Personal experience: how to rent an apartment in Berlin and not to go crazy

Personal experience: how to rent an apartment in Berlin and not to go crazy

Personal experience: how to rent an apartment in Berlin and not to go crazy

19 August 2020, 14:06
In the world
Photo: архив автора
Berlin is the only metropolis in Germany with nearly 4 million inhabitants. It would seem that the larger the city, the easier it is to find housing in it, I thought. But everything turned out to be much more complicated. A month has already passed, but it was not possible to rent an apartment. Politics intervened.

By helping the poor, she ruined the rental market.

Yelena Ivanova

Call in the morning at the end of July. Daughter. “Mom, you have no idea, Igor got a job in Berlin! Hooray! Finally, we will live in the same city!" Living in the same city has long been our dream. Life scattered us not only in different cities - in different countries. And now, finally, it happened - thanks to Brexit. Finding work in the British capital has become more difficult, and the entire cosmopolitan lifestyle of London has changed a lot. Prospects are also unclear - science is half funded by Europe, and from January 2021 there will be no money, finances are also gradually moving to Paris, Luxembourg and Frankfurt. Threatening pictures of covid quarantine did not add confidence to English medicine. Europeans were drawn to the continent. Well, it's time for ours too.

Now the main thing is to find an apartment.

I assumed it would be difficult to find accommodation. Several years ago we were already looking for an apartment in Berlin. And although there were many apartments, I had to run. Searching for housing in Germany is a formalized process. Prospective tenants must show the owner a three-month salary certificate. If there are no three months, you need a surety from someone who is working well. In addition, an extract from the citizens' reliability register is required. It's good to show a bank statement that you have money. And most importantly, you need to convince the owner that it is you, and only you, and not all the others who were with you on viewing the apartment, who deserve this apartment. Even then, it was not easy for foreigners. What are the salary certificates if you just moved? What is the integrity register? You didn't live here ... Nevertheless, somehow all foreigners managed to cope with it. In short, it was a dreary business, but not hopeless.

But times have changed. I open the Internet. There are no apartments. No, they certainly do exist, but why would two young people without children with one cat need a five-room apartment for three and a half thousand euros? We are looking further. They offer furnished apartments. We call. "Oh, what are you, now we rent only by day!" By the day - this is a tiny one-room apartment for two thousand euros a month. Move on. "Cat? No, sorry. And I will tell you this - you will definitely not find an apartment with furniture! " Sounds optimistic. But we are not giving up.

Berlin is a city of foreigners. If unfriendly Berliners can just slap the phone, muttering something incomprehensible, Italians, born sellers of everything, will smile and help, to the best of their ability, of course. “My husband works in Mitte (the center of Berlin), we would like something closer. I really do not want to travel by public transport in times of coronavirus. " “Per favor,” smiles the affable Giovanni, an Italian broker. But there is also little sense - there are no apartments as there are none. One hacienda overlooking a rumbling tram in 40 minutes from work and a proud 1,800 euros a month, plus electricity, heating and internet costs, is not what we expected.

Calling my friends. Help people! Andreas, kind soul: “There is one apartment, friends are going abroad for four months, they will rent out their apartment for 1100 euros. All inclusive". At last! But again, not everything is so simple. "If you don't mind, our relative will still live in the apartment." We object. What to do? In parallel, I watch the Internet every day - but there is the Gobi Desert.

Part of the housing in Berlin belongs to the city, there is even a rental office. Business hours are Mondays and Thursdays from 9 am to 12 pm. Let's go on Monday. “The queue for apartments is until 2021. In January-February he will be able to offer you something. May be". Thank.

What happened? Why has the search for an apartment become a "mission impossible"?

Find out. The Berlin Senate made a good decision last year. According to him, homeowners are no longer allowed to set the rent they want. The legislator has determined the threshold, depending on the area of the apartment, and you cannot demand more. Homeowners rushed to court first. It was not for nothing that Norwegian pension funds and other private equity were buying up houses in Berlin on the streets so that politicians would dictate prices to them. The courts will last for years, and private capital will probably win. But until then, the thresholds are in effect, and the owners are hiding and do not rent apartments.

But what are we to do? The apartment is needed now, not in five years. I'm calling another friend. He is a well-connected man, ours, Russian, and has lived here for forty years. "Help out!" “There is one option, but not in the area you are looking for. Talk to the owner". We speak. "I have an apartment in the west of Berlin". Excellent, no matter where, the main thing is the apartment, and the main thing is there. “We just repaired it and bought the furniture. I can take it for six months. " Then the details are announced. The apartment can be rented for only 500 euros, but the owner wants a thousand a month. But we are Russian people, acquaintances of acquaintances - we will agree. And the situation is hopeless. "We will send a contract." It turns out that for six months of removal, you immediately need to pay 3000 euros - per paw. In addition, you need to pay a deposit for three months out of six - but at the rate of a full lease, not an official one. That is, another 3000 euros, but the owners "got into the situation" and want a pledge of "only" 2.5 thousand. Well, 500 euros per month plus all kinds of utility bills, including an elevator, although an apartment on the ground floor - another 200 euros - is monthly. That is, the apartment must be paid six months in advance, and God knows whether you will receive your deposit. In total, a tiny apartment on the first floor "by acquaintance" will cost one thousand seven hundred euros a month - but money in advance.

So the dream and stupidity of the authorities give rise to monstrous grimaces of greed. Who needs such kindness from the Senate, neither I nor my children know. This is despite the fact that the son-in-law will pay rather big taxes from his financier's salary. But that doesn't bother anyone. And already lawyers say - the law will not stand, but how to steer back - no one knows. In a state governed by the rule of law, this can only be done by a court - or elections.

And we are looking further. Our friend Andreas found a friend who doesn't need an apartment. And although another suffering person is looking at her before us, we do not lose heart. Suddenly lucky. If not, Airbnb can help us!

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