Security deposit

The security deposit is a payment tenants make to landlords. It serves as a security in case tenants cause damage to the property. The amount of the deposit is typically between 1-2 months' rent, tenants can see it in the cost overview section of each apartment listing on Wunderflats.

Before moving in to the apartment, tenants have to pay both the deposit and the first month's rent into the landlord's bank account. The refund happens after the rental agreement ends. In Germany, landlords are not obliged to refund the rental deposit immediately after the tenant moves out. According to the law, they have a processing period to check the property, including for any damages that were not apparent when the tenant handed it over.

The processing period is typically between 3 and 6 months. This can be extended in exceptional cases where contracts specify the building's operating costs, and the yearly operating cost statement isn't available yet. Landlords must inform tenants after 6 months, and deposits must be returned within 12 months. 

In most cases, deposits are returned faster. To make sure this can happen smoothly, it's best practice for tenants and landlords to agree on a timeline, and to sign an apartment handover protocol at the start of the tenancy.

You can find further advice on managing deposits in Germany in our guide for tenants, and our guide for landlords.

Wunderflats is not a contractual party to the rental agreements. Therefore, the deposit can neither be transferred to Wunderflats nor refunded by Wunderflats to the tenants.

Please note: This article does not constitute legal advice – the information on this page has been prepared solely for your information. As we are not a law firm and act as a platform, we can and may share our estimations, but we cannot give you legal advice for your individual further proceedings.