Minimum Apartment size for couples

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I am searching for apartments in and around Heidelberg and Mannheim for married couple. What is the minimum area required for such an apartment? We are just 2 people.

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When you apply for Hartz 4 (social benefits), a size of 60 sq.m. is considered as adequate for 2 people, but if you rent as a normal working couple, there is no formal minimum size. A landlord, however, will usually not rent a studio of e.g. 35 sq.m. to a couple. There are exceptions.

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24 minutes ago, swapnadip said:

I am searching for apartments in and around Heidelberg and Mannheim for married couple. What is the minimum area required for such an apartment? We are just 2 people.

Ausländerbehörde expects minimum 12m2 per person for approving spouse visa. So any 2 rooms apartment from 30m2 should be fine. The challenge would be what size apartments are availaible in your area and if it fits your budget. 

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We live in a 55qm apartment (couple only no kiddies) We own it- dealing with the auslanderamt in the early years was never a problem regarding size. Heard many stories that it would be a problem. Never was!

We know its small- we like living tiny! Although we are not tiny people 😛

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1 hour ago, vivanco said:

So any 2 rooms apartment from 30m2 should be fine.

With that size you sit on each other's lap and that in Corona times :).

 

Many couples in Paris are now seeking accommodation in the suburbs, because apartments in Paris are known for being tiny. It led to many relational problems during the strict lockdown.

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10 hours ago, LukeSkywalker said:

With that size you sit on each other's lap

Some younger couples may see this as a clear advantage, aside from affordability. :) 

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12 hours ago, LukeSkywalker said:

With that size you sit on each other's lap and that in Corona times :).

 

Many couples in Paris are now seeking accommodation in the suburbs, because apartments in Paris are known for being tiny. It led to many relational problems during the strict lockdown.

 

We're doing the same, not so much Corona related but moving from 52 to 89, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms are going to be heaven. Only minor negative is we close the day we pay off the mortgage. We got a small mortgage to cover the difference between the places. 

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It really depends on you. 50-60 square meters or so is probably the minimum comfy, but you won't have much separate space. If you're still in the honeymoon phase, that's great. If you're over the hill, you might want an extra room for hobbies, working, by yourself time, etc. Also depends if the place has a storage cellar/attic. I think more and more newer buildings do not, which makes the space we do have a little more cramped, even after downsizing a bit.

 

As an aside, I can't remember any Ausländerbehörde ever asking me about my apartment size.

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I think Covid-19 is a big issue just now.  My daughter and her husband got married this time last year.  They have both been working from home since March, but luckily, their Frankfurt apartment has 4 rooms, so they both have enough space to work.  I know of other people who are having online meetings in the bedroom, kitchen area, etc.  It works for a while, but if this goes on and more people need to work from home, there's going to have to be at least one extra room for people to work in, when necessary.

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2 hours ago, alderhill said:

As an aside, I can't remember any Ausländerbehörde ever asking me about my apartment size.

Well if the spouse apply for family visa (from outside Germany) to join their partner in germany, several documents are needed. One of them is the rental contract, showing enough living space. 

The law says, 

Die Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels setzt – gerade auch beim Familiennachzug – ausreichenden Wohnraum voraus.

 

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2 hours ago, vivanco said:

Well if the spouse apply for family visa (from outside Germany) to join their partner in germany, several documents are needed. One of them is the rental contract, showing enough living space. 

The law says, 

Die Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels setzt – gerade auch beim Familiennachzug – ausreichenden Wohnraum voraus.

 

From what I remember reading on TT 15sqm/person is regarded sufficient and the case worker has discretion to lower that to 12sqm.

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5 hours ago, alderhill said:

Also depends if the place has a storage cellar/attic. I think more and more newer buildings do not.

I would have expected the opposite of that to be trending since we seem to have more and more belongings than years ago, I thought people generally need more space than before and that buildings were being built with more storage space. :unsure:

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6 hours ago, lunaCH said:

I would have expected the opposite of that to be trending since we seem to have more and more belongings than years ago, I thought people generally need more space than before and that buildings were being built with more storage space. :unsure:

 

We live in a building built 2016, a 5-unit Mehrfamilienhaus (3 stories, or 2 in German counting). There is no cellar at all, no separate storage room (for us or our direct neighbour). We have an "extra" room, meant to be an office or something, but it's long and narrow, rather impractical. Being ground floor, which I otherwise like, we have the heating/boiler room beside us and a small elevator which no one seems to ever use. (We still have to pay 400€ a year in elevator maintenance in our Nebenkosten... don't see how that's fair.)

 

The top floor 'penthouse' has far more space obviously, ca. 120sqm I'd guess, but the empty nester couple there say they also had to downsize. The two flats right above us have small storage closets accessed from outside the flat (right above the boiler room), but split between two neighbours there isn't much space either (I've peeked inside).
 

Maybe it depends where in the country you are. I'm basing my comments purely on anecdote, but when we were still apartment hunting, quite a few of the newer buildings also didn't have cellars at all, or in one instance was given over to a tiny 4-spot parking garage. I did wonder if it's because many of these new places seem to be indenti-kits built by the same 2 or 3 developers, and they were just lazy. I figured it might also be partly environmental, as we live near enough the coast, the land pancake flat and spongey...

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4 minutes ago, alderhill said:

I did wonder if it's because many of these new places seem to be indenti-kits built by the same 2 or 3 developers, and they were just lazy. I figured it might also be partly environmental, as we live near enough the coast, the land pancake flat and spongey...

 In my opinion its just about the money. Couple of years ago, a single family house was quoted to cost 250K to build(land cost extra). Just Including a Keller increased the cost by 50K. The end price of new build already being high, the builders try to keep the price affordable to first time owner by excluding the Keller. 

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9 hours ago, alderhill said:

(We still have to pay 400€ a year in elevator maintenance in our Nebenkosten... don't see how that's fair.)

No, it doesn't seem fair. I would expect it to be proportional at least. Top floor pays the most and ground floor the least. 

Our previous place had a lift and a ground floor neighbour paid the least for the lift. She still had to pay something as the lift went down to the basement, where the cellars, drying room and access to garage all were, so in theory she still might have used it a little. In your case if there is no basement, I don't see why you have to pay anything. :unsure:

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On 31/07/2020, 18:25:57, LukeSkywalker said:

When you apply for Hartz 4 (social benefits), a size of 60 sq.m. is considered as adequate for 2 people

 

Just as a note, since the wording may be a bit misleading: 60 square meters is the absolute maximum considered permissible for a 2-person Bedarfsgemeinschaft applying for ALG2 or Grundsicherung.

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On 02/08/2020, 15:09:22, kato said:

 

Just as a note, since the wording may be a bit misleading: 60 square meters is the absolute maximum considered permissible for a 2-person Bedarfsgemeinschaft applying for ALG2 or Grundsicherung.

Is it based entirely on surface area though? If it is, then it seems rather odd, for a larger flat might not necessarily be more expensive, - the rental price will be determined by many other factors as well..

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12 hours ago, lunaCH said:

Is it based entirely on surface area though?

 

Jobcenters apply a socalled "Nichtprüfgrenze", which basically typically multiplies the maximum allowed square meters with the local Mietspiegel per-square-meter average price. If your apartment falls below that in cost they'll let it slip through even if it's larger.

 

In the neighborhood of Heidelberg i live in there is currently exactly one apartment listed on Immobilienscout24 (out of five offers) that would fall below that cost limit for a 1- or 2-person BG though, and that one isn't applicable because it's furnished and inclusive of some other costs.

 

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