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5 Ultimate Tips on Successfully Finding a Rental Apartment in Berlin

Berlin's real estate market is very competitive. Use these ultimate tips to rent a property in Berlin within 10 days.

Man shaking hands with a real estate broker after renting a property in Berlin successfully
A couple rented a property in Berlin successfully

Table of Contents:


#1 Create a premium profile on Immobilienscout24

immobilienscout24 is the most popular website for finding a rental property in Berlin. So, create a premium account on Immobilienscout24 to increase your chances of renting an apartment in Berlin.


The premium account comes with a lot of benefits. The most vital perk is that the website pushes your message on top of the non-premium members.


The shortest membership period on Immobilienscout24 is of 2 months. For this period, the membership costs 29€ per month.


But, spending 58€ on the premium account is worth every penny.


Benefits of premium membership

  • The landlord will see your message on top of non-premium members.

  • You can see the statistics for each advertisement on the website. For example, the statistics show how many people contacted the landlord, in which income group they lay, etc.

  • The membership price includes the price of creating a Schufa certificate. Creating a Schufa certificate costs 29€. So, it makes sense to take the membership instead.

  • You can generate a lot of documents that landlords request in a few minutes. Documents like your salary, proof that you pay the rent, etc. Immobilienscout24 asks you to sign in to your bank account. Then, it fetches the relevant information automatically to create the required document.


Of course, you can try to rent an apartment in Berlin without taking a premium membership. But, having one gives you an edge over others and improves your chances of getting a rental property.


#2 Apply to housing projects under construction in Berlin

Currently (2022-2023), many housing projects are underway in Berlin. Housing companies constructing these apartments and houses offer hundreds of properties for rent in Berlin.


The probability of getting an apartment to rent in these housing projects is higher than in ads posted by private individuals.


The housing companies in Berlin have a fair process. They do not consider your nationality while renting an apartment.


If you have a stable income and apply early, you will get a rental apartment.


#3 Book a room in Berlin for 2 weeks to visit rental properties

You need to be in Berlin to find a rental apartment. The reason is that the landlords in Berlin give an apartment visiting appointment on short notice.


Some landlords or real estate agents understand that you do not live in Berlin. Hence, they co-operate and give you a later appointment to visit the apartment.


But, to get the rental apartment, you have to be the first few to visit and apply. Otherwise, someone else may get the apartment as they visited the property before you.


Thus, book a WG or an Airbnb or stay at a friend's place for two weeks. Then, apply aggressively and visit as many rental properties as possible.


You can even bring your work laptop to avoid taking two weeks' holidays. But, keep in mind you might not be able to work as much as you would like


#4 Prepare all the documents before applying for the rental property in Berlin

The landlord will ask you for certain documents when you apply for a rental property. Without sending these documents, the landlord won't consider you for renting the apartment.


Thus, you must have all the documents ready to send to the landlord at a moment's notice.


Here is the list of documents you will need:

  • 3 months salary slips (Gehaltsnachweis)

  • Job contract (Arbeitsvertrag)

  • Identification document (Passport or Ausweis)

  • Rental debt exemption certificate (Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung): the certificate confirms that you don't have any rental arrears. Ask your landlord to give you this certificate.

  • Schufa certificate: You can issue it online in 5 mins. You can use immobilienscout24 or any other website to get it.

  • Liability insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung): This insurance covers the expenses arising from accidental damages caused by you. Most people living in Germany have this insurance. However, if you don't have it, you can buy one from check24 or any other portal.

  • Self-disclosure form (Selbstauskunft formular): it is a form that the landlord will ask you to fill out and send. It contains the rental property and your personal information. Some landlords ask for this document before giving an appointment. Others ask self-disclosure form after your visit if you want to rent the apartment.


#5 Write a template of a nice personal message to the landlord

How you write your first message to the landlord determines whether you will get an appointment or not.


Thus, write a nice message containing the following information.

  • About you and your family

  • How many people in your family would like to move into the rental property?

  • What are your hobbies?

  • What do you do to earn your bread and butter?

  • Where do you work?

  • What is your family's monthly net income?

  • The reason to look for a new rental property

Here is a sample message that you can adapt or use as is.


Hallo Herr/Frau xxx, Ich interessiere mich für Ihre Wohnung. Wir sind eine kleine Familie mit 3 Personen. Das Nettoeinkommen unserer Familie beträgt xxxx € pro Monat. Wir leben derzeit in xxxx. Meine Frau und ich arbeiten beide bei xxx. Wir ziehen nach xxx, da meine frau einen neuen job als senior produktmanagerin bei xxx bekommen hat. Ich bin Agile Coach bei xxx. Ich lebe seit mehr als 9 Jahren in Deutschland. Wir leben gerne naturverbunden. Wir sind eine saubere, ruhige und freundliche Familie. Wir gehen gerne in der Natur spazieren, lesen Bücher oder schauen uns etwas Schönes auf Netflix an. Ihre Wohnung gefällt uns sehr gut und wir würden gerne einen Besichtigungstermin vereinbaren. Gerne bringe ich bei meinem Besuch alle meine Unterlagen wie Gehaltsabrechnungen, Ausweis, Arbeitsvertrag etc. mit. Wenn Sie weitere Informationen über mich oder meine Familie benötigen, lassen Sie es mich bitte wissen. Freue mich bald von Ihnen zu hören. viele Grüße, Name Email ID Phone number

#6 Apply to the rental apartments without visiting them

Berlin is a big city. Commuting from one end to another may take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours via train.


Thus, visiting every apartment is tiring and time-consuming. But, you can skip the apartment visit and yet have a chance to get it.


Many real estate brokers or landlords organize an open visit to the rental property. They invite several potential tenants for a visit in the same time slot.


I usually skip such visits because such properties are often undesirable. And on top of it, the chances of a foreigner like me getting them are lower than a local.


So, I directly apply for the rental property via email after my visiting time slot.


Of course, there is a risk that you may not like the rental property if you get the offer. But, the top priority is getting one first and later checking whether it meets all your requirements.


You can reduce this risk by checking the Expose thoroughly and then applying for the rental property.


#7 Setup notifications and apply as soon as you get one

Berlin's rental market is highly competitive. Within 1 hour, the landlord receives hundreds of messages from potential tenants.


Thus, you must be the first few to message the landlord. Setting up notifications makes this easy for you.


So, whenever someone lists a new rental property on the platform, you will receive an email or a push notification. Once you receive a message, you can check the rental property and apply if you like.


In the end

Finding a rental property in Berlin is tough. Even tougher if you are not living in Berlin. But do not lose hope.


Several people are listing rental properties on Immobilienscout 24 every day. So, keep applying for rental properties, and you will find one sooner or later.


All the best for your search for a rental property in Berlin.

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