Go to the homepage of this German Course Chapter 12: Finding a flat University of Portsmouth
12.20 Advertisements for accommodation

Accommodation advertisementsDeciphering advertisements
German accommodation advertisements do not refer to the number of bedrooms in flats and houses, but to square metres of floor space (das Quadratmeter; m²). Floor space is also the means by which most rents for rooms in "Wohngemeinschaften" are usually calculated. You might for example see a phrase such as "65m² Wohnfläche", which means "65 square metres of living space". This living space normally comprises living room, dining room and bedroom(s).

Adverts may also refer to the total number of rooms in a residence - excluding the bathroom, hall and kitchen. So if you want a flat with a living room, a dining room and two bedrooms, then look for adverts with (4 Zimmer), or as the abbreviation in advertisements would have it (4Zi).

Note too the distinction between between "kalt" and "warm" when referring to rent. This has nothing to do with how warm or cold the building is, but instead whether the rent includes heating bills (warm) or excludes them (kalt). Make sure that you are aware of how much rent you are patying and what your rights and responsibilities are before you sign the lease (der Mietvertrag).

Study the contract with care!

Advertisement abbreviations
The abbreviations used in accommodation advertisements are often as confusing to Germans as they are to non-native speakers. Below is a table of the most common abbreviations:

AB  Altbau 
(old building) 
Abstand  Abstand 
(money paid for renovation done by previous tenant) 
Ap.  Appartement 
At.  Atelier 
B.  Bad 
Balk.  Balkon 
BK  Betriebskosten 
(service costs) 
ca.  circa 
DG  Dachgeschoss 
DI  Diele 
3er-WG  Dreier-Wohngemeinschaft 
(three-person shared flat) 
Du.  Dusche 
EBK  Einbauküche 
(fitted kitchen) 
EFH  Einfamilienhaus 
(detached house) 
EG  Erdgeschoss 
(ground floor) 
erford.  erforderlich 
FbH  Fußbodenheizung 
(underfloor heating) 
Ga.  Garten 
Gar.  Garage 
gemütl.  gemütlich 
gepfl.  gepflegt 
(well looked after) 
gfl.  gefliest 
HH  Hinterhaus 
(building behind courtyard) 
Hk.  Heizkosten 
(heating costs) 
Ka.  Kamin 
Kab.  Kabel-TV 
(cable television) 
kalt  Kaltmiete 
(excluding heating costs) 
KDB  Küche, Dusche, Bad 
(kitchen, shower, bath) 
kft.  komfortabel 
Kl.  Keller 
KM  Kaltmiete 
(rent excluding heating costs) 
KN  Kochnische 
Kt.  Kaution 
Kü.  Küche 
m²  Quadratmeter 
(square metre) 
max.  maximal 
(a maximum of) 
mind.  mindestens 
(at least) 
MM  Monatsmiete 
(month's rent) 
Mn.  Maisonette 
möbl.  möbliert 
mtl.  monatlich 
MVZ  Mietvorauszahlung 
(rent to be paid in advance) 
NB  Neubau 
(new building) 
NK  Nebenkosten 
(additional costs) 
NR  Nichtraucher 
od.  oder 
(2.) OG.  (zweites) Obergeschoss 
(second) floor 
OH  Ofenheizung 
(coal oven heating) 
Öl.  Ölheizung 
(oil heating) 
Pk.  Parkettboden 
(parquet flooring) 
Prov.  Provision 
qm.  Quadratmeter 
(square metre) 
ren.  renoviert 
RH  Reihenhaus 
(terrace house) 
Rm.  Raum 
ruh.  ruhig 
SFL  Seitenflügel 
(side wing of building with courtyard) 
son.  sonnig 
Sou.  Souterrain 
Tel.  Telefon 
Tep.  Teppichboden 
(wall-to-wall carpet) 
Terr.  Terrasse 
TG  Tiefgarage 
(underground car park) 
t-möb.  teilmöbliert 
(partially furnished) 
verm.  vermieten 
(to let) 
vg.  verkehrsgünstig 
(close to public transport) 
VH  Vorderhaus 
(building with street frontage) 
v-möb.  voll möbliert 
(fulliy furnished) 
vorh.  vorhanden 
(present; available) 
warm  Warmmiete 
(including heating costs) 
W-B  Wannenbad 
(bath tub) 
WBS  Wohnberichtigungsschein 
(permit for subsidised housing) 
Wfl.  Wohnfläche 
(living space) 
WG  Wohngemeinschaft 
(shared flat / house) 
Whg.  Wohnung 
WM  Warmmiete 
(rent including heating costs) 
Wm.  Waschmaschine 
(washing machine) 
ZH  Zentralheizung 
(central heating) 
Zi.  Zimmer 
2 Zi.-Whg.  Zweizimmerwohnung 
(two-room flat) 
2 ZKDB  Zwei Zimmer, Küche, Diele, Bad 
(two rooms, kitchen, hall, bathroom) 
2er-WG  Zweier-Wohngemeinschaft 
(two-person shared flat) 
zzgl.  zuzüglich 

Test yourself!
You can test yourself on your knowledge of these abbreviations by clicking on the bar below:

Other advertisement vocabulary
Here is a list of further words and phrases that you may encounter in reader German advertisements. Whether the accommodation itself lives up to the description is a separate matter!

das Angebot (-e)  offer 
ausziehen (sep.)  to move out 
baldig  quick; early 
bequem  comfortable 
die Besichtigung (-en)  viewing 
bestens  excellently; very well 
beziehen (insep.)  to occupy 
biete...  I'm offering... 
dringend  urgently 
eingerichtet  furnished 
einziehen (sep.)  to move in 
gefliest  tiled 
gelegen  situated 
gemeinschaftlich  communal 
gemütlich  comfortable; friendly 
gepflegt  well looked after 
geräumig  spacious 
gesellig  sociable 
gratis  free of charge 
günstig  reasonably priced 
hell  bright 
das Hochparterre  upper ground floor 
- im Hochparterre  - on the upper ground floor 
hochwertig  high-quality 
komfortabel  comfortable 
die Kontaktperson (-en)  person to contact 
die Lage (-n)  location 
- Lage egal  - location unimportant 
sich melden  to get in touch 
möbliert  furnished 
modern  modern 
nach Möglichkeit  if possible 
nett  nice 
der Nichtraucher (-)  non-smoker 
optimal  optimal; perfect 
preiswert  reasonably-priced 
renovieren  to renovate 
renoviert  renovated 
ruhig  quiet 
sanieren  to renovate 
saniert  renovated 
sonnig  sunny 
die Studentenwohnung (-en)  student flat 
suche...  I'm looking for... 
teilen  to share 
teilmöbliert  partially furnished 
umgänglich  friendly; sociable 
Uni-Nähe  near the university 
umziehen (sep.)  to move (house) 
unmöbliert  unfurnished 
die Verkehrsanbindung (-en)  transport connection 
verkehrsgünstig  convenient for transport 
vorhanden  present; available 
WG-erprobt  experienced in living in a shared flat 
WG-geeignet  suitable for a shared flat 
die Wohnanlage (-n)  location 
die Wohnfläche (-n)  living space 
der Wohnungsmarkt  housing market 
zentral  central 
- möglichst zentral  - as central as possible 

Weiter!Chapter 12: Exercises

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