A real estate agent (Immobilienmakler) can assist you in finding a place to live. Agents usually charge fees of 2-3 months' rent. It is important to understand the agent's conditions before signing a contract. It is common practice for a contract to be drawn up between client and agent authorising the latter to collect this amount if housing is found through his/her help.
The local newspapers (such as the "General-Anzeiger Bonn"), especially the Saturday-Sunday and Wednesday editions are a good source for housing put on the market directly by the owner. Available apartments and houses may also be found online with the local newspapers or Germany-wide at www.immobilienscout24.de or www.immowelt.de.
The level of rents and property prices in Bonn and the surrounding area is roughly average for Germany as a whole although, by international comparison, the prices are very moderate, as an international rent comparison conducted by the United Nations found.
|Rents and Property Prices – some examples -|
|Average Monthly Rent|
|Office space in and around the federal district||11 to 15 EUR/sq.m.|
|Excellent residential location; approx. 95 sq.m. up to 3 years old||7.25 - 8.50 EUR/sq.m|
|Superior standard||Add 0.50 EUR/sq.m|
|Real Estate Purchase – Average Prices|
|Owner-occupied apartment, excellent location, 85 sq.m. - up to 3 years old||1,905 to 2.385 EUR/sq.m|
|Owner-occupied apartment 10-15 years old, 80 sq.m., good location||1,440 to 1.610,-EUR/sq.m|
|Owner-occupied apartment in the federal district or other top locations; depending on age||1,540 to 2,780.- EUR/sq.m|
|Detached or semi-detached house, good location, approx. 120 sq.m.||approximately 250,000 to 300,000 EUR|
In Germany, rent agreements are essentially freely negotiable between the contracting parties within the framework of statutory requirements. Generally speaking, there is no minimum or maximum period of tenancy; a rental period of 3 to 5 years with the option to extend is perfectly feasible. Normally, a deposit in the amount of 3 months’ rent is required.
Kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways are not counted in the number of rooms, so a two- bedroom apartment with living room and dining room, for example, is called a four-room apartment. Those planning to rent housing should also be aware that, in most cases, the apartment will not include furniture of any kind, such as kitchen cabinets or walk-in closets. Additional expenses (utilities) include the charges for water, wastewater, heating, and waste collection.
Charges for telecommunication and electricity are normally paid by the tenants themselves. Electric cooking is widespread. Electric current in Germany is 220 volts. Under some rental agreements, the tenant is obliged to share the responsibility for cleaning public areas. Official quiet hours are between 1 and 3 p.m. and after 10 p.m.