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For the area of a (rental) home, I would assume that 35 m² means 35 m² of indoor area, excluding only the garden (if applicable). That means, if we rent a German apartment that is 35 m², it will be the same size as where we live now in England. However, from this (previous revision, now edited) answer by Martin Bonner, it appears it may not be that simple:

It is quite common in Germany for not all space within an apartment to count - toilets/bathrooms may not count at all, kitchens/balconies count half, and living rooms/bedrooms are fully counted. (...) if you got the 100sqm from the property details (rather than your husband getting out a tape measure), they will already have done that pro-rating.

Is this a general rule? For example, does that mean that if an apartment somewhere in southern Hessen is advertised as 35 m² on Immobilienscout or another real estate website, it is actually even larger than 35 m²?

  • There are multiple rules; if the walls are tilted (top floor/roof), the area below it counts 3/4 or 1/2; balconies count 1/4 or 1/2, basements count 1/4, etc. Also, areas are often inexactly measured. You need to look at the flat to see what it really is like. – Aganju Oct 27 '18 at 20:19
  • Bathrooms and kitchen should always count 100%, that is wrong info. source: I grew up and lived in Germany for over 40 years. – Aganju Oct 27 '18 at 20:20
  • @Aganju Of course, I will always look at the flat to know what it's like. But I make a pre-selection based on what I can find online. I don't look at homes that are 20m² or 100m². – gerrit Oct 27 '18 at 21:44
  • You might want to link to my original text (expatriates.stackexchange.com/revisions/14711/1), rather than the updated answer (which I have fixed as a result of the answer to this question). – Martin Bonner supports Monica Oct 31 '18 at 11:50
  • @MartinBonner Right, edited. – gerrit Oct 31 '18 at 11:52
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To answer the last "Is this a general rule? For example, does that mean that if an apartment somewhere in southern Hessen is advertised as 35 m² ...it is actually even larger than 35 m²?" In general it means what it says, i.e. room, kitchen and bathroom are 35 qm. However a one-room apartment means you have a room PLUS kitchen and bathroom. They are all included in the 35 qm advertised. There are areas such as cellar, storage space outside the flat, community laundry, stairwell and garage etc. which do not count in your flat area measurement. And balcony including glazed balcony (Wintergarten) are counted as 25% and 50% respectively, 100% if it is heated. Use google translate and see this definitive list of what is precisely included: How to measure accommodation You need to know what it is exactly and it has to be in your rental agreement, because the extra running costs (Nebenkosten) which will be billed monthly or annually will be calculated using the given area as the key. Caveat emptor applies. Be aware agents talk up size, so it is best to take a measuring tape along when you view and check yourself.

  • agents talk up size, so it is best to take a measuring tape along when you view and check yourself, isn't the Energieausweis / EPC independently measured? – gerrit Oct 30 '18 at 16:39
  • Energieausweis is just to inform you how energy efficient the house is. Nebenkosten are all variable costs which are levied on top of the basic rent (Miete) such as water, electricity, heating, janitor, rates, rubbish collection, insurance, cleaning of communal areas, etc. It depends on the contract what is and what is not included in your rent and how the Nebenkosten will be levied. If you are quoted "Kalt" it means the monthly price advertised is without these costs, "Warm" includes some if not all these extra costs. I have presumed you are looking at renting an apartment, not buying. – Jay K. Oct 30 '18 at 22:02
  • Thanks. I'm going to improve my linked answer based on that. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Oct 31 '18 at 9:52
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    @JayK. Energieausweis includes the floor area of the apartment, are you saying this is not reliable? – gerrit Oct 31 '18 at 11:09
  • It is a matter of interpretation. Tests indicate quite substantial discrepancies, so caution against relying on the Energieausweis being precise. Apparently use different DIN, not different methodology. Everything the engineer takes into account conforms to the rules, but follow a different set of DIN. Not so much "unreliable," as "variable". If you google translate this page, you'll see the outcome of a test of different companies and their results from assessing the same property: welt.de/finanzen/immobilien/article147716799/… – Jay K. Jan 22 at 23:13

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