EN
DE
FR

The Confirmation of Residence for mid-term rentals in Germany: what landlords need to know

What is the landlord’s confirmation of residence all about? When do you have to issue this document and which regulations apply?

A landlord’s confirmation of residence (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung, aka. ‘proof of residence certificate’) is an important document for many tenants. It confirms that the tenant has moved into an apartment and that she/he is now a resident in this location. As a landlord in Germany, you make your apartment available for rent and must therefore issue the confirmation of residence. The tenant can use it to register at the respective residents’ registration office (Anmeldung).

In your apartment listing on Wunderflats, you as a landlord can specify the confirmation of residence as a feature of your apartment. Especially for tenants moving to Germany from abroad, this is a key factor when renting an apartment. But what exactly is meant by this, and when, as a landlord do you have to issue this confirmation of residence? 

In this article, we will explain what the landlord’s confirmation of residence is all about, when you have to issue the document, and which regulations apply. We will also show you its advantages for you and for your tenants. Our practical template for the landlord’s confirmation of residence makes it easy to fill out. Download the form for the landlord’s confirmation as a pdf (in German) here.

What is the confirmation of residence (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung)?

With the landlord’s confirmation of residence or confirmation of move-in, you as a landlord certify to your tenants that they have moved into the apartment. Tenants need this confirmation in order to register with the Residents’ Registration Office (Anmeldung), for which the Federal Registration Act (Bundesmeldegesetz BMG) stipulates a period of two weeks (§ 17 Para. 1 Sentence 1 BMG). 

According to the Federal Registration Act, as a landlord you have the obligation to cooperate in the official registration of your tenants and to issue them with a confirmation of residence (§ 19 Para. 1 Sentence 1 BMG). This applies to both unfurnished and furnished apartments and is irrelevant to whether the tenancy is for an unlimited or limited period.

Do I have to issue a confirmation of residence, when am I a landlord? 

In principle, the person who rents out the apartment is the landlord and must issue the confirmation of residence. If he/she does not do so, does not do so correctly or does not do so in time, this is an offence under the Federal Registration Act (§ 54 Para. 2 No. 3 BMG). This applies both if you rent out your apartment as the owner and if you are a tenant yourself and sublet your rented apartment.

If you are subletting an apartment you have rented, please remember to obtain permission from your landlord beforehand. We explain these and other regulations in our article Subletting – What you need to know.

As a landlord, you do not have to issue the landlord’s confirmation of residence personally. You can also commission another person or a property management company to do so

When do I have to issue the confirmation of residence?

According to the Federal Registration Act, you as the landlord in Germany have 14 days after the tenant has moved in to issue them with the landlord’s confirmation of residence. If possible, you should do this immediately when the tenant moves in, preferably when you hand over the apartment.

For their part, the tenants in Germany are required by law to register with the authorities within 14 days.

An exception applies to apartments located in a place of accommodation. 

What regulations apply to apartments in accommodation establishments?

Accommodation establishments are all “establishments which serve to accommodate persons on a commercial or business basis” (§ 29 Para. 1 Sentence 1 BMG), for example, apartments in apartment hotels or registered vacation homes. 

If it is an apartment in an accommodation establishment, there are some exceptions regarding the confirmation of residence. For tenants in accommodation establishments, other deadlines apply for official registration. A distinction is made between tenants who already have an apartment in Germany and have registered their residence there, and persons who do not yet have a residence in Germany:

  • Tenants in an accommodation establishment who already have a residence in Germany do not have to register as residents in the rented apartment if the rental period is less than six months. As soon as their stay exceeds six months, they must register with the authorities in the apartment within 14 days. 
  • Tenants in an accommodation establishment who do not yet have a residence in Germany do not have to register as residents in the rented apartment if the rental period is less than three months. Only if they stay in the apartment longer, they must register there officially within 14 days

    after the expiration of the three months.

As a landlord of an accommodation establishment, you must have your tenants fill out and sign a special registration form when they move in, which contains, among other things, information about the person as well as arrival and departure dates (§ 29 Para. 2 Sentence 1 BMG, § 30 Para. 2 BMG). At the end of the three or six months, you are obliged to issue your tenants with a confirmation of residence for registration with the registration office (§ 19 Para. 1 Sentence 2 BMG). For shorter stays, however, you as the landlord of an accommodation establishment are not obliged to issue a landlord’s confirmation of residence. 

What information must the confirmation of residence contain? 

The Federal Registration Act regulates which information must be listed in the confirmation of residence (§ 19 Para. 3 BMG). Accordingly, it must contain the following:

  • Name and address of the person providing the accommodation, i.e. the landlord or the authorised person. 
  • If the person issuing the confirmation is not the owner/s of the dwelling, the name of the owner/s of the dwelling must be stated.
  • Move-in date of the tenant/s
  • Address of the rented apartment
  • Names of all persons moving into the apartment
  • Signature of the landlord

Use our landlord confirmation form to quickly and easily fill out the confirmation of residence for your tenants.

There is no officially prescribed form for the confirmation of residence. It is important that the information listed above is included.

Why is the confirmation of residence important for tenants? 

Your tenants need the landlord’s confirmation of residence when they register their residence at the Residents’ Registration Office (Anmeldung). 

