Contract and rights
As a resident in Germany you are obligated to register your new address with the local “Einwohnermeldeamt” within 14 days after you move in. You must bring a confirmation that you are actually living at the address signed by your landlord, called “Wohnungsgeberbestätigung”. Usually, you have to be there in person to register your new address.
Before you move in to your apartment, you should set up a rental contract with your landlord. In this document, general rules and obligations are established for both parties. The content of rental contracts in Germany is relatively flexible within their legal frame. However, the following elements must be included in every rental contract:
- Full names of tenant and landlord
- Address of the property
Apart from that, the inclusion of additional agreements is optional. If no other agreements are included, rental law as stated in the “BGB” applies. Alterations of those paragraphs are only permitted if they do not put the tenant at a disadvantage. Additionally, it is important to note that rental contracts may only be time limited if there is a legit reason for it, such as personal needs. Templates for rental contracts can be downloaded online. Every contract should be read carefully and possibly assessed by an expert before signing it.