Where to look for apartments in Germany? Here you will find help and useful abbreviations!

In the following article we will introduce you to German online portals with offers of apartments for rent. Before we get into that, we would first like to share with you some important information that you will certainly find useful when looking for and renting an apartment in Germany.

What types of apartments are available in Germany?

Advertisements with apartments in Germany often include a description of their type. The most common are:

  • Maisonette-Wohnung – this type of apartment extends over more than one floor of the same apartment building
  • Souterrainwohnung – a basement apartment is an apartment that is somewhat below ground level. These apartments are often basements, which have been specially converted for this purpose.
  • Penthouse-Wohnung – these apartments are located at the very top of the building and very often have a large terrace.
  • Loftwohnung – this type of apartments have very large and spacious rooms. They are often built in closed down warehouses or former industrial buildings.
  • Appartement – as one can easily guess “apartment”, that is small apartment, usually with one room
  • Einliegerwohnung – such apartments are usually added to an existing single-family house and in most cases have a separate entrance
  • Altbauwohnung – an apartment in an old building, characterised in particular by high rooms

What should a German tenancy agreement contain?

A German tenancy agreement should contain the following information:

  • The duration of the lease (Dauer des Mietverhältnisses)
  • Amount of rent without heating charges (Kaltmiete)
  • Additional charges (heating, water, waste disposal, etc.) – It is advisable to ask for an “Energieausweis” (certificate of energy consumption)
  • Termination notice (Kündigungsfrist)
  • Amount of security deposit (Kaution)
  • Information about renovations before or after you move in (you only have to renovate once)
  • Conditions for possible rent increases
  • If the apartment is furnished, you must make a list of all the items in the apartment
  • House rules (Hausordnung)
  • Arrangements for repairing faults in the apartment

Looking for accommodation in Germany – useful abbreviations

Apartments in Germany are often listed on the internet and in newspapers and contain many different abbreviations. That’s not surprising, since you have to pay for every character in an ad. To help you understand the most common abbreviations, we have prepared a list with their translations:

  • 3 Zi.-Whg = 3-Zimmer-Wohnung (3-room apartment)
  • 3 ZKDB = 3 Zimmer, Küche, Dusche, Bad (3 rooms, kitchen, shower, bathroom)
  • DG = Dachgeschoss (attic)
  • EBK = Einbauküche (built-in kitchen)
  • EG = Erdgeschoss (first floor)
  • HH = Hinterhaus (rear part of building)
  • K = Kaution (security deposit)
  • NR = Nichtraucher (non-smoker)
  • KM = Kaltmiete (rent without heating costs)
  • KN = Kitchenette (small kitchen)
  • NMM = Nettomonatsmiete (net monthly rent)
  • MVZ = Monatliche Vorauszahlung (Monthly advance payment)
  • Prov. = Provision (commission)
  • qm = Quadratmeter (m²)
  • TG = Tiefgarage (underground garage)
  • VH = Vorderhaus (front part of building)
  • WG = Wohngemeinschaft (housing association)
  • WBS erford. = Wohnberechtigungsschein erforderlich (certificate required for people who want to use state subsidised housing)
  • Wfl. = Wohnfläche (Living space)
  • WM = Warmmiete (rent and additional charges)
  • Zi = Zimmer (room)
  • ZH = Zentralheitzung (central heating)
  • zzgl. NK = zuzüglich Nebenkosten (with additional costs)

Where to look for accommodation in Germany?

Most offers for apartments and houses for rent in Germany can be found on the internet. One of the biggest and most popular portals where you can search for apartments for rent in Germany is www.immowelt.de. On Immowelt you can search not only for apartments, but also for houses, garages, housing communities, plots of land and much more.

Slightly smaller but equally popular are:

In Germany there are also popular apartments that are rented out to several people, called Wohngemeinschaft (WG). In this type of apartment you usually have exclusive use of one room (usually a single room, rarely doubles), while the bathroom, kitchen, living room and dining room are shared. You can find most ads for shared apartments on :

All content published on the website is protected under German copyright law, Urheberrechtsgesetz (§ 52 ff UrhG).

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