Why are landlords so picky?

81 posts in this topic

So I am going through a seperation and am looking for a flat in Cologne, and because of kids school/kindergarten, proximity to ex, my job etc, it has to be close to where I am living now.

Almost every flat I have shown interest in online has turned out to be a fake, scammer or even identity thief.

 

About a month ago I viewed the perfect flat for me. It's affordable and 5 mins walk from the old place. I would have signed the rent contract in a second.

 

I just called Immobilienmakler after seeing the flat was still online to ask if the landlord has decided on a renter yet, and was told that nobody who has viewed the property so far is suitable.

 

WTF??? I have a perfect Schufa rating, earn ok, have no animals, don't smoke and have never in my life paid my rent late.

 

I just don't understand why they don't think I'm suitable. The Makler wouldn't tell me of course, and I have no way to contact the owner.

 

Could it be because I'm not a German citizen? (although there were lots of Germans at the viewing that also wanted the flat so can't be that).

 

Maybe because I have 2 children?

 

Any ideas or tips, I need to move out soon!

 

Thanks,

 

Britgirl

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it not possible to stay where you are and let your partner move out?

 

The thing is there are probably 50 qualified people who want the flat and the owner can only pick one anyway so you just have to keep on looking and applying. Don't take it personally.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Him moving out isn't really an option. The separation is my decision and I can't throw him out of his home.

 

Honestly, I did take it personally, but yes I wasn't the only person they rejected. They must have some ridiculously high standards though.

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We'll share custody 50/50.

I'm aware I'll have to downsize somewhat, as I've lived in the old flat 12 years.

What I pay now for 80qm, I'll get 50-60qm in the same area now :(

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Landlords are picky because properties are expensive. Foreigners are sometimes a risk because they might not take care of the property following what it is expected to do HERE. i.e. You tell a Brit that you have to open the windows for a few minutes every here and there during winter to avoid mold and they will roll their eyes.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They can also be picky because tenants have a lot of rights in Germany. They probably prefer someone with a good salary of a well-known employer. In Munich, for example, it helps if you work for BMW or Siemens and not for a start-up nobody has never heard of. If you view an apartment, then dress like a professional to make a good impression. Make sure that all the paperwork is in place. Use your female charm if it helps. I believe in France it's even worse and your parents or sugar uncle have to vouch for you as well in case you can't pay the rent for whatever reason.

 

Good luck!

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tips. I actually do work for a well known employer, don't have a fantastic salary but slightly above average I think.

I'll try to dress a bit more smartly though, and at least now I have my schufa paperwork to hand.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of landlords are not renting out to private tenants. They can get 3 or 4 times the amount if they rent out to the state.

 

 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, BritGirl said:

Thanks for the tips. I actually do work for a well known employer, don't have a fantastic salary but slightly above average I think.

I'll try to dress a bit more smartly though, and at least now I have my schufa paperwork to hand.

 When we looked for a place to rent when we came here, we used a Makler. We felt it was worth the money. He found us a great home, and the landlord did come to meet us and approve!  The Makler said there were about  6 other prospective  renters,  so impressions are important.

Having rented out a place, we also have been choosy as to renters.

Good luck!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a single mother with two children, it may be difficult for you to find a flat. Some landlords worry if other tennants will complain about the noise children make or if the children will dirty the entrance hall when they enter the building.

 

Who will look after the children if you are ill? Who will look after the children if they are ill. If you stop at home to look after them will you be able to pay the rent? Also what about the many school holidays that  they have here in Germany. Will your children be at home for  6 weeks in Summer?   

 

If you can voluntarily give answers to some of the these questions before they are asked, it may make a good impression on the landlord.

 

You could also ask your company to give you a written statement, something like this.

 

We herby certify, Mrs xx has worked at our company  as a xxx since xxxx. Things like this written on  official company staionery seems to impress Germans.

 

BTW, I do not in any way agree with these questions being asked but that’s the way things are here. A man would probably not be asked these questions.

 

Wish you lots of luck in finding a flat.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why are landlords picky? A lot as already been said and there are a number of reasons.

1. In cities, they can afford to be picky. There is a shortage of apartments in large cities and there are lots of applicants for every apartment. So as a landlord you have to make a choice and it is normal to choose the one who seems to be most suitable for you.

