Renting an apartment in Berlin has become outrageously expensive and doesn’t fit the anti-capitalist flair that many residents are here for. In fact, rents in Berlin have almost doubled in the last 5 years. The more often I talk to friends about the situation, the more I get used to it. And that’s even scarier. The other day, a friend who recently moved to Berlin told me that, she pays a staggering 920€ for 35m2 in Sonnenallee. That’s over 25€ per sqm! Allegedly luxuriously renovated and provided with a plush fitted kitchen.
We think that’s the new normal – but it’s still illegal. Indeed, even a rent of 10€ per sqm is often already illegal. To prevent rents from rising any further, the government passed a rent control law – the so-called Mietpreisbremse. That law has been in place for more than three years. So why has hardly anyone used it so far? Why do rents continue to rise?
We did some research on this and want to show you three different options for how you can actually and effectively lower your rent. We will start with the online service of wenigermiete.de, than compare it with going it through lawyer or a tenants rights association.
25hours, photo: Stephan Lemke
Over the years, we have given you plenty of tips on how to do Berlin on a budget – we’ve even provided you with this handy guide to our city’s most awesome hostels. But Berlin has more to offer than that – and we’ve got you covered when you feel like splashing some cash on your accommodation. Whether it’s your NYC friend asking you for advice on some fancy lodgings, or you’re searching for an apartment that’d be an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle without the need of hopping on a plane, check out this guide for Berlin’s coolest design and boutique hotels and holiday homes!
photo: Alex Alvisi / CC
Somewhere among the many idiomatic expressions that you may encounter in Germany there’s this one that translates to “not have all your cups in the cupboard”. Its meaning is supposed to convey the notion that the said person is a bit weird, and both this and the literally meaning apply to a lot of Berliners I know. In fact, these two characteristics seem to be connected.
It is indeed hard to remain a calm and collected person when you are in a constant state of uncertainty about your flat, let alone the condition of your crockery if you happen to possess some. In Berlin, someone is always hunting – and the reasons vary tremendously. Some have had their contracts suddenly terminated, some seek cheaper rent, others cannot stand their flatmates. You just can’t prepare to avoid all of the possible housing disasters – even if you resolve on sticking with your new place at literally all costs – you still may end up having to send out endless e-mails via wg-gesucht.
illustration: Sophia Halamoda
Only few things can prove harder than finding a place to stay upon moving to Berlin. We have all had our fair share of stories in our quest to find a decent room somewhere relatively close to where the wild things are. On the plus side, the German capital is huge with various “centers” showcasing many beautiful neighborhoods to live in. However, this might be the only good thing about the Berliner housing situation, since prices have risen greatly as a result of the huge demand in the last few years. Looking for a place can prove exhausting, frustrating and intensely distressing.
The main lessons I have learnt from the housing hunting are to be able to sell myself in every possible way and never give back. To avoid any misunderstandings, your search for accomodation should become a salient issue among friends, relatives and pretty much anybody who could potentially help you out. Looking for a room or an apartment resembles some aspects of a campaign. It is not sufficient to create a profile on a few online platforms, such as WG-Gesucht or Easy-WG, and copy-paste your message in response to a few ads you saw.
I want to start this article with an apology: Sorry for bringing up the exasperating topic of Berlin’s rental market. But I had some sort of awakening thanks to the Rent Map that made the rounds on social media yesterday. Claudio and I both have contracts for our flats that are more than 10 years old – way before the hype and sky-rocketing rents that everyone complains about these days. So I kind of didn’t have a real idea of how much rent has actually gone up. Judging from this map, the reality is that average rents are 50% higher than what either of us pay now, thanks to our old contracts in our respective neighborhoods. Jesus, I will never move again…
Nevertheless, Berlin still has the reputation of being a cheap city, even though evidence suggests otherwise for the most part. Do these cheap rents still exist somewhere in the city, perhaps in a small forgotten neighborhood that we just don’t know about? Well, let’s have a closer look at this map to find some answers, and possibly some cheap apartments, too…
In the last few years, Berlin has become a magnet for people who want to start a new life and a new career. Now more than ever before, people from all over the world are moving here to try their luck. In the beginning, it was mostly people who had already been here before and were somehow in the know about the infrastructure of the city. But things have changed. The city has evolved and the type of people who come here have changed, too.
With iHeartBerlin, we have always tried to give a bit of guidance both for those who live here, but also for those who are new in town or are planning to come here, either for having a good time or for starting a new job or university program. While we are mostly giving advice in terms of places and events, what’s been missing here is some general guidance to the process of moving here, including choosing the right district, finding an apartment, getting the basic stuff for the house and how to get around town. These are all important parts of your own Berlin story and today we would like to contribute to that.
Here we will give you some basic advice about moving to Berlin.
Reality Studio & A.D.Deertz
When I tried to put an outfit together this morning I realized that I urgently need new clothes. So the big Designer Sale at apartment this Sunday comes in quite handy. Almost half of the .HBC Couture: Designer Scouts labels will be their including my fave JULIAANDBEN, as well as A.D.Deertz and Dont Shoot The Messengers. I’m also looking forward to Butterfly Soulfire, Vladimir Karaleev and Reality Studio. The details and full list of designers and labels after the jump.
photo: Atwater Village Newbie
So, iHeartBerlin.de is looking for new headquaters. Well, no. Actually it’s only me looking for a new apartment to live. Apartment hunt is not exactly my favorite thing to do, and knowing that so many others are looking for places themselves and not finding any does not exactly make it easier.
I have been living in Friedrichshain for 9 years now. I would be up for something new to be honest. So, if you know about any nice places in Mitte, Prenzlauerberg (or Friedrichshain) that will become available in October, please let me know and I will greatly reward you for your help! You can rely on that. Get in touch via Facebook or by eMail.
PS: It can be a bit more modest than the Spelling Manor in Hollywood Hills that you can see above. I nice affordable 2-room-apartment will do just fine. Thanks!!