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A Guide for personnel PCSing to Germany seeking Housing Approval for their Long Term Rental

A Guide for PCS Families in the Kaiserslautern Military Community


As U.S. military and civilian personnel prepare for relocation to Germany, it’s crucial to understand the housing approval process. While the scrutiny level of home inspections can vary, certain key aspects are generally examined to ensure the suitability and safety of the housing. This guide provides an overview of these fundamental elements, alongside highlighting the differences in requirements for active duty members and civilians. Understanding these factors is vital in navigating the housing approval process effectively and ensuring a smooth transition to your new assignment in Germany.


Safety and Structural Soundness

  • The safety and structural integrity of potential housing are of utmost importance. Inspections focus on ensuring that properties are secure and free from significant structural issues.


Health Standards and Essential Amenities

  • Health standards are checked, including the absence of hazardous materials. The functionality of essential utilities like electricity, water, and heating is also thoroughly assessed.


Location and Accessibility

  • The suitability of the property’s location is evaluated, considering factors like proximity to essential services, public transportation options, and the distance from military bases, especially for families with specific needs.


Rent Agreements and Lease Conditions

  • The housing office reviews rent agreements to ensure they align with permissible housing allowances and scrutinizes lease terms for clarity, fairness, and legal compliance.


Keep in mind that once the rental agreement is signed and collected from your realtor, the agreed-upon move-in date written on the rental agreement takes into consideration any potential delays related to seeking housing approval, obtaining temporary furniture, or receiving your household goods. The realtor/landlord/tenant must agree upon a date that suits all parties’ needs.


Special Requirements for Active Duty Military Personnel

  • Active duty military personnel are required to undergo housing approval to ensure that their chosen property meets specific military standards and regulations.


Housing Approval for Civilian Personnel

  • While housing approval for civilian personnel is optional, it is recommended to ensure that the property adheres to basic living standards and to aid in understanding German rental agreements.


For U.S. personnel moving to Germany, understanding the housing approval process and the criteria used in inspections is essential for a smooth relocation. By ensuring that these criteria are met, both active duty members and civilians can secure housing that is safe, compliant, and comfortable, thereby easing their transition to life in Germany.