Why Don’t German Apartments Have Kitchens?

If you have been looking for an apartment in Germany, you might have noticed that they often rented without furniture and sometimes without a kitchen. It can be a perfect apartment, with beautiful windows, floors, bathroom but what about the kitchen? So why don’t Germans have kitchens in apartments?

German landlords aren’t obliged to fit kitchens in apartments before renting them out. Therefore, it often falls on the shoulder of the tenant to organize the kitchen and other equipment for a new home.

The majority of the population in Germany lives in rental properties, often they don’t change homes for many years. Thus, some people don’t mind investing in their own furniture, including the kitchen. In fact, not having a kitchen can be even beneficial to the tenant. Read more about the topic of missed kitchens in this article.

If you are about to buy a new kitchen for your German apartment, read this article before.

Why does Germany’s kitchen culture not worry landlords when they rent apartments?

A furnished kitchen

Foreign tenants looking for German apartments get very surprised when they come across a place without a kitchen. In fact, many apartments don’t have a furnished kitchen, foreigners especially from other European countries find this German culture a relatively new phenomenon interesting.

The kitchen will be completely empty: no kitchen countertop, no kitchen sink. Obviously, it makes no sense to rent apartments without a kitchen. But landlords and German tenants think differently.

From the owner’s perspective, not having a kitchen is simply cheaper than having a kitchen. If the landlord provides an equipped kitchen and, for example, the refrigerator or stove breaks, the landlord must ensure the replacement.

Many homeowners simply don’t want to face this financial risk. In some cases, they rent their property completely empty: no kitchen, or washing machine. You just rent the four walls.

Besides, the majority of the population in the country is living in rental properties. And it’s the common practice when tenants move the kitchen with them when moving in and moving out. Moreover, they often have other main furniture in their baggage.

It’s quite strange, but people in Germany prefer to have their own furniture rather than live in a fully equipped place. Many prefer to have a kitchen installed according to their individual needs. Besides that, renting is much more common in Germany than owning a property.

In fact, many people live in one flat for many years and even decades. Tenant rights ensure that it’s pretty much impossible to kick them out as long as they pay their rent and follow some basic rules. 

As a result, tenants treat it like their own property, which often means they have their own kitchen and furniture. They don’t hesitate to invest in the equipment for the flat, knowing that they will be living there for a long time.

Tenants would invest more in a kitchen than the average landlord would be willing to invest in a rental. However, this can be a trouble for many home seekers, since even a cheap fitted kitchen easily costs several thousand EUR.

These expenses then add up to the moving costs: including the deposit, transportation of the furniture, and possible renovations. As an expat or international student, seeking housing for a few years, you definitely want to avoid this cost burden.

Nevertheless, only about 10% of rented apartments in Germany don’t have a kitchen, meaning 90% of them have one!

Lots of apartments do come with fully functional kitchens,light fixtures and some are even fully furnished with electrical outlets. Or you can often buy the kitchen from the previous tenant, or buy your own from a furniture store like IKEA.

Looking for the internet provider for your new apartment in Germany? Check out this article!

German law regarding the kitchen in the apartment


You might think, aren’t tenants entitled to a functional kitchen? Do landlords have to provide a kitchen when renting out the apartment?

The answer is that German landlords aren’t obliged to fit kitchens in apartments before renting them out. However, the room intended as a kitchen must-have connections for water, electricity, and possibly gas.

Hence, it often falls on the shoulder of the tenant to organize the kitchen and other equipment for a new home.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule, and it’s Berlin! According to the Berlin Housing Supervision Act, all rented apartments in the German capital must be equipped with cooking facilities and at least one sink. However, it doesn’t apply to apartments and houses for sale, they can be empty.

Nonetheless, tenants in Berlin aren’t entitled to a stove with an oven or a high-quality stainless steel sink. So some places will have just simple equipment, like a camping stove or 2 hotplates.

Of course, all equipment that is included in the kitchen will influence the amount of rent, the less you have the less you pay.

How Much Does Kitchen Cost in Germany (with Installation)?

Pros of not having a kitchen in the apartment

But look, not having a kitchen in the rented apartment can also give you some benefits, here are some of them:

  • Lower rent
  • It makes sense to buy your own kitchen if the rental agreement is for many years
  • Tenants have room for negotiation when buying a kitchen
  • Tenants choose the kitchen and its price
  • Apartments without a kitchen have less demand – they are easier to get as a tenant

Usually, apartments equipped with a fitted kitchen cost 50 EUR to 100 EUR per month more expensive than those without a kitchen.

If you, for example, intend to live in the new apartment for more than 5 years, landlords will calculate the depreciation of the kitchen within 5-10 years.

Therefore, a tenant could save 50 EUR on the rent and finance the kitchen himself with a monthly rate of 50 EUR, and turn it into a profit after 5-7 years.

Moreover, you can sell it to the next tenant when moving out, especially if it is well-maintained and kept in neutral colors. Or maybe the owner buys it directly from you.

To protect your expensive kitchen and other valuable items in the apartment or house, you need to get household content insurance, which is just 2,5 EUR per month, but can save you so much!

