In Germany, rental contracts must be concluded in writing. Usually, the rental agreement quantifies the basic rent, i.e. the rent for the use of the room. In addition, there is typically an amount for the ancillary costs, which the tenant transfers to the landlord each month together with the basic rent. What additional costs can vary from rental agreement to rental agreement? For example, the payments for electricity, gas and water, for example, are often included in the additional costs, but not always. Therefore, before signing a rental agreement, ask the landlord what part of the ancillary costs are and what other costs you could incur.
This is how the collection works
Register with the energy
and water supplier
If electricity, water or heating gas are not included in the ancillary rental costs, you have to look for a supplier yourself and conclude a contract with them. The landlord can usually give you the contact details of your regional supplier.
Registering telephone, Internet, and (cable) television: There are various telecommunication services providers in Germany. It’s worth comparing. Online portals can help here. For example, many offers discounted telephone and Internet packages. Solutions aimed at mobile use, such as UMTS technology (3G), are also offered. A tip: it can take several weeks to set up the telephone and Internet connections. If possible, it is best to contact a provider before moving in.
Fees for television and radio
In Germany, radio fees are charged for radio, television or Internet PCs. Anyone who uses this media is obliged to register with the responsible institution, the Fee Collection Center (GEZ), after moving in. You can register online, but you can usually find the forms in post offices and banks.
Put your name on the mailbox and bell (if not done by the landlord): Your mail will only be delivered if your name can be found on the mailbox. It is not necessary to register with the Swiss Post.
Don’t forget to have the mail forwarded from your home country to your new place of residence. If you are not at home for a long time, you can apply for a forwarding order from Deutsche Post, including abroad.
Everyone who lives in Germany must be registered. You should do this at the residents ‘registration office or citizens’ office no later than two weeks after moving in. You need a valid ID for this. In the case of rented apartments, you must also submit a completed confirmation from the homeowner. You can usually find the form and address of the relevant registration office on the website of the city you are moving to.