Tips help house-hunters feel right at home

The KMC Housing Office on Vogelweh, Bldg. 1001, offers these tips for finding and living in a house on the economy.

-The housing office maintains listings of available apartments, inspected to ensure adequacy, sanitation and rental value.
-Look for rentals in the classified ads in the base newspaper, the Kaiserslautern American, also online at
-Local real estate agents charge a finders fee of one month’s rent to locate a home.
-The housing office approves all rental agreements.
-House rules are an important part of a German rental agreement.
-Dress properly before meeting prospective landlords.
-Oral agreements are binding by German law. Don’t commit to an unaffordable rental contract.
-Many landlords speak English, but make sure everyone understands what is being said to avoid any misunderstandings.
-Rentals may not have built-in closets, kitchen cupboards or other standard items found in U.S. homes.
-Electrical current in Germany is 220 volts; therefore, transformers are needed to operate even small appliances. Transformers pull maximum wattage whether running an appliance or not.
-Rent and utility transactions are paid with euros, which means transaction costs vary as the dollar-to-euro daily exchange rate fluctuates. As the dollar value decreases, rent and utility costs increase.
-Utilities can be costly and often limited. Use them wisely.
-The Housing Office also provides assistance with utility companies as well as mediating landlord and tenant complaints.
-Cleanliness standards are typically high in Germany. Keep a clean home that is also clean when moving out.
-Get your landlord’s approval before subletting an apartment or taking in a roommate.
-Most Germans don’t mind if tenants improve an apartment or grounds, but get the landlord’s permission before making alterations, modifications or additions to the dwelling, garage or grounds. This includes permission prior to installing a satellite dish.
-Notify the housing office at least 60 days before you vacate a house or apartment.
-Notify your landlord at least 30 days prior to vacating.
For more information, contact housing at 489-6672, Monday to Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
(Courtesy of the KMC Housing Office)