When registering, your tenants receive an official registration certificate. They need this, for example, to open a bank account or often to sign a mobile phone contract. Both are particularly important for tenants who are moving to Germany from abroad. They may need a bank account so that their salary can be transferred to them.

In addition, tenants from abroad who register as residents in Germany for the first time receive a tax ID when they register. This is required by the employer for the calculation of income tax. Tenants also need the registration confirmation and tax ID in order to take out membership in a health insurance fund. Students from abroad often have to present a health insurance policy in order to enrol at a German university.

The majority of tenants who are interested in temporary furnished apartments come to Germany from abroad. Currently, this is about 60 % of all Wunderflats tenants. They move their place of residence temporarily, for a limited work contract or a study stay. About 40 % of all tenants who have rented an apartment through Wunderflats are moving into an apartment in Germany for the first time. For them, the key factor in deciding on an apartment is often the fact that they can register with the authorities there. This enables them to conclude the contracts that are essential for starting out in Germany.

As a landlord, what do I gain from issuing my tenants with a confirmation of residence?

By issuing a confirmation of residence, you support your tenants to work or study where they want. 

This not only promotes a good relationship with your tenants. If your city or municipality has a ban on the misuse of residential space (Zweckentfremdung), the official registration of your tenants is also an important factor for the misuse-compliant rental of furnished apartments for a limited period of time. Many authorities interpret it as an indication of the use of the apartment for actual living if the tenants have registered their residence there. In Düsseldorf and Aachen for example, the requirement that tenants register with the authorities is explicitly stated in the respective misuse statutes.

You can find detailed information on the topic of misuse of residential space, including information on the regulations in your city, in our article An overview of misuse of residential space for temporary furnished living

What happens if I do not issue a confirmation of residence?

If you do not issue a confirmation of residence correctly or in time, this is an offence that can be punished with a fine of up to € 1,000 (§ 54 Para. 2 No. 3 BMG). Tenants who do not receive the landlord’s confirmation of residence or do not receive it in time can inform the registration office. The authority will then contact you as the landlord and ask you to issue the confirmation of residence.

How is the confirmation of residence sent to the registration authorities?

Tenants must hand in the landlord’s confirmation of residence to the relevant registration office. Alternatively, you as the landlord can send the confirmation electronically directly to the authority. After the electronic notification, you will receive an allocation note from the authority that you can provide to your tenants for use when registering.

If you would like to use this method of submission, contact the registration office responsible for the district in which your apartment is located directly. In some cases, the registration offices offer citizen service portals on their websites, for example, where you can register and then submit the confirmation of residence. 

As a landlord, you can inquire free of charge at the registration office whether your tenants have actually registered as living in the apartment (§19 Para. 1 Sentence 3 BMG).

How can I refer to the landlord’s confirmation of residence in my listing on Wunderflats?

If you rent out your furnished apartment on a temporary basis with Wunderflats, you can specify in your listing that you issue a confirmation of residence. To do this, select the item “Landlord confirmation” under “Services” when you create or edit your listing. The landlord’s confirmation of residence will then be displayed to the apartment seekers as a feature of the apartment.

How to create a professional listing for your furnished apartment and thereby find the right tenants, we explain in our article The perfect apartment listing: How to rent out your furnished apartment successfully.

The most important information about the landlord’s confirmation of residence at a glance

  • According to the Federal Registration Act, you as a landlord are obliged to issue your tenants with a confirmation of residence (§ 19 Para. 1 Sentence 1 BMG) in Germany. This applies regardless of whether the apartment is furnished or unfurnished and whether it is rented for a limited or unlimited period. If you do not do this, you commit an offence (§ 54 Para. 2 No. 3 BMG). This can be punished with a fine of up to € 1,000 (ibid.).
  • You must also issue a confirmation of residence if the furnished apartment is located in an accommodation establishment as soon as your tenants stay in the apartment for more than three months (in the case of tenants without another residence in Germany) or six months (in the case of tenants with another residence in Germany). 
  • You support your tenants with the confirmation of residence when they arrive in their new home. Your tenants need the confirmation to register with the residents’ registration office. This is usually the basis for concluding numerous contracts that are important for life in Germany, such as a bank account, mobile phone or health insurance.
  • For you as a landlord, it is advantageous if your tenants register their residence in your apartment (Anmeldung). This is an important criterion for the authorities that you are renting out your furnished apartment for a limited period of time.
  • At best, issue your tenants with a landlord’s confirmation of residence immediately when they move in, preferably when you hand over the apartment
  • Actively point out the landlord’s confirmation of residence in your listing on Wunderflats. This can be a key factor in the decision to rent your apartment, especially for tenants from abroad. 
  • To make the process as easy as possible, download our template for the landlord confirmation as a pdf here.

Learn more about Wunderflats here or create your listing now.

Please note: The contents of this page have been prepared for your information and the law firm Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek has been commissioned to check the legal correctness of the German version of this article. However, this posting does not replace legal advice. For legal advice in your specific case, please contact a law firm. With more than 400 lawyers, tax advisors and notaries at eight locations in Germany, the law firm Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek can quickly help you. Contact Dr. Marcus Georg Tischler, our Wunderflats contact person on site. He will connect you with the appropriate expert in the law firm who will take care of your individual concern when you submit a request.

Share:

More Posts