You have just arrived in Germany and you are asking yourself: Why am I being asked to make a portfolio for renting an apartment? Am I expected to be interviewed? Am I going to check an apartment with 70 other potential tenants? And why do some people have to brag about getting their Anmeldung done? Well, we have your 5 most asked questions about Anmeldung in Germany answered in this blog post!
„When I moved from Hong Kong to Berlin, a lot of people said to me ‚Congratulations! You have just moved from one place with serious housing problems to another place with serious housing problems.‘ Like, seriously?“ – Mei Chi Lo, CEO & founder of Booka Local.
We all have like thousands of questions in mind when we first landed in Germany. Let’s talk about the most popular questions every new international might have about Anmeldung in Germany!
Question #1: What’s wrong with airbnb?
First, it’s not cheap if you are to stay for a long time. Okay, if you are rich, then it’s probably not a problem for you. But the second thing is, in Germany, there’s a term you need to learn before knowing how to order a beer, that is, Anmeldung.
Anmeldung means registration. Most internationals simply use this word to refer to the process when you register a new address in Germany. This term also means browsing like a 1000 apartments, sending 500 applications, viewing 100 apartments with 80 other people, receiving 50 rejection messages, 30 scam emails and finally finding one apartment that allows you to do Anmeldung.
So, what’s wrong with airbnb? Well, most of the apartments there do not allow you to do Anmeldung.
Question #2: What happens if I don’t register my address?
We are in Germany. No rules are set to be ignored.
Anmeldung is needed for all sorts of important things, like, opening a bank account, getting your tax ID, extending your visa, basically your whole life in Germany depends on it. If you fail to register your address or are late for doing so, you might have to pay heavy fines, so beware!
Are there any exemptions for Anmeldung in Germany? Learn about it here!
Question #3: I need Anmeldung asap! What can I do?
Everyone asks this question. One popular option is short-term service apartments or something similar that allows you to register the address. Simply google something like “short term rental with Anmeldung in berlin”. There are plenty of options there. Although they are more expensive than long-term rental apartments, you can at least cross out “Anmeldung” from your checklist.
Question #4: There’s no available appointment slot???
In order to register an address, you have to make an appointment at Bürgeramt. You do not need to stick to the one in your neighbourhood. You can go to any other ones in the same city. However, unfortunately, it can be very hard to book an appointment online. It can be completely full. „Two years ago, I even called the Bürgeramt near me and told them I needed an appointment but it’s all full on the online system. Surprisingly, they simply asked me to send them an email and then they sent me an appointment slot within a short time. I was lucky. This method is not guaranteed. But you can try“ – Mei Chi Lo. You can also check the Bürgeramt‘s website every morning at 8 am because they normally add new slots.
Alternatively, you can subscribe to Booka Local’s email notification. When the team spots an available spot on Bürgeramt’s website, you will get notified. It may not be as good as refreshing the website every 5 mins like a robot, but at least you can sit back and enjoy your life.
Get notified when there's an appointment spot!
Okay, so imagine you have successfully booked an appointment at Bürgeramt. One last thing is, make sure you prepare all the documents you need. You don’t want to miss any piece of paper and get sent away. You will need to book ANOTHER APPOINTMENT if you fail to give them everything they need. For the complete list of documents you need, you can check our blog post about Anmeldung documents here! Get it done and don’t mess it up!
Question #5: Do I need to speak German at the appointment?
It’s very hard to say, mostly yes. Most people would bring someone with them to translate if they do not speak German, because the officers at Bürgeramt mostly do not speak English. Or yes, if you are lucky. What is good with bringing a German-speaking person with you is that, if there’s something wrong with your documents, at least you know what went wrong. If you do not know anyone who can go there with you, check out this link and you can book a local helper at Booka Local.
Do you have more questions about Anmeldung in Germany or other German bureaucratic topics? Send them to us and along with answering your questions, we‘ll make sure we get them covered in our next blog post to help others!
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