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For many newcomers to Düsseldorf, a common question before arrival is “should I be renting a furnished or unfurnished apartment?” There are many positives and negatives to both, depending on what is more important to you. However, in order to help you get a better idea as to what you might need to consider when you go with a furnished apartment, we have Dimitrij Krasontovitsch here, Founder and CEO of WOCALS (and Düsseldorf local). Dimitrij knows the furnished rental market quite well and offers a ton of opportunities to rent on WOCALS.
TIP: We at Life in Düsseldorf know that finding an apartment doesn’t always come easy and to top it all off, you’re legally required to register in the city you move to within 14 days upon your arrival. If you’re struggling to find a permanent apartment consider renting a short-term fully finished apartment that will allow you to register in the city and then start on the longer-term hunt when you get here and have a bit more time to do the research.
First things first, why rent a furnished apartment instead of an unfurnished apartment?
Moving from abroad and taking care of finding an accommodation can be extremely frustrating. Viewing appointments are difficult to find, and especially in Düsseldorf, you are competing against a lot of other interested parties who are searching for an apartment as well. So, you need time and patience to find an appropriate apartment.
Need help finding an apartment? Here are some awesome websites to get you started!
Also, like many other bizarre cultural differences in Germany, normal apartments typically do not include furniture, a kitchen, or even light bulbs. German tenants are used to moving their own kitchen or having to buy it from the previous tenant.
If you plan on coming to work in Düsseldorf only on a short contract, you will need to be quite flexible. It’s expensive to buy all the furnishings and most landlords prefer long-term tenants over the short-term. This can make a search for a normal apartment twice as hard.
Of course, there is a specific market to solve exactly this kind of issue: Furnished apartments for your temporary stay. Furnished apartments might not be for everyone, but they will definitely take some of the pressure off when you’re moving to the city for the first time.
If you decide not to rent a fully furnished apartment, there are many places where you can buy second-hand furniture around the city, so don’t worry about having to spend thousands on furnishing your place.
Now, it’s time to educate you on 10 things you should consider when renting a furnished apartment!
1: What’s included?
Typically, having a furnished apartment means you can move in and have everything in place: bed, kitchen (even with cutlery, bedding, and towels), wardrobe, TV, and couch. The internet fees are often included, but it is not standard. If internet isn’t included, you can easily compare your price options online and book right away. To be sure that everything you need is included during your stay, check the apartment description/photos, or make sure you ask before moving. Electricity should also be included, but again, if it’s not, don’t stress. You can also quickly compare electricity providers and prices online and get set up right away. There are some great options in Düsseldorf!
2: Confirm what’s included in the price
You typically won’t need to worry about additional costs, as all fees are often included in the overall monthly rent. Additional costs must be specified by the landlord in his offer (due to the German consumer protection act). Typical additional costs include heating, internet, electricity, waste disposal, cleaning fees, general costs of the maintenance.
TIP: The German waste disposal system might be a bit different than what you’re used to, get familiar with the system before arriving to ensure a smooth transition.
3: Your role in the apartment
Registration and maintenance for trash, gas, electricity, and internet is typically all done by the apartment provider, but some apartments require you to take responsibility for taking the trash out, cleaning the stairs, etc. Make sure you ask if this is included or not.
If cleaning is not your fortay, many landlords are also okay with you hiring a cleaner to takeover your responsibilities. You might even be able to split this cost with others living in the same building.
4: Consider Cleaning Services
Optionally paid cleaning services can often be added to your contract, if you’re interested, make sure you ask. Additionally, some places require you to clean the apartment before you leave and/or have you put a deposit down in case you leave the place untidy. Have this confirmed with your landlord. There is often a process you’ll need to follow before moving out of your apartment.
5: Confirm the Renting Period
The minimum rental period is often between 1 week and 3 months, depending on the apartment type (normal furnished apartment or boarding house). You can also often extend your stay every month, make sure you ask before if it’s important for you. Also, check with the landlord to see if the rent price will drop if you sign for a longer period of time. You might be able to get a better offer if you’re 3 months stay turns into a 1-year stay.
6: Confirm the “Notice Period” to Quit Your Contract
You can quit your stay when you provide one month notice if you have a temporary living contact (“Befristeter Mietvertrag”), which is normally the case for furnished apartments being rented out for less than a year. For normal living contracts, the minimum notice period is three months. Make sure you confirm this with your landlord.
7: Don’t forget your Registration certificate (“Meldebescheinigung”)
You are going to need this document for further registrations (like social insurance), but if you plan on living in a normal apartment, you’re going to need this registration certificate to sign the contract. Often times, in furnished apartments, the landlords can help take care of this. Please ask in advance if the provider is taking care of it. Attention: this is not possible for boarding houses.
8: Effort to rent a furnished apartment
Furnished apartments are commonly much easier to rent in comparison to normal apartments. The time between an apartment request and a confirmation to book/make a viewing appointment takes about 24-48 hours. Attention: Depends on the usage of the platform or provider!
9: International friendly
Apartment providers, especially in Düsseldorf, are used to accommodating expats and internationals, so they should have no fear of arranging a contract with you. Attention: Depends on the usage of the platform or provider!
10. All types of apartments
Furnished apartments have all types of sizes and living standards. From a small 1-room apartment with basic furnishing for a budget-friendly stay to a 4-room apartment for families and high-end furnishing, the choice is up to you.
Looking for some additional information? Here are a few options for renting out furnished apartments in Düsseldorf
Normal furnished apartment:
Normal furnished apartments are like normal apartments. These apartments are often owned and managed by the apartment owner, or they are owned and managed by a professional agency for temporary living who know about the challenges of business people and expats. These apartments can widely vary from very basic one-room apartments to extraordinary 3-4 room apartments for expats with a high budget or families. The typical renting period is between three months to one year. This is basically the cheapest alternative to live in a furnished apartment in Düsseldorf.
- Apartment size: Typically, between 25 m² (1 room) and 120 m² (4-5 rooms)
- Price: Typically, between 600 € and 2,500 € per month (all-inclusive)
- Deposit: 2-3 months of rent
- Minimum renting period: 3 months
- Additional costs: Only for moving out, a cleaning fee of 50-15O€ can be charged
- Registration certificate (“Meldebescheinigung”) is possible
Boarding houses are mostly micro-apartments focused on the specific needs of business travelers. It often includes a concierge service, breakfast possibilities, and other services that are more typical for hotels. Nevertheless, these apartments have a high level of comfort and clever use of space with high-quality interior design to feel at home and not in a hotel. The typical renting period is between one week and three months. This is not the cheapest alternative, but the most flexible, and the one with the highest standard of living in a furnished apartment in Düsseldorf.
- Apartment size: Typically, between 20 m² (1 room) and 80 m² (3-4 rooms)
- Price: Typically, between 1,200 € and 5,000 € per month (all-inclusive)
- Deposit: Typically, 1 months rent
- Minimum renting period: Typically, 1 week
- Regularly cleaning services and further hotel-like services are typically included
Platforms to search for professionally managed business apartments
We started the business apartment platform WOCALS (World Wide Locals) as we have been expats on our own and we know the challenges one often faces when finding a new home abroad. We focus on offering standard furnished apartments and boarding houses so that you can find all kinds of apartments from small and budget-friendly to high-end.
In comparison to AirBnB, we are focused on what is most important for business stays: reliable landlords, cheap on long term-stays, and professional care.
Feel free to ask, in case you have some questions or if you are in need of a stay for you or your family in Düsseldorf.
Once you’re ready to move in —> read this guide: “The 5-Step Process to Moving into Your New Apartment in Germany“
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