Alright… a new experience is knocking on your door and you are ready for it! An exciting future awaits and you have decided to move on and leave Germany, but… do you remember all the administrative things you had to do when you arrived here?
I have some news for you: All those administrative things will come back to you before you leave the country.
Yes… Germans love administrative processes 😊
To be prepare to deal with all these tasks, I have prepared the following list for you. Before checking it, please be aware that many contracts in Germany have clauses where it is said that you have a notice period of -usually- 3 months before the renewal date.
And now…your checklist for leaving Germany:
In my opinion, this should be one of the first things you should take care of.
Usually, the maximum notice period is 3 calendar months. Unless your contract stipulates different conditions.
The Mietvertragskündigung – or the official tenancy termination notice – should include a short explanation with your reasons to leave the apartment, it also must be signed and it must be sent per post to the landlord.
Phone and internet providers
To cancel your internet or phone contract can be a nightmare in Germany.
Most customers are on fixed-term contracts, which means that they are on 24 months with automatic 12 months renewal contracts. In this case you have to check the notice period written in your contract. For example, I have a notice period of 4 months before the renewal. If the renewal takes places the 1st of October, I have to cancel it before June.
If you are lucky enough to have a pay-as-you-go monthly contract, it will be easy to cancel it. Just send a letter to the provider or try doing it online.
Another nightmare for many expats who are relocating to another country is to cancel their gym membership.
Yes, if you thought that relocation would be a good reason to quit a contract… I’m sorry! Not in Germany!
Some of my friends – ok, almost all of them – had problems with this point. Therefore, my recommendation is to try to persuade the gym staff to accept your cancellation or try to make a deal with them. A friend of mine agreed to pay a certain amount of money so that they cancel the contract…
Another idea could be that someone you know take on your contract terms. A friend of mine did it and it worked! 😊
Moving abroad is not consider as an extraordinary right to terminate an insurance contract. Surprised?
In this case you should follow the regular procedures. Therefore, you have to send a termination letter to you insurance – signed and per post, German style 😉.
Usually, this written document should be sent 3 months before renewal. However, each insurance is different so you should better take a look at your contract to be sure.
In my personal opinion, this should be one of the last things you should take care of.
To close your bank account either you send a written letter to the bank or you go to a bank branch with the letter.
The process is automatic and really fast, which means that once you start it, your account will be closed in less than 24 hours. So please, remember to remove all the money from the account before.
Easy and straightforward. The process is similar to the one you did when you entered the flat or when you moved to another flat within Germany.
On the day you move out, you have to read the meters and give them to your utilities providers. In case your landlord is the responsible of sending this information to the utilities provider, you just need to read the meters and share them with him.
GEZ or TV tax
The advantage of moving abroad is that you stop paying the €17.50 per month, that every resident in Germany is obliged to pay.
This must be formally cancelled on their website: Rundfunkbeitrag. They will probably ask you for your Abmeldung.
Do you remember when you came to Germany and you did the Anmeldung? (You can take a look at my experience here)
Well, now it is time to do the opposite: The Abmeldung.
How does it work?
You have to inform your local municipality when you are leaving the flat. Same way you did when you moved to a new flat. In this case, instead of showing the contract of your new apartment, you will need to prove that you are leaving the country. Therefore, you can use your one-way flight ticket and your new address.
Once you have done this, they will kindly ask you to leave the country in a time frame of one or two weeks – depending on the region you live. So I recommend you to do not do the Abmeldung until the last moment (6-5 days before leaving Germany).
Here comes the hardest part… Your beloved apartment… The place where you had so much fun, good times, good experiences… It is time to say goodbye… There are so many things you have to take into account before leaving an apartment in Germany… In fact, I could write a post explaining how moving out of your apartment in Germany works. However, I am just going to focus in the last moments and administrative tasks you must do just before living it.
The day you move out, the landlord will come to inspect the property and to be sure that there is no damage. If everything is right and the landlord considers that the apartment is in good condition, you will receive your security deposit. Otherwise, he will keep it and you won’t see this money ever again ☹
After the inspection, it is time for the Schlüsselübergabeprotokoll, when you give the keys back to the landlord and you both sign a paper confirming that everything is fine. This document should contain the following information:
- That the apartment is in good condition
- That the lardlord has received all the keys of the apartment
- The approximate date when you will receive the deposit back
Once this protocol is done, you are free to go to start your new adventure 😊
Do you have experience moving out from Germany? Is there any other recommendation you think I should include in this post?
In case you want to share your experience feel free to leave a comment below or to contact me via social network. I am alway thrilled to read your adventures!
*Please, note that I am not an English native speaker. Therefore, you may find some spelling mistakes in this post. Feel free to let me know it and help me improve my English level.