… a new home.
Blog is a bit quiet at the moment as I am busy with move stuff.
Seriously. Was I really excited about this a couple of weeks ago? Had I forgotten how much there is to organise?
Currently trying to find out what happens with our cars, book hotel for the last week of our stay in Switzerland, look for schools in UK, and find a flat in Munich.
That last one is the biggest stealer of time and energy, even for someone like me who loves to surf the property websites.
In Germany a lot of rentals go through real estate agents called “Makler” and this can cost up to 2.5x the monthly rent. We are trying not to pay this by finding landlords or tenants who are doing the work themselves. This narrows our scope a bit.
Then you have the kitchen problem. For some strange reason, flats and sometimes even houses are let without a kitchen. So you have to either buy the kitchen from the previous tenant (often for much more than the kitchen is worth) or buy your own. So far we have avoided having to buy a kitchen, but this again narrows our options.
I am already getting a lot of questions on Twitter about the kitchen thing, so will explain a bit more.
The house or flat is let without a kitchen and the first people to move in buy a kitchen. When they move out they either take the kitchen with them, hoping that the kitchen is still being made so that they can buy more cupboards or shelves to make it fit, or if they don’t need it sell it on to the new tenants. This can be up to half of what they paid, the only consolation being that you now have a kitchen and can sell it or take it with you when you move out.
When you move in to a house you pay an “ablöse” – what I term a ransom. Basically, the tenants say, “We have invested €x in the flat, and want to have €y amount as an ablöse”. That can include curtains, shelves, kitchen, carpets etc. You can say that you don’t want to pay this, and they should take their shitty stuff with them, but then you likely won’t get the flat, as they will moan about you to the landlord.
I see it as a basic cost involved in renting a house in Germany, and just hope that they are not too cheeky.
If you are very lucky, the tenants have already moved out and you can avoid all of this.
We have ideas of what we want, and what we don’t want and so I trawl the property websites, rejecting and saving houses every evening and spend most of the day on the phone to find that 30% have already been let, 10% are not keen on kids, 30% arrange mass viewings and the rest say, “Come and have a look”.
Not so easy when you are 6 hours drive away.
Looks like a trip to Munich is in our very near future.
One good thing – no one has as yet said, “No dogs” so that reassures me that we won’t have a problem with our dog.
But if anyone has a house in Munich that they would like to rent to us, do let me know.
My jaw drops at the complexity of the rental system, but I guess that is what happens when you have a lot of longstay tenants and strong mechanisms to protect them!
Yes, that is a strong point in the Germany rental market, the tenants’ rights are much better protected than in UK.
Any luck so far?