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    Types of Rental Agreements

    Open-End Rental Agreement

    This is the most common rental agreement. It is a written contract, and the lease runs for an indefinite period of time. A fixed end date for the lease (e.g. a one-year contract) is not provided.Usually, tenants have to give 3 months’ notice before ending their lease. Landlords, on the other hand, have notice periods that become longer the longer you live there, and range anywhere from 3 to 9 months. If the landlord wants to terminate the contract, he or she needs a legally recognized reason, like needing the space for their personal use. 

    Fixed Rental Agreement

    This is a written lease in which the end of the contract/rental period is set from the very beginning. During the term of the contract, neither landlord nor tenant may terminate the agreement. Today, the only option for this is a so-called fixed lease. The contract must state the exact, agreed-upon reason for having a fixed lease (e.g. needing the space for personal use) so as to protect the tenant from arbitrary extensions of the contract. 

    Required documents for signing a lease agreement:

    • Rental Agreement
    • Your employment contract (if required)
    • References from previous landlords (if required)
    • Security deposit

    Upon signing, it is customary in Germany to pay a security deposit in the amount of one to three months’ rent (without utilities). The amount of the security deposit can vary, but is limited to no more than three months’ rent (without advance payment on utilities). The deposit is due at the beginning of the tenancy. After the end of the tenancy, the landlord has to return your full deposit including interest if he or she has no claims against you (e.g. floor damage).

    Home Insurance

    Before signing the contract, the landlord can request that you have some form of home insurance. Regardless of whether it is required or not, every tenant should have home insurance for their own protection. Home insurance provides protection for household furnishings, commodities, and consumables. Almost all movable items found in the insured person’s home will be covered by the home insurance. This includes, for example, furniture, electronics, clothing, and food. These items are insured against damage caused by fire, water, storms, hail, theft, robbery, and vandalism. You should ask about the exact scope of the insurance and further regulations during a consultation at an insurance company of your choice.

    Broadcast Contribution

    In Germany, there is an obligation to pay a contribution to the financing of public broadcasters (radio and television). The law assumes that a contribution is payable for every apartment (regardless of the number of inhabitants or receivers). It is irrelevant whether you receive public or private channels. Changes of residence must be reported to the “Beitragsservice ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio”.

    Source: Welcome Center Neckar-Alb

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