Apartment Paperwork


Yay yay yay, you have decided to make Berlin your home! Awesome choice, but now you’ll need a roof to sleep under? If you intend to find a flatshare or a sublet, you might not have the whole paperwork hassle, but if you wanna rent a place of your own, an empty one, or a house together with friends or family, you will for sure need some papers in advance. Have all of them prepared, when going to see the very first place, without them, you won’t have a chance to rent that place. But, good news, they are not that hard to obtain.

Go through this list, this will tell you the Germany name of the paper, what it is and where to get it.

Schufa – This paper states that you do not have any unpaid debts in Germany. You can get it online here, but until it will be sent to your house (maybe a friends address?) some weeks can pass. The easier and faster solution is going to a Postbank office and get it there for 24,95€ immediately printed out. Here is a list of Postbank office which offer the Schufa service. Take your ID/Passport with you and it is only possible to pay by card there, no cash.

 – Easy credit offices used to be able to print out Schufa for you, but this is not the case anymore –

Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung – Probably, it will take longer for you to pronounce this word, than finding a place. This paper comes from your previous landlord and simply says, that you don’t owe him/her any money. It is not an official form, but just a few sentences, signed by your previous landlord.

3 Gehaltsnachweise – This is the tricky part. You’ll need to present your last three payslips to the new landlord to show that you have enough income to be able to afford the house. The monthly salary should be approximately three times the cold rent of the place you intend to rent, so that the landlord will consider renting the place to you.

Passkopie – Copy of passport/ID

Optional: Bürgschaft – If your salary isn’t high enough, you are still looking for a job or you’re a student, of course, you do not have to remain homeless. “Bürgschaft” is a paper, which says, that in case you won’t pay, someone else will take over the rent for you (usually parents or relatives). This person has to sign the Bürgschaft paper and also deliver three payslips to the landlord (sometimes also Schufa). Also have this already on hand, when you start your flat hunt.