Initial costs of renting an apartment in Berlin

Deposits and first month's rent etc.

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looking for some information about initial cost of apartments in berlin to rent. I will be looking to rent an apartment or a room in a shared flat around september/ october. I hope to live around Friedrichshain or prenslaur Berg or somewhere like that. Im just wondering how much cash you need to do this, is it like london where you need a deposit and first months rent?

How much does this come to very roughly? I know it will vary Im just looking for a basic range. I know berlin is supposed to be way cheaper than london to rent but dont have much of an idea exactly what the outlay will be. I wont be looking for somewhere that fancy, but obviously not a total dive, i'll be teaching when im there so wont be on any kind of huge expat salary!

any help appreciated.
Try looking on and Most listings I've seen ask for 2-3 months deposit. You also have to watch out for the courtage/provision. This is an agency charge that can sometimes be more than 2 months rent, so you'd have to add that onto your up-front costs. There's tons more info already on the boards, so try doing a search to get more details.

thanks for the links to the boards but can anyone just chuck me a few figures if they actually know. I havnt actually been able to find the info doing searches on this forum and navigating the german boards with poor language skills is a neccesity i am obvioulsy going to have to deal with.
But in the meantime if anyone actually knows how much the initial outlay on a shared room or single flat for someone not wanting to shell out a fortune in one of the areas mentioned and can quickly jot down the info for me, that would be great.
much appreciated
I havnt actually been able to find the info doing searches on this forum ...
i find this last statement really hard to believe. you want us to do your homework for you? well okay.

i don't live in berlin, but i searched "Cost of Living" and lo & behold, the second entry was Cost of Living in Berlin - Thoughts on what income is needed to survive. posts 2 & 4 of that thread are pretty informative. good luck!

...s it like london where you need a deposit and first months rent?
to address this. no, it's not like london. here you'll need (standard) 2-3 months cold rent as a deposit, plus the first months rent up front. at my old place, i had to pay 3 months cold rent as a deposit, plus first months rent. quite a big chunk of change to put up front.

See also: Berlin Rental Costs per square meter.
thanks for the links to the boards but can anyone just chuck me a few figures if they actually know.
€352, €700 and €1250.

thanks for the links to the boards but can anyone just chuck me a few figures if they actually know.
The problem with this is it depends on how much rent you pay, obviously. 300EUR cold rent means that you'd need between 600EUR and 1200EUR depending on how much deposit you have to pay. There may also be agency fees involved which would bump it up to 1500EUR - 2100EUR depending on how much they charge. Do these figures help you? Probably not...
Thanks for all the help guys, very much appreciated

in response to Elvenstars comment about expecting you to do my homework for me. um...mate, this post is part of my homework! its a forum where people help each other out, i dont remember anything about expecting, just asking nicely. in the five years I lived in Japan i must have written a few dozen essays worth on forums answering peoples questions about moving there becuase I knew the answer they wanted off the top of my head and saved them the hassle of searching through numerous posts!
relax elfboy, go kill some orcs if yer too busy to answer, enough of this flame on rubbish
Hi loxley75, i think you can get a apartment for the first weeks at ARWO Bau<> the apartments in any regions in Berlin an you can get it furnished or empty. What it coast? I pay for a 1 room apartment with kitchen and bathroom 389 Euro. That includes electricity, heat and warm/cold water and it is furnished. Good enough for 1 Person. If you need any assistance mail me.
Cost of Living in Berlin - Thoughts on what income is needed to survive. posts 2 & 4 of that thread are pretty informative. good luck!
To add to my post (#4) in the Cost of Living forum, I was recommending a WG situation, which to me is ideal for someone coming from out of the country with little money and no household items/furniture. Try to get into a shared rental (WG) in which someone else (probably a German) has taken care of all the hard stuff -- renting it unfurnished, putting down all that money as a deposit, and then furnishing it. At most you would have to furnish your own room (easy to pick up cheap bed/desk in Berlin as long as you take charge of transporting it). But moving in with someone means all the kitchen stuff would be taken care of, and usually even students have washers which is really nice. In these situations typically there is not the common space that people from other countries might be used to. WGs typically don't have a "living" room as all rooms are rented out as bedrooms. The kitchen is shared space. Hope this helps further.
Also a comment on FireWolf's post: if you follow that link, watch out for the extra period at the end. But this is a good example of a Makler , those dreaded rental agents in Berlin that engage in highway robbery. Still, a lot of people end up using them at the beginning b/c the Berlin rental market is hard to figure out at first, for non-Germans. A Makler will have a slick Internet site like this one, and will indeed end up charging an extra 12 to 24% on top of your rent, depending on the length of the contract (becomes more favorable the longer it is). I've heard of Germans using Makler services, but more with the philosophy that they will be getting a nice place where they'll live for years. For foreigners who are fairly short-term and/or mobile, they end up being bad deals.
i would highly recommend getting a room in a shared flat (called a WG) in the beginning. signing a lease for your own place can be a huge amount of bureaucracy.

