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.
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.
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.
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