Leasing a House

We have found a home and have been going through the leasing process. It is a bit different here in Germany and we are lucky to have a relocation company that is helping us through everything including translating all the documents to English so we know what we are signing. I have mentioned before how you have to apply for a house that is available and then you wait to see if the landlords like you or not. It is a rather competitive market and we lost our first house option due to that (not everyone is excited to rent to Americans). However, we did make it through the process to our second house and have the keys in hand! All we need now is for our furniture and all those goodies to arrive so we can move in. Can’t wait to get out of this hotel!


I thought I would share a couple of comments that were added to the lease by our relocation company to make sure us crazy Americans followed all the rules.

  1. To avoid mold and damage in the house, it is appropriate to air the home 3-4 times a day for 10 minutes each. If you are not home all day then you should air the home in the morning and in the evening for at least 15 minutes each time. They went into very specific details about this. Like the windows must be fully open for the entire 10 minutes. This is expected to be done year round which means wide open windows in winter. This is mentioned 8 times in the agreement. 8 times! This is apparently very serious business.
  2. Renovations: If you get a home with freshly painted walls and redone floors then it is expected that you will paint the walls and refinish the floors before you move out. This means every single room. You have to be careful with this a bit as our home was listed as completely refinished but the walls were not painted so we had to make sure to document this so that we don’t have to paint the walls when we move out.
  3. “Carpets, blankets, bed rugs, furniture etc. are only allowed to be cleaned outside between Mondays and Saturdays at the designated area, but not between the hours of 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 7a.m.”
  4. “It is not allowed to leave items, particularly bikes, baby carriages etc. in yards, in hallways, staircases and drying rooms unless otherwise specified.” So you can’t leave the kiddos bike out in the backyard. It must be put away and not in the hallway.
  5. “On Sundays and public holidays it is not allowed to hang laundry outside. It is not allowed to hang laundry in front of the windows or on balconies facing the street”
  6. “The main entrance to the house / apartment block must be kept locked between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and between 2 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Sundays and public holidays.” The relocation agent also made a point to tell us both locks (the regular door lock and security lock) must be locked.
  7. “A “period of quiet” is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. (This is a legal regulation in Germany and has to be followed). If the tenant listens to music or uses any other mechanical devices (e.g. washing machine) it must be ensured that no other tenant is disturbed.”

That is it for our quirky new house rules. I think we can manage to follow those though I do think keeping the kiddos quiet from 1-3pm might be a little rough but that might just be our new nap time.

The recycling system here is also INSANE. If recycling was an Olympic sport then all Germans would get a gold medal. But that is a story for another day.

We’ll keep you posted when we can finally move in!