Housing Renting in Hamburg
Most rental ads will be in German. Learn what to look out for in listings, how to apply for housing and inform yourself about Hamburg's tenant laws.
Renting in Hamburg
The housing market in Hamburg is rather competitive, leading to relatively high rental prices in comparison to other German cities. Average prices in Hamburg lie between 11 and 13 euros per square metre. The so-called ’Kaltmiete’ (lit.: cold rent), other than the ’Warmmiete’, doesn’t include heating, water and electricity.
Deposits and additional costs
Additional to your lease, you will have to pay a ’Kaution’: a deposit that is usually two or three times the ’Kaltmiete’. Finally, ’Provision’, ’Maklergebühr’ or ’Courtage’ indicate that you will have to pay an often large sum of money to an estate agent. Officially, these costs have to be covered by the landlord, but be careful about loopholes in the system.
How to read listings
The number of ’Zimmer’ (lit. rooms) indicates the number of bedrooms. The bathroom, hallway and kitchen are not counted as rooms. The first floor (1. OG, 1. Stockwerk) means the first floor above the ground. The ground floor (which in the US would be the first floor) is called ’Erdgeschoss’ (EG) or ’Parterre’. It isn’t customary to rent fully furnished rooms or flats, unless it’s for a sublease or ’Zwischenmiete’. Unfurnished or ’unmöbliert’ means that typically, you won't even find kitchen appliances or lighting fixtures. Instead, you will have to buy and install everything yourself.
It's also advisable to look out for cheap utilities providers, as the system is privatised and electricity and gas can be drawn from your company of choice. The same is true for the internet and telephone connection but, unlike water, gas and electricity, you will find it inoperative upon moving in. What you will not find at all is air conditioning. It's simply 'not a thing' in Germany. Instead, most rental contracts demand you to air out your new home regularly to avoid mould.
Tenants have a relatively good position in the German legal system, e.g. your landlord is obliged to give you a three month notice before termination of the lease.