In this blog you have read the same statement many times: “It is difficult to find an apartment in Munich”. I will repeat it again. There are many people looking for an apartment but very few apartments available, and therefore the competition is fierce. The landlords receive hundreds of applications and it is difficult to stand out and be on the shortlist. In this post we will talk about some tips on how to make the landlord of your future apartment pick you.
Applying for the apartment
In one of the previous blog posts, I wrote about where you can look for an apartment. The common and easiest way to look for apartments is the online housing portals.
Make sure you have a complete, detailed profile on the housing portals. This would include your full name, photograph, your profession, your employer, your income and your marital status. Not all of the rental agents / landlords can speak English. So write in German or ask a friend that can do it for you.
Your first task is to get an apartment visit appointment as soon as possible.
When you see an apartment of your interest, apply immediately. Think of this like a motivational letter for a job/ university application. You should arouse interest in the reader. Tell why you liked the apartment and how good renter you would be with your long-term secure well paying job by giving your job details and your monthly household income. Finish by asking you would be looking forward to visit the apartment at their availability. Keep your already-formulated text somewhere so you would just paste when you find an apartment you like and be very fast. Of course have the text in German. And update the text with a few details of the current apartment so it appears genuine.
Sometimes you cannot see the phone number of the contact person on the rental portal. But you will see the name of the rental agency. Google the name and find the telephone number. Call and let them know that you are interested in the flat and that you applied also through the portal. Make sure you know the details of the apartment you applied to so that you will make the job of the agent easier and make a good first impression. This call will get you an appointment to visit the apartment at soonest.
Make a list of the apartments you applied to and their rental agencies and contact people. This will help you to recognise about which apartment they talk about when they call you back for appointment and earn you more points in the game of “impress the real estate agent”.
Before the appointment
Prepare the following documents:
- Salary Slips of last 3 months
- Schufa Report (it is a credit inquiry report checking if you have any insolvency)
- Copy of your identity document
- If you are a couple/ family have your couple/ family photo
- Letter from your previous landlord/s if exists
- The details of your previous apartments: dates of living, name of the landlord, contact details of the landlord
Study the ad of the rental object you visit, prepare your questions.
Take a good look at your furniture and belongings so that you can check how they would fit to the apartment during your visit.
Going to your appointment
Take your documents with you.
Again first impression is very important: Be well groomed. Be on time.
If your contact was in German and you sensed that they cannot speak English, take somebody that speaks German with you.
Be relaxed and polite.
Ask questions about the flat. Ask about the neighbourhood, neighbours, shopping possibilities etc. Apart from the fact that you need to know about those for your decision, it will show that you are interested.
Don’t criticise the apartment if you see some damages or something does not match your expectations. the landlord can read this as a “potential problematic renter”.
If you liked the apartment, let the rental agency/ landlord (whoever is showing you the flat) know about that and about why it would be a perfect fit for you.
You will probably be asked about why would you like to move. Don’t ever complain about your current landlord. The radars of your rental agent/ landlord can get this signal as again “potential problematic renter”.
Let your rental agent/ landlord know that you have your documents with you and would like to proceed with the application if you liked the apartment. They might take your documents or ask you to send them by email later.
After the visit
Send an email to the rental agent/ landlord thanking for the visit and looking forward to a positive answer. You might ask if and when you can call and check about the result.
Call the next day, days to ask about the result to remind yourself.
Always keep in mind
Landlords would like to have their piece of mind. They want
- The rent to paid regularly -> That’s why they look for renters that have a well paying job with unlimited contract who have already completed the probation period. They also want the proof that you pay your debts regularly by asking your Schufa score.
- The flat to be well taken care of -> To make sure of that they might contact your previous landlord, that’s why they ask the contact details. They also do not want smokers for that, so it is a good idea to tell that you are non-smoker in your first contact.
- The renters do not cause trouble with the other neighbours and in the building -> Most of the landlords do not want renters with pets, they are reluctant to very young people as they might party or people with little children as they might make noise
- The renters to stay long -> That is why they would like you to have an unlimited contract so you continue working at the same place for a long time and do not need to change the apartment. Also they consider your marital status. Young married couples might also ring alarm bells to landlords of small apartments as they might have kids and want to move out for a bigger apartment.
Whatever you write and say, try to assure that these points are fulfilled in the eyes of the landlord/ rental agent.
Once the rental agency and/or landlord get your documents, they will make a short-list of all the candidates with a ranking. They will start calling from the first candidate and they will continue till one says yes. If you have the call you will probably have less than one hour to give your final decision. But if you have already decided you can go on and say yes immediately as well:)
I hope you get the apartment that you want!
If you implement the tips, let me know how that worked for you. If you have other tips, please let us know in the comments.
Fingers crossed for the ones looking for apartment!