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
A woman hiding behind banknotes

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 ) + ancillary costs (Nebenkosten).

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

The ancillary costs in Berlin for the year 2019 were on average 2,56 Euro per square meter source.

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

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

Electricity is almost never included in the ancillary 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 license fee is 17,50 Euro per flat (not person). There is more information in English about the TV tax here.
The authorities get your 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.

How much is a flat in Berlin?

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

Some useful vocabulary

  • 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 canceled. Calculate the deposit by multiplying the Kaltmiete by 3. See our guide for opening a bank account.
  • Kaltmiete: the cost of the flat without ancillary expenses like heating, cleaning, trash disposal etc.
  • Warmmiete: the costs of the flat plus the ancillary costs.
  • Nebenkosten or NK: also-called Betriebskosten or BK – costs for waste disposal, cleaning of the building, heating, hot water, wastewater, elevator, and lights in the stairs and the basement.
  • Mietendeckel: rent price cap.
  • Rundfunkgebühr: TV tax – license fee for the public service TV and radio stations.

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