How much does it cost to rent a flat in Berlin?

Overview of monthly expenses tenants have to pay when renting a flat in Berlin, some tips how to save money and important German words translated for you.


This post was last updated on February 19, 2021
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What is included in the rent and what is not

The total rent for long term rentals (Warmmiete) in Berlin is calculated like this:

Total rent (Warmmiete) = costs of the flat (Kaltmiete ) + anciliary costs (Nebenkosten).

  • Kaltmiete or KM: the cost of the flat without anciliary expenses like heating, cleaning, trash disposal etc.
  • Warmmiete or WM: the costs of the flat plus the anciliary costs.
  • Nebenkosten or NK: also called Betriebskosten or BK – costs for waste disposal, cleaning of the building, heating, hot water, waste water, elevator, lights in the stairs and the basement.

The ancilliary costs in Berlin for the year 2019 were on average 2,56 Euro per squaremeter source.

Example: the anciliary costs for a 2 room apartment of 50m² were on average 128.- Euro per month in 2019.

Check whether heating is included in the anciliary costs. Some heating methods like everything which involves heating with electricity can be quite expensive.

Electricity is almost never included in the anciliary costs. Electricity costs can be much higher than in other countries. Expect to pay anything between 30.- Euro and 60.- Euro per month for a 2 room apartment. We compiled a list of the best electricity providers.

Germany has a mandatory TV tax called Rundfunkgebühr which pays for the public service TV and radio stations. The monthly licence fee is 17,50 Euro per flat (not person). There are more information in English about the TV tax here.
The authorities get you address once you register a flat and you have to prove that another member of your household is already paying the tax so don't ignore that letter you get after moving into a new flat or you end up paying double!

Check out the online archives of the public TV stations if you want to learn German by watching videos! You paid for it, so you might as well use it.

You must pay a 7% tax with your rent if you rent a furnished apartment for less than 6 months and 1 day.

Rent price cap

Apartments in many buildings constructed before 2014 and not completely renovated since then have a rent price cap (Mietendeckel) in Berlin. It is illegal for landlords to charge more than a fixed maximum rental fee in case a rental cap applies. The rent price cap was decided in 2020 and is subject to many lawsuits at the moment. This means that landlords often indicate two rental fees in new contracts: one rental fee in accordance with the rent price cap and one rental fee in case the rent cap might be judged unconstitutional by higher courts.

This is highly controversial at the moment of writing. Best case is the rent cap stays and the lower rental fee is binding, worst case it will be removed and the higher rent will become legal.
We highly recommend to contact the Berlin tenants association if in doubt about anything in your rental contract. The tenants association is a non-profit and provides legal advice against a small monthly fee for their members.

How much is a flat in Berlin?

This depends on many factors but if you take an average rent of 15,88 Euro per squaremeter in 2021 source and ancilliary costs of 2,56 Euro then a 50 squaremeter flat costs 922.- Euro per month on average.

Some useful vocabularly

  • Miete: rental fee
  • Mietkaution: deposit – usually 3 months of the rent which is put on a separate bank account and the money can neither be touched by the landlord nor the tenant until the contract is cancelled. Calculate the deposit by multiplying the Kaltmiete by 3. See our guide for opening a bank account.
  • Kaltmiete: the cost of the flat without anciliary expenses like heating, cleaning, trash disposal etc.
  • Warmmiete: the costs of the flat plus the anciliary costs.
  • Nebenkosten or NK: also called Betriebskosten or BK – costs for waste disposal, cleaning of the building, heating, hot water, waste water, elevator, lights in the stairs and the basement.
  • Mietendeckel: rent price cap.
  • Rundfunkgebühr: TV tax – licence fee for the public service TV and radio stations.

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