Are you looking for a place to rent and the new landlord wants a Mietschulden-freiheits-bescheinigung from you?

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A “Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung” is a certificate provided by a previous landlord in Germany that confirms a tenant has no outstanding rental debts with them.

Many landlords in Germany request this document to ensure that prospective tenants have a reliable rental payment history and don’t owe any money to their previous landlords.

No, landlords in Germany are not legally obligated to issue a this confirmation. However, it’s generally considered good practice for landlords to provide it if all rental obligations have been met.

While not all landlords may demand it, it is a commonly accepted document when applying for rental properties. It’s a way for landlords to verify a tenant’s rental payment history.

Generally landlords do not charge for issuing such a certification. However, occasionally there have been cases where landlords demand a small fee for their time and expenses. Providing them with a pre-filled certificate ready for signature not only avoids such demands but also readies a smooth and quick process.

The certificate does not have a specific expiration date, but it’s recommended to get a recent one when applying for new housing to ensure its relevancy.

Typically, German landlords prefer a certificate from a previous landlord within Germany. However, some might accept one from a non-German landlord, especially if it’s accompanied by other proofs of reliable payment.

If you’re a newcomer to Germany and have never rented before in the country, you can explain this to the prospective landlord. You might consider providing references or rental history from your home country or offering other proofs of financial stability.