Leaving Your Apartment


You must give at least three months notice to cancel your rental agreement — do this in writing!

Depending on your rental contract, you may need to leave your apartment/home in a renovated state — walls painted, wallpapered etc. At a bare minimum, the apartment must be clean on departure. You can do this yourself or hire a firm.

Remember to get your deposit (with interest) back! You will need to keep your German bank account open so that the deposit can be transferred to this account. The landlord has the right to deduct expenses from damage or repair costs to the apartment. The details should be listed in your rental agreement.

Getting rid of stuff you don't want to take with you is not always easy. You can try to sell it through various Internet platforms, post on bulletin boards at work or school or through the newspaper or donate to charities (although the charities are choosy about what they take).  Bulky items (furniture, appliances) cannot be removed as regular waste. Plan ahead and find out when the next "Sperrmüll" will take place. Be especially aware of separating out your junk into recyclables, regular garbage, Sperrmüll and Sondermüll (e.g. chemical cleaners, paint, etc.), which need to be disposed of properly.

You will need to set up an appointment with the landlord to return your keys. At this time, he/she will also look over the apartment to check for damage or make sure the renovations are completed as agreed. You should read the utility meters together. Get a signed report with all this information in case there are any issues with the return of your safety deposit.