WGs are very popular here, and you can find dozens of offers here:'s a free service, you don't have to sign up for anything. i've used it many times.

some of them are sub-lets (zwischenmiete) for short times, and some are permanent. if you do a "detailsuche" you can filter on it.

you should be able to find something nice for 200-300 euros per month. the prices you see are usually the "cold rent" (kaltmiete), to which you have to add the extra costs (nebenkosten) for heat, etc., which are listed in the ad details. friedrichshain is generally cheaper than prenzlauerberg.

the deposit depends on the people, could be anything from 100 euros to three months rent.
also try

why come to Berlin and commit to a lease right off the bat? It will take some time to familiarize yourself with the city. the neighborhoods you mentioned are fine places, but vary greatly from one street to the next. plus if you move into your own place you will have to buy all the basic necessities like a fridge, wash machine, curtains, dishes, maybe even a kitchen sink.
wg-gesucht is the best. All the germans I know use that one to find their flats and look for roommates. It's how I found the wg I used to live in. all other sites I tried just weren't as good, and it's even easy enough to navigate with minimal german.

I lucked out. I live in a 2 room on my own and i pay 349 Euro warm.
interesting to read all this. i'm geman and traveled a lot so i know about the difficulties of different habits in other countries. I actually came on Toytown because i want to rent out a room. and i will check out wg-gesuche -thanks for this. so to give some help out of my experiance. rents vary a lot (for appartments and rooms) depending on area and what you find there. I live in a middle class area (after years in the szene of kreuzberg) in a beautiful old house with some comfort and have ofcourse a higher rent now. i learned it is good to take a deposit as not everyone is as honest as they say they are in the first place. heating, gas, electricity and all kinds of other things are coming on top of the cold-rent and at the end of the year (or first quater coming year) we get the big surprise bills to pay (oilprices went up and things like this). we face quite a bit of changes in our system over the past years. Still you can get a nice place for a resonable rent in berlin compared to other cities in germany . usualy i think you should not pay more than 1 month deposit for a room - except the person maybe goes away for longer and wants to be on the save side that the rent will be payed for the full time. apartment rent is very different. yes, usually 3 month cold rent which they will put on a bankaccount and when everything went as agreed on, you will get that back with interest when you will leave. all of that should be written down in a contract and go via bankaccounts (NOT cash!). what can happen cash is something with the people who maybe still live in that apartment and give over some furnitur or the kitchen. the law changed so i'm not sure but i thing there only need to provide a sink in there by now. furnitured appartments are sub-rentals and are different again. if you make a contract with someone renting out profesional always make sure that everything is written down and signed by both parties.

I'm coming to Berlin this summer from San Francisco. I posted a note on the craigslist and got several offers. I like a couple of them but soon it came to the security deposit - what's the typical way for this to be done? One of the offers said I could wire money to her Western Union account. This just doesn't sound too good for me as I have a premonition that as soon as I wire the money it might be gone. On the other hand, it's reasonable for her to ask for a deposit.

So the question is, what are some of the acceptable ways of people putting down deposit to reserve a flat, especially couple months BEFORE they actually travel to Berlin?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Best, michael
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