It will protect furniture, electronics, and other valuables from theft, fire, or disaster. Get covered with Feather – an insurance provider for expats in Germany.

At the same time, tenants can select and configure a kitchen according to their ideas and tastes, or bring an existing kitchen with them. You will determine the price of the new kitchen.

an apartment without a kitchen

Whether your apartment has or doesn’t have a kitchen, you need liability insurance to protect yourself from debt. It will cover all damages and issues which happen within the 4 walls of your home.

What is included in the personal liability insurance (Privathaftpflichtversicherung)?

  • Damage to the apartment you live in (doors, floors, and walls, but not your own things) For example, if your washing machine breaks, floods your apartment, and destroys the wooden floor, the insurance company will pay for the repairs.
  • Damage to other people’s property
  • Injuries caused to other people

Get the cheapest coverage for just 2 EUR per month here.

Are you considering buying apartments in Germany instead of renting? Just out detailed article about buying a property as a foreigner in Germany. Keep in mind that almost all homes for sale come without a fitted kitchen.

If you want to sell out your apartment or house without real estate agent fees check out McMakler.de – Germany’s largest company to sell out the house, apartment, land or other property effortlessly as an owner. Your property will be assessed and sold on your behalf by the best professionals in the field of German real estate. Read over 2,000 positive reviews about the company here

Where to buy a kitchen living in Germany?

You have rented or bought a perfect apartment in Germany, but it doesn’t have a kitchen? Then you need to know the best places to look for a kitchen in Germany, they include:

  • IKEA – Furniture and house supplies store
  • Pocco – Discount furniture and house supplies store
  • eBay Kleinanzeigen – For used furniture and all home equipment including the kitchen. The most popular peer-to-peer website in Germany, comparable to Craigslist.
  • Otto.de – Large online furniture retailer
  • Roller
  • Sconto
  • Pocco
  • Baumarkts: Obi, Hornbach, etc.

In addition to these big brands, every city has small shops/studios which specialize in kitchens and their designs.

The prices are usually higher there, but so are the quality of furniture and consultation. Don’t look for a cheap kitchen set up there, the price will be in the middle, to the upper segment.

If you need items for a bedroom we recommend Dänisches Bettenlager, they have the most affordable and quality products at the same time.

Wondering how much your new kitchen will cost in Germany? Read the full in-depth article about the price of kitchen and kitchen installation here.

Finance the new kitchen in just a few years 

If you don’t have enough funds to finance your kitchen in Germany, you can take a simple personal loan. Simply apply for an online loan with Auxmoney, they give loans to foreign nationals and have minimal requirements. You can borrow between 1,000 EUR and 50,000 EUR for a duration between 12 and 84 months.

Best Personal Loan in Germany

Where to find the best furniture and home amenities in Germany?

Kitchen amenities

If you need to equip your apartment or house with other furniture, you can check the above websites as well. Moreover, all house supplies and garden items can be found in these shops.

We especially recommend Ikea, Otto, and Baumarkts: Obi, Hornbach.

Do furnished apartments exist in Germany?

A furnished apartment

Yes, they absolutely exist, and in fact, in Berlin landlords are obliged to have a kitchen in the apartment when renting it out. As we have mentioned previously, 90% of all German apartments are equipped with a kitchen, so don’t worry about that.

Nonetheless, another problem with rentals in Germany is that they aren’t completely furnished. Real estate agent tells you of an offer on an apartment with a kitchen, a toilet, and a fully equipped bathroom, but what about the rest?

Hence, you might have a kitchen but need to buy or bring all other pieces of furniture yourself.

Well, many Germans prefer to rent furnished homes and even rooms, but I don’t think you want to do it as an expat or international student. Having your own furniture is just having more baggage.

But according to the statistics, the amount of furnished apartments in Germany is increasing every year, especially in big cities. For example, in Berlin, a third of all apartments are furnished. People are moving around more and more and don’t want to carry all these items with them.

Nonetheless, this rising trend can also be disadvantageous for tenants, rent prices are increasing with the furniture. If we look at the difference in rent between furnished and unfurnished apartments, it’s almost twice as expensive.

Check out the article about best websites to find an apartment in Germany.

Searching for an apartment in Germany

Apartments for rent

To find an apartment with a kitchen or without (whether you prefer), you need to know a few abbreviations to watch out for in the ad.

In regard to the kitchen look for the word EBK – (Einbauküche), which means fitted kitchen. A normal unfurnished apartment in Germany doesn’t contain any furnishings at all but may have a built-in kitchen (EBK).

If you want a furnished apartment look out the word Möbiliert – furnished, Unmöbiliert – unfurnished.

  • EBK – fitted kitchen
  • Möbiliert — furnished

Where to search for a place? The best websites to look for an apartment in Germany include:

  • Immobilienscout24
  • Immowelt.de
  • Ebay-Kleinanzeigen
  • Immonet.de
  • WG-Gesucht
  • Wohnungsboerse.de
  • Meinestadt.de

If you are looking in Berlin, check out Wunderflats – a startup from the German capital. They have over 55,000 completely furnished apartments, which are mostly located in Berlin.

Check out the article about best websites to find apartment in Germany.

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