The usual condition of a rental home upon moving varies between countries.

In The Netherlands, it is typical that the new residents need to lay a floor, put wallpaper or paint on the walls, perhaps install a kitchen, unless the new tenants agree to purchase those from the previous tenants directly.

When I rented in Canada and England, kitchen, floor, and wallpaper were all included, and I in fact had very little freedom to make changes that are normal to make in The Netherlands (such as installing wall-mounted furniture).

From German rental ads, I understand that a kitchen may or may not be already present (Einbauküche, meaning built-in kitchen), and I've read at the Welcome Centre Hessen page that where a kitchen is not built-in new tenants may negotiate to buy the kitchen from the previous tenants. But how is it for other aspects, such as floors or wallpapers? Photos are not a reliable measure to determine this for real estate photos normally include a lot that is not part of the rental (such as, usually, furniture).

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    When you say "lay a floor," do you just mean putting down a carpet? I'm having trouble picturing a rental where there are no floorboards, walls, or kitchen. Oct 21 '18 at 17:12
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    @MikeHarris No floor: just bare concrete, wooden planks have been taken by previous residents to their next home (unless they sell theirs to the next tenants).Kitchen is an empty room with fittings to connect kitchen stuff, like this, or like this or like this
    – gerrit
    Oct 21 '18 at 19:56
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    @MikeHarris This picture is from a Dutch landlord to show how the tenants should leave the floor after moving out (i.e. take it).
    – gerrit
    Oct 21 '18 at 20:02
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    @gerrit Thanks for the pictures... I now have a better idea what you mean, but it's still quite different from the way rentals are in North America: just bring your bed and coffee pot when you move in! Oct 21 '18 at 22:52
  • @gerrit Wow that seems quite a hassle. What if this person only intends to live for a short while and might move places frequently? Certainly there are also rental properties more similar to serviced apartments available then.
    – xji
    Oct 22 '18 at 21:01

Usually, floors and walls are included, as well as toilet and shower/bathtub. Smaller apartments might come with a built-in kitchen.

You are obligated to paint/wallpaper the walls after several years, and when you move out.

Any other furniture, or anything big you have to renovate first, should be mentioned in the ad (or soon after first contact). Sometimes, you can buy the kitchen from the previous tenant.

Source: I'm German, have rented apartments myself and helped friends moving.


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