Finding an apartment to live

7 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

 

 

We are a couple, both working with full-time unlimited contracts and we've been looking for 

an apartment not so big for more than 2 months everywhere in Hamburg and by everywhere

I really mean I don't care where it is as long as it is a radius of one hour commute by public transport to Hbf.

 

I don't understand why finding a place to rent should be this hard in Hamburg. I've never seen

such a chaos when you go to visit a place and see at least 30 other people are interested as

well in the apartment. Some of them are even not interested in the place, but reality is that they

don't have any other option. People are desperate and this allows greedy landlords rent their old and 

dirty places with a high rent price. I heard this has been going on for a long time and nobody is expecting

this to be over. You go see 4 places at least per week, then wait at least one more week to hear that somebody

else has taken the place. Even worst, most of the time you don't hear back anything and you should ask and then

disappoint.

 

Now I like to ask you, if there is any other way like finding an agent and pay them to find a place for you?

Anything that can help me find an apartment is appreciated. As I have only 3 months to find a new place

 

Thanks in advance,

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No experience with Hamburg, but Munich market is also brutal in the ways you describe.  I think going to these listed viewings is really a long shot.  I know very few people who have found a place that way (in munich at least) :/

 

I found my place through coworkers who ended up knowing someone who knew someone who was seeking a nachmieter. 

 

If you have not already spread the word that you are looking for a new place, do so asap.  Do this with everyone you know (friends, family, acquaintances) and even those you don't know directly but have some association with.

 

If you have notice boards at work, post something there

If your company allows it, send a spam email to everyone in the office.

 

You could do the same with any clubs or other orgs you belong to.  

 

 

 

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Place an ad in the free door-to-door magazines. Offer a reward. Not €100, but like €1000 to make it worthwhile. 

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you might also want to ask/tell your hairdresser(s)

 

my friseur  is a matchmaking genius - for apartments, jobs, selling/buying stuff, and of course dating (whether the people involved are actually "looking" or not :/ )  He loves to bring people together, and since he knows so many, he's often a good contact.  yours might be too?

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My neighbor who is looking tells me also about 30 40 per flat and my rental complex owner is telling me that for the newer more solid apartments that are bigger they are getting like 100! applications per flat.

 

So, just some ideas to consider:

 

Get your Schufa ready if not already on hand.

 

Get a Dringlichkeitsschein from the Bezirksamt.

 

Get someone white to go with you - a white neighbor got a place in my building fast although supposedly people wait 5 or 7 years to get in to this dumpy rental block. And my arab neighbor with a 'Dringlichkeitschein' for her and her four children with rent guaranteed to be paid by the government cannot get the apartment advertised in Harburg by my building owner...

 

Get somone who speaks perfect German to go with you..

 

Go for another sublet.

 

Can also try an ad in a hospital - the one on Hohe Weide - advertising Haushaltshilfe gegen Zimmer.

 

I had a leg injury recently and there is a huge unmet need for people who live alone in apartments in Hamburg who need but cannot afford help with groceries and cleaning and running errands but have space to apare. For example, one maybe 65 y/o in Niendorf her entire upstairs is available since she can't get up there anymore. People like her meet up at the hospital downstairs, can ask the Sozialarbeiter/Entlassungteam person if you can put up an ad. You could live almost rent free that way, not bad, and really help out an older person. Just have to convince the person to get internet maybe - you could sign up in your name to avaid risk to that person.

 

The owners of the flats almost always say yes, they usually just want you to stop by once and show ID, they will make and keep a copy, and give an estimate of how long you plan to stay (so they can adjust up by maybe 50 - 170 EUR a month the rent during this time).

 As long as you and the main renter agree later, you may extend this time.

 

Insurance usualy does not pay for Haushaltshilfe, the amount per hour is like 4 EUR /Hour (for my insurance plan anyway, other insurance companies pay at least double that, but still less than minimum wage to the person doing the work) so useless.

 

Buy a little place.

 

 

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Hi Wandsbekboy,

 

I know what you are going through and agree with all the advice you have received already. Especially having all your documents ready to email / printed to hand over at “viewings”. Another big one is having a cover letter with some pictures of you & your partner, a short description about yourselves as well as hobbies etc. In our cover letter I mentioned that I didn’t know anyone in Hamburg & that my husband travels monthly for work, highlighting that we would not be a nuisance / noisy. I also added in information like we are career orientated and don’t plan on extending our family for at least the next 3 Years as well as other things like my husband having the same employer for X ammount of years, unlimited contract etc*** This went down well got us shortlisted a few times. *** This is for renting apartments - for houses , well it’s impossible - never any success there. 

 

It took us & bearing in mind that my husband is Hamburgian +- 4 months to find our apartment and apart from that great cover letter - I believe we eventually got the apartment because we bought all the furniture from the previous tenants as they were immigrating. It’s a numbers game, you literally have to apply to as many as you can each day, everyday untill you are successful. 

 

*** We were also meticulous with the paperwork - someone above covered everything - great advice there 

 

*** I also printed like a hundred copies of everything including the cover letter in colour so potential landlords could see exactly what we looked like - I used a combination of formal and informal photos in different thumbnail sizes down the side of the letter. • If you are not good at formatting use one of the many pre formatted docs on Google drive or ask someone to do it for you. 

 

Dont firget its a numbers game, you have to keep looking & applying. I used a combination of - Immobilien Scout & Immowelt *** great resources **** I put filters on with notifications as well so if I was busy and couldn’t search I would get an email with suggestions and apply to those when my time was limited. 

 

I also suggest looking in areas like, wandsbek, sasel, rahlstedt, Poppenbüttel, bergstedt and even Volksdorf as there are less applicants the further away from the city you go. Or you can go south like Neaugraben. Still tough but you have less competition. 

 

I wish you success in your search and really wish that I could have helped more. 

 

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I recently offered a property to rent in Munich. Within two days I received over sixty applications, most of them from people with more than enough salary. Of the twenty or so I invited for a visit six applied right away - four of those couples had all the documents mentioned above either with them or ready to be sent by request. Since they seemed all to be nice people I decided to rent the property to the couple that applied the fastest - they had sent me the application within a couple of hours of the advert being online.

 

So, in my book, and in order of importance:

1 - Have the papers prepared, as mentioned above

2 - Be friendly, look professional and don't count with an alternative day to visit - I chose the date for a reason and it's a tight market

3 - Show that your net income is around 3x the monthly rent - though if  you palss 1) and 2) it can be a little less

4 - Be fast

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