Challenges renting a regular home from abroad

There are some practical challenging facing new immigrants seeking accommodation in Germany. Some of those apply generally, some are more strongly or exclusively the case in Germany:

  • The need for SCHUFA, which normally required a German bank account, which requires a German registration, which requires already living there.
  • The need to view a place in person. Not only to know what the tenant is renting, but the landlord or their representative will also insist on meeting the tenant in person.
  • Payslips for the last three months, which an immigrant moving to Germany to take on a job may not yet have.
  • A work contract, which some immigrants may not yet have.
  • Probably some others I'm not thinking of at the moment.

Challenges with staying in hotels initially

Hotels, hostels, airbnb may be a way out in the beginning, but those have some major disadvantages:

  • Apparently they are not obliged to fill a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung, which means one cannot register with the Meldebehörde, which will make it complicated/impossible to get a bank account or Steueridentifikationsnummer, which employers (and perhaps others) will need Contrary to what I thought, it seems hostels/hotels do have to provide a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung for guests staying ≥3 months and requesting one.
  • Cannot usually mark ones name on the mailbox, which means one cannot receive mail or only in a limited way (I believe)
  • Hotels or hostels may refuse to have guests staying for longer than 2 weeks up to 3 months, because then they would have to deal with the consequences of people registering as resident there (but this may depend on the location) (Example case of someone describing this situation).
  • May be a very expensive solution to do for ≥3 months (and for a shorter stay I might not get a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung).

Does Wohnen auf Zeit solve both problems?

In Germany there is a thing called Wohnen auf Zeit. Apparently, this is typically furnished accommodation which is often rented out for a period of 1–12 months. Some of it is private, some by companies such as Homecompany, city-residence, or Youniq.

Does Wohnen auf Zeit generally share the practical challenges that immigrants face renting regular accommodation, or is this easier to organise in advance? Would they still insist on having a SCHUFA, meeting the tenant, and seeing payslips?

From a tenants point of view, there is less risk renting a place sight unseen if a legitimate (corporate) landlord or agent has good reviews/testimonials and the tenant only intend to stay for 3–6 months (as long as the tenant needs to find a regular rental home). There is less risk for the landlord if the tenant provides evidence they can pay the full 3–6 months, and the landlord can get easily get rid of the tenant after this relatively short period. If I understand correctly, the landlord for Wohnen auf Zeit is required to provide a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung when asked when asked; after all registration is mandatory for international moves if the tenant stays more than 3 months and for domestic moves if the tenant stays more than 6, and a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung is needed to register.

It appears like the perfect way out (of course at a price). Is it, or are there some caveats I am missing?

  • You can totally get a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung from a hotel. If they refuse it, you aren't just nagging enough. Or not paying enough. – Janka Nov 5 at 2:23
  • @Janka That's news for me. I read that it wasn't possible. I may have been misinformed. Or maybe they can fill one, but unlike rental homes, are not required to? – gerrit Nov 5 at 8:49
  • @Janka I see, they do have to fill one, but apparently some (for that reason) won't take long-term staying guests. So it may be possible depending on the hotel/hostel. My question on Wohnen auf Zeit stands, though, as this is almost certainly less costly when staying 3–6 months. – gerrit Nov 5 at 8:58
  • Why the downvote? – gerrit Dec 6 at 10:50

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