Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Very Berlin Dilemma: How to get an Anmeldung when Subletting

Do these people look like they know what they're doing?
I am always so pleased when someone stumbles onto this blog and actually enjoys it, rather than leaving comments like "Nice article. Visit Winerpark". It is even better when someone leaves a comment or e-mails me directly (swoon!). This has happened in the past and I have been happy to dump my knowledge all over them.

How we ended up living in Berlin and were actually able to find a place to stay and jobs to pay for it is equal parts dumb determination and Berlin magic. I am no expert, but always willing to share.

So the latest call for help got me thinking and I didn't have a great solution. So I am submitting the question here (with the writer's permission) in case someone else has a better answer.

Question: How do you get an Anmeldung when Subletting? And good thing getting a permanent apartment in Berlin is so easy. (Germans, that is #sarcasm.)

Hi Ian and Ebe,

I just found your blog and absolutely love it!  It appears you aren't posting anymore, but I thought I'd reach out, in case you had any thoughts about a problem my husband and I are encountering with regard to registering for an apartment in Berlin.

We are moving to Berlin October 1st, with the hope of applying for a Blue Card Visa.  My husband is hoping to apply for work in the technical field so that we can stay long-term.
It appears the Visa application hinges on, among other things, registering an apartment in Berlin.  However, given that we only have 90 days to be there and make our case for a Visa, how the heck are you supposed to register for an apartment?  We booked an AirBnB for the 90 days, but the owner doesn't want us registering her apartment for the Visa (understandably).  How do most expats deal with this?

I hope all is well and that you are still loving Berlin!

My response,
So glad you are enjoying the blog. For a long time it was my main outlet, but now most my writing appears elsewhere, like on Germany Travel, German-Way and personal stuff about having a kid in Berlin on my tumblr. Clearly, I am still quite chatty and still in love with this city.

On to your question - it is true that the Anmeldung is going to be necessary for almost anything you need to do in Germany. Open a bank account, get a cell phone and yes, the visa. We subletted many, many apartments when we first arrived and registered at these places, but this is not an ideal situation. I don't think the Amt cares, but the sublets were probably without the permission of the actual landowner and this could - theoretically - bring that to the attention of the authorities. But we needed that paper and doing that got it done. I understand your AirBnB's worry with this and if they explicitly said no, I guess you probably shouldn't.

Also - you know that AirBnBs in Berlin are in a weird place right now? It is basically against the law to rent out your whole apartment ( a major bummer since we used to do that) and there have been threats of huge fines. I haven't heard of anyone actually effected, but be aware.

Back to what you should do....that is tough. You could register your current abode and it probably won't be a problem - probably. Hmmm, and actually this won't really work. An updated law from November 2015 requires written confirmation from the landlord that you have actually moved in within 2 weeks. Landlords are ready for this and ours had it ready same day, but in your situation...
Perhaps you could register at your husband's workplace? Contact the Amt directly? Do you have a friend you can say you are staying with? This could work - check out this Toytown thread:

And don't sweat doing it in 2 weeks. As I noted in the German-Way post, it is not as bad as it seems and the authorities really don't care if you over the time frame.

So, yeah. I don't have a definite answer for her.  Our hobo method worked for us, but it is far from the perfect solution. Does anyone have experience with this or have better answer?

UPDATE: The original questioner wrote back that their sublet relented and is letting them register there. I have also heard on different forums that certain hostels will agree to sign documents. SO perhaps the situation is not as dire as first thought. Good luck out there newbies!


Anonymous said...

Hey there,

is it hard to get a language visa in germany? I want to improve my german language skill and at the same time sightseeing tour trough berlin.
I already found a language school in berlin what do you think.

I looking for you help and advise ^^

Heather Richter said...

Just wanted to say thanks for the blog...
I am trying to register my address in Germany
and having problems ----
My residence is through AirBnB and my landlord
won't sign the form...
(says it isn't a permanent address...)
Your blog has given me some ideas to
for the Anmeldung...

Just wanted to say thanks!!!!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008