Are you moving to Berlin? OR HAVE YOU JUST ARRIVED? IF SO, WELCOME TO BERLIN!
I wrote this guide to housing in Berlin during COVID: How-to guide after arriving in Berlin in August 2020, between the two COVID lockdowns. This guide should help you find useful information to know when moving to Berlin, including also the particularities to take into account during the coronavirus period.
I was lucky enough to work for Colonies, which provides studio flats with friendly designed spaces in very nice places like Rosenthaler Platz or Prenzlauer-Berg, but unfortunately I was not lucky enough and missed the last available studios in Berlin! Maybe you are luckier than me, you can check them out [here](https://livecolonies.com/germany)!
No studio available for you either? Don't panic, I've put together a list of websites to help you find accommodation in Berlin easily. Be prepared though, the housing search is notoriously tense in Berlin. You will most likely have to sublet several times at first - I'm on my 5th sublet in 3 months - and then wait to get your Schufa (the Schufa is the paper proving you are a resident, for which you have to register).
When I arrived in mid-August, I had the impression (and Berliners told me so) that people were leaving Berlin rather than arriving in the city during the COVID period, which I thought would help me find a flat more easily. Not true! People may be leaving the city temporarily, but they are also keeping their rentals very secure more than ever, hence the subletting of their flats or "Tausch"-ing (means: swapping, you'll see this a lot on the ads!). Any visit to a two-room flat is in high demand so you will probably meet a lot of people and have to queue to visit.
Queue for a viewing of a flat a fortnight ago.House hunting is currently known to be tense.
Here are the housing websites that you should know about and that you can locate for a search:
WG-gesucht (the vast majority of accommodation options happen there) I would focus on WG gesucht as it is really the main channel used for accommodation here in Berlin.
Facebook groups: very often small communities are created by people from the same country. You should probably do a search in Facebook for your home country + "Berlin". The ones I use the most are the French speaking groups: Les français et francophones de Berlin **or **Les Berlineuses.
What I strongly recommend to find a suitable room is to :
Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a flat.
Be flexible: want to live alone? Try the real WG experience and increase your radar to different types of accommodation (like Coliving)
Prepare a short presentation of yourself in English - or in German if you speak German - which you can already register on WG-gesucht and Immoscout.
Don't forget to include: Your name, age, nationality, what brings you to Berlin, where you will be working, what is your daily routine, what kind of WG are you looking for and until when?
Wer bist du?Introductory texts should be user-friendly, useful and concise.
Set up email alerts to receive new offers in the areas that interest you!
Create a profile that doesn't look sketchy. I strongly encourage you to put a picture of yourself, you'll have a better chance of getting responses.
Be the first to send your application as soon as you receive an alert. This will make a big difference in the number of responses you get. Think of it as a classic "first come, first served" system.
Spend some time looking at WG-gesucht, you can sometimes get some good surprises by looking through some of the ads (especially reading the descriptions of rooms that are advertised without photos).
Remember that visits often take place at inconvenient times if you work during the day. They can take place at any time between 9pm and 6pm. Thanks to COVID, some tours are fortunately virtual, which will save you time. For example, we offer full 360° virtual tours of our shared studios on our website. In other cases, you can make an introductory call or a virtual tour via Whatsapp / Facetime. This allows you and the landlord to get a feel for each other by meeting virtually and to make sure that you agree on the expectations of both parties.
DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK WHEN VISITING A FLAT?
In any case, you should always have a clean mask in your pocket. You will need it when walking or cycling on [certain streets](https://www.thelocal.de/20201022/these-10-berlin-streets-require-a-face-mask-be-worn), when using public transport, when entering a shop. You should also always be careful to respect the risk aversion of others to the coronavirus. So when you visit a flat or room, make sure you wear your mask. But don't worry, you will still be greeted and maybe even stay for a beer afterwards.
We hope this guide will help you settle in and enjoy Berlin from day one.
Check here for availability in our colivings. If we are full, you can always join our waiting list to be the first to know when a room is available!
We at Colonies hope you have a great time in Berlin!