2. As mentioned earlier, tenants do have a lot of rights. It is difficult to get tenants out of the apartment and you have a lot of trouble if they don't pay the rent. So make sure to mention several times that you have a well-paid job, ideally bring some proof with you.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@BritGirl - First of all congratulations on your separation (assuming your husband was German).  :lol:

 

Second I'm sorry that you are having trouble in this regard.  I'm from Cologne as well: may I ask what is your criteria?  What is the minimum size?  Price for Kalt/Warmmiete? What areas are you considering?  The thing is that there is a huge housing shortage in Germany not just for big cities but medium size cities as well.  This includes both the rental and buyer market and it's not even considering the millions of young migrant men coming into the country in 2015, 2016 and in later years.  We actually had the misfortune (or maybe fortune) of having two house purchases fail.  In Toronto you find an apartment within a couple of weeks but in Germany they say it takes about 6 months.

 

It's a sad truth but most landlords prefer to have couples without any kids and they most likely excluded you for that.  Yes it's discrimination and I can't stand it since I have kids as well but that's the way it is.  It's really hypocritical since if everybody thought like that nobody would have kids and who would pay for that same landlord's healthcare?  But what I can suggest is to avoid trendy areas like Sulz, Sudstadt, Lindenthal because EVERYBODY wants to live there.  I actually know a guy who's making a modest salary (1,900 Euros a month) and pays 1,000 Warm for a small apartment in Sudstadt only that he could have the privilege of living in a such a hip area.  Try more "boring areas" like Bruck, Dellbruck, Mehrheim, Longerich or even a bit outside of Cologne like Frechen or Bergisch Gladbach:  they're not bad areas, it's just that they're not as popular with hipsters.  But you say that's not really an option?  Also dress up business attire when going to those appointments, they tend to present the business you as opposed to the personal you.

 

Also have you thought about going back to UK?  After living here for about 4 years, I can honestly say that the housing situation is only going to get worse here, especially for the middle class.  So if affordable housing is important then Germany is definitely lacking in that regard.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Joker, I've lowered my expectations a lot actually. Was hoping for 65qm ish, am considering 45qm now or even a WG room :(

But it seems I'm too old to be accepted into a WG (most were looking for someone under 30), and as soon as I say I'll have kids staying with me 3 nights a week they'll definitely say no.

My salary is even more modest than the guy you mention, however I work only 75% so can't complain too much.

I was hoping to pay no more than 700 warm, 800 for a really great flat, wishful thinking I know.

 

Moving back to the UK is unfortunately not an option. The kids dad wants to stay here and I legally can't take the kids and sod off.

 

I've actually been trying to convince him that we all move to a "boring" area, albeit in 2 separate flats, but he's not having any of that either.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you in a position to consider buying a flat? At the current interest rates it might even turn out cheaper than renting.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I can afford to buy anything in Cologne. I looked into it recently and even if I put down 30k (which I'd borrow from family), it would cost me 1200 a month for a 70qm flat.

 

Get this... I just saw an affordable flat online and called the Vermieter.  This was the conversation (bear in mind I have a German name and speak fluent German with almost no  accent)

 

Me: I have just seen your advert for a flat, is it still available

Him: Yes

Me: Could you offer me a viewing date?

Him: What do you work as?

Me: Industriekauffrau

Him: Who will be living in the flat?

Me: Mainly me but I will be sharing custody of my 2 children so they'll sometimes be there too.

Him: Well I don't have any viewing dates at the moment, but I have your number so I'll let you know.

 

I won't hold my breath :(

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You´d legally be allowed to not tell him that your children will be "visiting" half the week.  And he couldn´t kick you out for having your kids with you.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is impossible to know what is really going on.  He might want a couple where both people work and it was the lack of an employed spouse rather than the presence of children.  Or he might be playing it straight and already has a list of billions of people and the questions about work and who is living there might have just been making conversation.  Or maybe he hates children.  We will never know.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1200 a month for 70 qm flat in a desirable area of Cologne sounds like almost normal rent. (In Munich as well.)

 

Panda Munich knows way more than I do, but if you buy and then have a 1200 Euro mortgage, there are a number of tax breaks available (e.g., interest paid is deductable from tax).

Also - since you would be the owner - you can rent out a room and easily get 500 Euros for that. And you would call the shots. :)

Any tax on rental income will be low, as your income is low.

 

Regardless if you rent or buy, I'd move away a bit. (I know, kids etc. ... but your ex is not being cooperative - if he ups and leaves all of a sudden, all your sacrifice in staying close is for nothing.)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now