Real Estate Terminology Guide

Real estate terminology used by real estate agents and brokers in Berlin.

Counting Rooms

When looking for an apartment, you need to be aware of how Germans advertise the number of rooms (living and sleeping). Rather than listing the number of bedrooms and living areas separately, an ad will provide this number in total. For example, if you are looking for a 2-bedroom apartment, you will need to search for a 3 Zimmer place.

Kitchen and bathrooms are obviously in addition.

Counting Floors

In Germany the ground floor is street level, and then the counting begins with the first floor one flight above the ground floor, the second, third and so on. While new buildings and some more recently renovated older style apartments might have lifts, it’s likely that the apartment will be a walk up. If this is the case remember that, although the idea of a penthouse penthouse (dachgeschoss) is appealing, it is a long way up to carry your groceries.

Furnished Apartments

The standard of furnishing varies greatly. However, generally speaking, furnished apartments are very much like serviced apartments without the staff. You will find everything included for a comfortable stay. It is not unusual to have Internet and cable included in your rent.


Given the fact that most Berliners are lifetime renters, you will find a number of anomalies when renting an unfurnished apartment.

Generally in the older style apartments, you will find that they don’t have light fittings; tenants are expected to purchase these. This is not the case in the newer more modern apartments.

Sometimes an equipped kitchen is included; however, this is not the standard. If this is the case, the ad will indicate so. You might also find that the previous tenant will want to sell you their kitchen. However this is not conditional, and you are not obliged to do so. By law, the kitchen sink and stove must be connected – however, in some case you may find an empty shell.

Bathrooms will vary depending on the age of the apartment you are looking at. There will be a toilet, sink, washing machine points and either bath, shower or both.

Heating is always present, but the standard will vary greatly depending on the age of the apartment. Avoid coal-heated apartments.

Advertisement Terminology

AR – Abstellraum = storage room

AB – Altb. –Altbau = older building

App. – Apartment = studio apartment

Blk.- Balkon = balcony

Bj. – Baujahr = year of construction

bezugsf. – bezugsfertig = ready for occupancy

ca. – circa, zirka = approximately

DG – Dachgeschoss = attic

DHH – Doppelhaushäfte = semi-detached house

Du – Dusche = shower

EB – Erstbezug = first occupancy (new)

EBK – Einbauküche = built-in kitchen

EG – Erdgeschoss =ground floor

ELW – Einliegerwohnung = small apt./flat in a house, granny flat

erl. – erlaubt = permitted, allowed

ETH – Etagenheizung = floor heating

ETW – Etagenwohung = suite (on one floor)

FP – Festpreis = fixed price

Garten-Ant. – Gartenanteil =small garden/yard

Garten-Mitben. – Gartenmitbenutzung = shared garden

geh./gehob. – gehoben(e) = above average

HZ / Hzg. – Heizung = heating

Immo-Ges. – Immobiliengeschäft = real estate agency

Immo-Hdl. – Immobilienhändler = real estate agent

incl./inkl. – inclusive = including, with

jährl. – jährlich = annual

Kabel = cable TV

kalt – Kaltmiete = rent without utilities

Kaut. – Kaution = deposit

KoNi – Kochnische = kitchenette

KP – Kaufpreis = selling price

KT/Kt. – Kaution = deposit

m2 = square metres.

MM – Monatsmiete
 = month’s rent

möbl. – möbliert = furnished

MP – Mietpreis = rental price/rate

NK – Nebenkosten = extra costs, utility costs

OG = upper floor eg. 1OG

Plz – Postleitzahl = postal/ZIP code

Prov. – Provision = commission

prov.-frei – provisionsfrei = no commission

ren.-bed. – renovierungsbedürftig = needs renovation

Str. – Straße = street

SZ – Schlafzimmer = bedroom(s)

Terr. – Terrasse = terrace, patio

Tiere – Tierhaltung = pets OK

UG – Untergeschoss = basement floor

VB – VHB –Verhandlungsbasis = or best offer, negotiable

WC – das WC = toilet (water closet)

WG – Wohngemeinschaft = shared flat

Whg. – Wohnung = apartment

Wohnfl. – Wohnfläche = living area/space

Zi. – Zim. – Zimmer = room, rooms

z. verm. – zu vermieten = for rent

zzgl. – zuzüglich
 = excluding, not including