way. Germans will inform their friends that they rent an apartment before they list it and only after they will publish it online.

Also read: Why German apartments don’t have a kitchen?

Create a profile

To start looking and applying for an apartment, you will need to create a profile on all of these websites. You should provide as much information about yourself as possible. Include the following details:

  • nationality
  • current address
  • occupation
  • a company where you work
  • employment status
  • net household income

Send messages or call landlords

Once you see an offer you like, be prepared to send a message immediately. We would suggest having a default message in both English and German so you don’t type it each time.

In this message, you should introduce yourself, for example, your name, age, occupation, monthly income, how long you have been living in this city or in Germany, and something about your lifestyle that is worth mentioning, such as how regularly you spend time at home.

Also include how many people are supposed to live in this apartment if you plan to live with someone else (family, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend).

In the message, always address the listing owner by their given name or by the generic and polite “Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren.”

However, don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back from many or any listings right away. Most of them receive a ton of messages, and they behave very selectively.

Landlords will try to pick the applicant with the most stable status. The more applications you submit, the better your chances.

If the owner has left a telephone number, you can also call them. This would be a more proactive approach. Especially if you feel like this place was made for you, you need to hurry up. Apartments are given away very quickly in Germany.

To call the owner or be able to receive calls, you need a German number unless you have a good deal with some European provider. I would recommend getting a German SIM card as soon as you come here.

Moreover, the foreign number can scare homeowners since they might think you aren’t that serious about renting long-term in Germany.

Check out deals from O2, they have simple and affordable prepaid SIM cards such as Prepaid S for just 9,99 EUR or Free M if you want to have more data.

Read more: Best SIM card deals in Germany.

Visit the apartment

Viewing is necessary for each apartment before you can rent it. However, you might be able to rent a place without even visiting this. Nowadays, digital visiting and room tours aren’t uncommon. Yet, this might work with rooms and, less likely, with apartments.

So, before you attend a viewing, you’ll need to have the following documents ready to present or send to the landlord:

  • Personalausweis – passport
  • Einkommensnachweis – proof of income from the past three months
  • Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung – certificate of freedom from rent debt

Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung is a signed document from your last landlord confirming that you’ve paid your rent in full and on time during the time of your rental. But it’s not always required.

  • SCHUFA Bonitätscheck (credit score) — your SCHUFA score that also hasn’t expired
  • Bank statement (optional)

Your most recent bank statement is also helpful if you have a sufficient amount of money saved. This is necessary only for apartments. If you rent a room, there are no required documents.

Landlords will also require the security deposit of two to three rents plus the amount for the first month.

If you don’t want to pay a deposit (Kaution) you can get a rent deposit guarantee which can be used instead of cash. Hence, you will keep the money to yourself. Kautionfrei.de is the best service for it.

Hence, be prepared financially. If you don’t have enough savings, you can apply for a quick loan. Check it out here or learn more about how to take a loan as a foreigner.

Registration (Anmeldung)

The last step is registering your new address within 2 weeks after moving into the new apartment. This procedure is necessary for everyone: Germans, EU – citizens, and non-EU citizens.

If you skip this, there is a chance of getting fined. To get a registration (Anmeldung), you must visit Rathaus (town hall) in your city and submit a form there.

Also, bring these documents to complete the registration:

  • filled registration form (you can download it on the townhall’s website or get it in a townhall)
  • identity card or passport or children’s card or birth certificate of all persons to be registered
  • rental agreement
  • registration form must be signed by the landlord or who rents out an apartment

Don’t forget to sign up for liability insurance before you move in! You don’t want to pay for any damages to the apartment from your pocket and end up with debts in Germany.

Internet for your new apartment

When renting a place in Germany, you will need to sign up for an internet provider to have a connection to the web. In this article, we have collected all companies which offer broadband, including the fiber internet.

Since many people don’t want to commit to the 24-month-long agreement, packages without a contract seem to be a better option. You can see and read more about all providers here.

Read more: Internet deals in Germany: without & with a contract.

Short-term rent in Germany

Here are the best resources for short-term rent in Germany.

Airbnb.com

Nowadays, everyone knows Airbnb.com. The best platform for short-term apartment rentals.

Airbnb.com is also a very popular accommodation provider in Germany. You can rent a room or apartment almost in each city and even a village. The price is higher than if you sign for long-term rent but still cheaper than booking the hotel.

The bed in the hostel will cost you around 20 EUR; for that money, you can rent a room on Airbnb.com.

Booking.com

Booking.com is the world’s best search engine for finding accommodations; from hostels to luxury hotels, you can find anything there. It also includes homes, apartments, B&B, and rooms. Booking.com guarantees to offer you the best available rates than any other platform.

As in any other country, Booking.com is also very common in Germany. You will find thousands of offers for any price category.

Do you need to terminate your current apartment? Read this article about the apartment’s lease termination in Germany.

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Anna

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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