Munich is the most beautiful city to live in! It is very green, has a lot of parks, rivers passing through the city, beer gardens where you can relax drinking a Mass (1 L of beer is called so). You can hear the birds singing, see squirrels playing around. You can drive your bike anywhere. You have everything you need from a city: perfect public transportation and social security, all the cultural activities, many local and international festivals, laid back people and an international scene. You can swim in the river in summer, ski on the mountains in winter. You can reach to Italy, Austria, and Switzerland in a few hours.
As there is a “but” to everything beautiful, there is a very important “but” to Munich and you should know before moving to Munich:
The biggest pain, the common reason of complaint of Munich is the Housing situation.
- Rentals are very expensive.
- It is very difficult to get an apartment in Munich.
Expensive means c.a. 15,48 Euro per m2 on average. See the statistics. Munich is the most expensive city in Germany in terms of housing. For a 60 m2 apartment you would pay 1200 euro per month. But still you might not get accepted as a tenant.
It is difficult to get an apartment in Munich
Too many people apply to too few adverts. You should be very quick to apply and very quick to decide. And the landlords are very picky because of this high demand. (On this issue read the blog post “How to make the landlord of your future apartment pick you“)
They would ask you the last 3 salary slips, your work contract, if you have pets (your chances get really low if you have pets), your previous address, contact details of your previous landlords, etc. You got it.
Unfortunately, if you have a foreign surname, things get more difficult for you. I am from Turkey and have a Turkish maiden name, after wedding I attached my husband’s Italian surname at the end. An estate agent advised me to skip my surname and just use his as this makes a better impression. I read a lot of posts about people getting rejected because of Middle Eastern surnames.
Like everything else in Munich, you lose a lot if you don’t speak German, sometimes they don’t answer your inquiries if you have written in English and if they do, they mostly write back in German.
On the other hand if you speak German, if you are a couple (sometimes even better if you are married- but this is complicated. if the apartment has 3+ rooms it is better you are married, if less it is better you are not, meaning you have less risk of getting babies and moving out for a bigger apartment), you have unlimited work contract, you earn more than 3 times of the rent, you don’t have any pets you start one step ahead of others. If you have a title like Dr., Ing. (Ingenieur- Engineer) use it in front of your name. Titles are very important and respected here in Germany. People even put it to their doorbells.
What kind of apartment you would like to rent?
Before you start your search, answer the following two questions for yourself.
Own apartment or shared apartment?
You have to decide if you would like to stay alone or you would like to move into a shared apartment. Shared apartments are called Wohngemeinschaft, mostly used with the abbreviation WG and very popular in Munich. Not only students live in shared apartments but also working adults. If you would like to keep the housing costs minimum, WG may be the best choice for you. You would also automatically get more social through your flatmates and friends of your flatmates.
Furnished apartment or not furnished?
If you have to start working right away and don’t have enough time to look for an apartment or to buy furniture, furnished apartments can be a good idea. That was what I did as well. I booked my apartment from Istanbul. A friend of mine went to check it took the key for me.
For all the other requirements / descriptions of apartments and understanding the German terms for it please read the blog post Apartment Adverts explained.
How to find an apartment in Munich?
1. Tell your friends/ colleagues/ neighbors/ anyone you know, ask them to tell their friends/ colleagues/ neighbors/ anyone they know
The best way to find an apartment is word of mouth. As the demand is very high, an available apartment can be gone very quickly. If people know that you are looking for a flat, they may let you know the first when they hear an availability or have one. There is a termination condition in the rental contracts, which is usually 3 months. Some of the tenants would like to move out earlier, so they look for somebody to take over the flat (which is called “Nachmieter” in German) as earliest as possible. In these cases there might not even be an rental advert yet. So you might be the first to know!
2. Post to your Facebook timeline. Ask your friends to share your post.
Write on your timeline what you are looking for giving information about the number of rooms, maximum price etc. Ask your friends to share it. You can increase your reach and maybe somebody can get back to you.
3.INSIDER TIP: Check housing Facebook groups
Check the following housing groups on Facebook. You will find a lot of people looking for Nachmieter for their apartment/ room or renting their apartments for a term or for unlimited time.
You should also post the these groups describing what you specifically are looking for.
- Wohnungen München
- Wohnungsbörse München
- LMU Mieten, Kaufen, Wohnen
- Wohnungsmarkt München
- Wohnen trotz München
- Nachmieter für Wohnung in München gesucht
- Wohnungen von Privat für Privat
4.INSIDER TIP: Write to & check adverts in Munich International Friends Group
Munich International Friends, as the name tells, is an international facebook group. Whatever questions you might have about life in Munich you might ask, and thou shall receive an answer from helpful people. And you can write in English which is the best.
Post to Munich International friends that you are looking for a flat with your requirements. But also follow up the group as someone can be looking for a renter.
5.INSIDER TIP: Write to & check adverts in Toytown Germany
I found my first long term flat from Toytown Germany. What I did was exactly what I am going to suggest you now.Open Toytown Germany Accomodation Wanted Forum. Create a user, click “Start new Topic” and post what kind of apartment you need and your requirements.
After one or two days of posting there, I was contacted by a member who wanted to leave her apartment early and was looking for a Nachmieter. I ended up renting that apartment.
Check also Toytown Germany’s Accomodation Offered Forum regularly.
6.INSIDER TIP: Write to & check posts in Internations Munich Housing Forum
Internations is a network of expats which offers a lot of activities to get to know new people and create your own network in your new city. There are activity groups and forums where you get get help and suggestions from other fellow members. One of these forums is Housing Forum. You can post there that you are looking for a flat. Also check other posts, someone might be looking for some to take over his flat. You need to sign up to Internations to be able to post to forum.
7.Check German real estate websites
Following are the biggest websites for rentals which are focused on unfurnished apartments. The advantage is most of the available appartments are advertised here and with great detail. The disadvantage : Everything is in German.
- WG-gesucht.de: This website is specialized in shared apartments (WG: Wohngemeinschaft) and it also has an English version.
8. Visit furnished apartment rental websites
These websites are usually in English and have customer contact agents that speak your language:
Biggest furnished apartments rental agency. You can find detailed information, photos and videos about properties. I have rented my first apartment from them and was satisfied with the service. Might be a bit more expensive than the market average but the quality of service is good, you can trust that you will not have any surprises.
Other websites that I have found in my searches
- City appartments
- Rental Market of Technical University of Munich
- Mr. Living
- Home Company
- Liz Frey Relocation Company
9. Check & Give adverts to newspapers
I haven’t tried that as I have found my apartments through previous methods but I read and heard that one of the best ways to find an apartment is through the adverts on newspaper.
Buy following newspapers from Kiosks on the following dates where there is housing bulletin:
- Süddeutsche Zeitung (Wednesdays and Fridays)
- Kurz und Fündig (Tuesdays and Fridays)
- Abendzeitung (always)
10. Check Airbnb for short term rentals and if you don’t need to register yourself as a resident of Munich
If you are going to stay for a short term, you might find your rental through Airbnb. The advantage is that you get a price with all the utilities included. The disadvantage is that you don’t get to put your name on the doorbell (which is a requirement if you want to do the residence registration)
I hope these tips will be helpful and you will find what you are looking for.
Please also read the following articles about this topic:
I wish you a nice cosy place however you dream of it as soonest as possible!