03 Jul Berlin Accommodations Understanding Cold vs Warm Rent
Warm and Cold Rent?
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OK you’ve made the big decision to uproot your life and move to Berlin or another city in Germany. You start looking around and you see two similar places, one renting for 550€ warm, the other 600€ warm.
Why the difference?
Understanding Cold vs Warm Rent
Perhaps one of the most confusing aspects of renting in Germany is the idea of cold vs warm rent (kaltmiete und warmmiete). When you rent a property in the US or UK you’ll see the rent listed clearly. Germans do it different.
Typically in English speaking countries it would be rent plus utilities with the idea that utilities are the tenants responsibility.
The main distinction in Germany is that utilities are billed to the landlord who than passes those costs on to the tenant in the form of nebenkosten or NK.
So cold rent is exactly the same as elsewhere, it’s what you pay in rent each month to the landlord.
Warm rent is the cold rent plus utilities.
End of each year your landlord will send you the Betriebskostenabrechnung or account statement.
Now NK is not just the utilities but also all the running costs that the landlord is allowed to pass on to you. It will be summarized for you along with a letter saying if you owe money or get a refund.
Please see for more details