Information for foreign nationals (renting)

This information is provided as an aid to understanding and is not intended to be legally binding.

If you are looking to rent a flat or house in Germany, there are some important points that you should be aware of:

  • Unlike in many other countries, if a property is advertised as having 'three rooms', this does not mean it has three bedrooms. Rather, it refers to the total number of rooms excluding the kitchen and bathroom. In addition, many properties are rented without fitted kitchens.
  • The 'Kaltmiete', which translates literally as 'cold rent', refers to the basic rent. Added to this are the charges for heating, water, communal electricity, waste collection, etc. Together, the basic rent plus utilities and service charges are referred to as the 'Warmmiete', or 'warm rent'. Personal electricity consumption is usually managed separately via a direct contract between the tenant and the energy provider.
  • As of 1 July 2015, the general rule is that the landlord pays the estate agent's commission.
  • Prior to or during the viewing, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire for the landlord or estate agent giving your personal details. You will also need to provide pay slips for the last three months.
  • Before the rental agreement commences, you must pay a security deposit either in cash or as a savings account deposit, or cover the deposit by way of a bank guarantee. The amount of the security deposit is equal to two to three months' rent (excluding utilities and service charges).
  • The notice period is generally three months, but increases with the length of tenancy. If you wish to give notice on your flat/house, the landlord must receive the notice no later than three working days from the start of the month. This ensures that the month in question is also included in the notice period.
  • Sub-letting, including via AirBnB or another provider, is normally only allowed with the landlord's express permission.
  • If the flat/house has not been redecorated (repainted, minor repair work carried out, etc.) before being handed over to you as the new tenant, then you are not required to redecorate when handing it back at the end of your rental agreement. If the flat/house has been redecorated prior to handover, you are required to redecorate before handing it back at the end of your tenancy. However, this rule only applies if you have lived in the property for more than five years.

Before the viewing

Rental property in Bonn and the surrounding areas has been in high demand for many years. To avoid disappointment, we therefore advise that you take along all of the necessary paperwork to your viewing appointment. In most cases, you will need:

  • A voluntary disclosure form completed in full. For couples or flat shares (i.e. where there will be more than one adult tenant), each person must provide a separate voluntary disclosure. PDF – Voluntary disclosure
  • Pay slips for the last three months and/or a copy of your employment contract. If you are self-employed, you must provide up-to-date evidence of your financial situation, for example as prepared by your tax advisor or accountant.
  • An up-to-date credit rating from the German credit protection association SCHUFA (no more than three months old). Link: HYPERLINK "" (this information is only required if you already live in Germany, have a German bank account and/or have entered into legal transactions).

After moving in

You must register your new address with the local residency authority within 14 days. Your landlord is also required to confirm that you are the new tenant.

After moving out

Please remember to notify your local residency authority that you have moved out.

Useful information

You can find further useful information about living and working in Bonn at: