Wohnungsgesuch (The search for a Berlin apartment)

The search for a dream apartment is fast becoming a nightmare. More hoops and obstacles to jump through and over respectively than at the circus. Not enough to say "I'll take it" and hand over a deposit - there are forms to fill and procedures to follow you know.
A signed form from the old landlord to show you don't owe any rent, a Schufa form to prove you've no debts anywhere else, proof of identification, proof or registration, tax status, wage slips, curriculum vitae, blood samples, urine samples, DNA samples, proof you're not a figment of your own imagination (sometimes I'm not so sure) - the list is fucking endless. Don't even go down the road of the Wohnberechtigungsschein (WBS)...
We've been looking without success for a while now and time is running out. Jenny has to move out of her place by mid-August. It doesn't help that we've a lot of boxes to tick - something nice naturally, three rooms (enough for a little family), a garden, balcony, a view of the Fernsehturm (for me), in either Prenzlauer Berg (nice but snooty), Mitte (central, where I live now), Friedrichshain (hippies and wasters but more relaxed) or Pankow (quiet but where Jenny's friends live), all for half nothing of course as neither of us have any money.
Prices have been creeping up in the last few years and Berlin is now longer the place to go for rock-bottom rents. A shortage of suitable properties is driving them up, and any available property is crawling with prospective renters. Good news for Irish landlords no doubt. More than 50 people went to see one place Jenny was looking at before. So many she didn't even add her name to the list.
We went to see one place on Sunday which ticked most of the boxes (except for the Blick auf Fernsehturm) only to find the couple wanted another €1,000 up front for their cooker, washing machine and dishwasher. It was already too expensive in any case. Then the landlord of another place Jenny saw on Saturday didn't even know it was up for rent when she called around with her wheelbarrow of forms to the Verwaltung on Monday morning. Turns out the rent will be going up from what the existing tenants are paying anyway.
We'll have to find somewhere, and pretty soon. I've given up on my dream of somewhere where I can gaze out at the Fernsehturm. No longer will I be able to simply look out the window when I need to remember where I am. I'll just have to write Berlin on my hand. A roof over our heads is the priority now.


  1. The Hell, Sir. If you drugged me and wake me in the middle of Berlin without any sight of the touristic features of the city, I would instantly know where I am! This city got The Pulse.

    And don't talk to me about rents. I live in friggin' Paris.

  2. The apartment search is awful -- I think (hope) that I have finally found my own Berlin apartment, but I am still waiting for the contract to sign and I want to move in at the beginning of August...

    I've seen 7 or 8 places that were each bad in their own way: crappy flooring needing a lot of work, dingy EBKs or no EBKs, way too small or comically large.

    I have learned one thing living in a temporary apartment in Kreuzberg: don't live across the street from a park where drugs are dealt 24/7.

    It's never quiet.

  3. 1k€ doesn't sound too bad honestly for three appliances which you don't even have to move and are in good working order!

    Of course, if you thought it was an Einbauküche the whole time, that's still a bitter pill to swallow.

    Good luck!

  4. dude, don't move then if ze have too much trouble with ze capital T

    get a teach without mod cons and remove $tre$$ from your manbag

  5. Youve got to multiply your chances by looking at places you didnt think youd like before, sometimes you can be surprised... and be active about advertising your search, use your networks!

  6. Ha ha! I heard friggin' Paris is quite expensive alright, but don't you have friggin' jobs and friggin' wages to pay for them?!

    Adam, you should set up a stall with a loudspeaker. Undercut the fuckers and make even more noise. Surely drug dealers are quiet creatures anyway? I can't imagine them simply calling out their wares like the old women do at the street markets in Dublin. Not very conspicuous I'd have thought...

    Cliff, €1,000 is probably a reasonable price to pay not to have to lug all that shit up the stairs to the fourth floor. There doesn't seem to be any lifts in Berlin. Probably why the local populace is slim and healthy looking...

    SG, Is there a reason you can write $tre$$ and everyone will know what you're talking about, when €tre€€ doesn't make any sense at all? What does that say about lifestyles on opposite sides of the Atlantic? Any other amusing currency combinations we can use? BTW, I don't have a man bag, nor any other mod cons.

    Wawa, you know anywhere Nice we could rent? ;-)

  7. The official policy on rents now in Paris is : you want to rent it ? You got to earn three times your rent. Regarding the fact that a flat around 30m² is nowhere under 900€ in Paris, do the maths.

    And now, we don't have the wages to go with the mad prices.

  8. Insufficient fi£thy £ucre causes €xcessive $tre$$ for B€rlin€r Wohnungssucher…

    Sonia gives good advice but I'm sure you knew that. Good luck!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts