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Hi all,

I am all set to relocate to Berlin next month :) I was planning to go with rental agencies, since I thought they would make my life easier without having the hassles of handling the paper work (in German). Now I am curious about some of the practicalities, please share your views if you have had experiences with these rental agencies

1) I just have a job offer letter and a passport, is it sufficient to secure a rental agreement? I am actually planning to get a residence registration and open a bank account after I move in to the new place.
2) Is not having a bank account at the time of rental a major disadvantage? I will anyway get a account and do bank transfer from the following months, but for first moth I will only have to use cash.
3) If I am flexible about the accommodation, what are the chances that I can secure a place in a week? how long does it usually take?
4) Do you have any suggestion for some reliable rental agencies for English speakers?
5) Few basic things that I note and check when I am renting a furnished accommodation?
 

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1) and 2) This depends on the landlord and is independent of if you use an agent or not. In general, I would expect them to accept cash as well as bank transfer. Don't forget, though, that there usually is a three months deposit due before move-in, in addition to the first month rent!
3) Very unlikely! Rental termination notice times are three months (by law) and the properties are usually advertised right after termination is issued - and usually a new tenancy is signed at least a month before move-in.
4) Sorry, I have none. Check the classifieds. And always bring a German-speaking friend along for viewings and negotiations. (Agencies do not negotiate on your behalf!)
5) Furnished places are rare in Germany and cost a lot more than unfurnished. Better rent empty and buy your own stuff at Ikea or similar!
 
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