ask überlin: Help me find an apartment!
by James Glazebrook
We answer our readers’ questions about moving to, and living in, Berlin. This time: “How do I find a short-term rental, furnished and with internet access? “
happy new year!
A quick question: A family friend is here for 3-6 months and is looking for a furnished apartment. Ideally it should be in Charlottenburg/Wilmersdorf/Schöneberg. I seem to remember that you guys went through a few furnished places. Did you get them through agencies or websites? What’s the best way in your experience?
The most important thing to her is that the apartment has internet…
Oh yes, we worked through quite a few furnished apartments when we first arrived! Four in as many months, to be exact. We split our time between sublets and holiday apartments, and it was pretty easy to find furnished places with wi-fi – we just made our lives harder by having high expectations and two cats in tow!
Subletting could be a good option, as these apartments are relatively hassle-free and can usually be secured with a small deposit. Plus, because they are someone’s home, they should be fully furnished and hooked up with the internet. (Although they also come with strings attached – see our Dummkopf’s Guide to Subletting to avoid potential pitfalls!) Start by looking at Craigslist – as long as you don’t pay out money sight-unseen, you should be pretty secure – or Airbnb, the smart, safe way to rent from real people.
Holiday apartments are usually clean and well-equipped, although it might be tough finding a place for longer than three months. We can’t remember who we booked through, but these two were in the mix (they just couldn’t accommodate our required dates or cats): Case a Berlino, T&C Apartments.
If you still can’t find anything, hit the city’s Wohnungsmarkt websites. You’ll still find sublets here, alongside “proper rentals”. Furnished, hooked-up apartments are in the minority, but they can be found. Try to avoid agent’s adverts, as they charge extortionate fees far beyond those asked for by private owners. Here are some websites to try:
If you have some advice to offer Vanessa, leave it as a comment below and we’ll make sure she gets it. Thanks!