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Navigating Lease Agreements for U.S. Military Families in Germany

A Guide for PCS Families in the Kaiserslautern Military Community


For U.S. personnel relocating to Germany, comprehending the nuances of German rental contracts is key to a successful housing experience. This guide delves into the key elements of rental contracts and how they can assist in a smooth relocation process.


Standard Housing Contracts

  • Most local realtors in Germany use the housing contract provided by the housing office. This ensures uniformity in rental agreements and a standard level of understanding for U.S. personnel.


Key Contract Elements

  • A comprehensive rental contract should outline all costs associated with the property, such as utilities, maintenance, garage, and trash collection fees.


Additional Stipulations in Contracts

  • Rental contracts may include stipulations like yard maintenance, home upkeep responsibilities, and snow shoveling.


Coordinating Move-In Dates

  • The rental contract will specify a move-in date. It’s essential to ensure this aligns with the arrival of your household goods (HHG) and personal operating vehicle (POV), especially when staying in a TLA that provides a POV. Moving prior to delivery of your POV means having to pay out pocket for renting a vehicle during the interim period.


Furniture Management Coordination

  • If temporary furniture is needed before your HHG arrives, coordinate with the Furniture Management Office (FMO/FMS) to ensure delivery aligns with your move-in date.



Understanding and carefully reviewing your rental contract in Germany is crucial for a successful housing transition. Ensure that all potential costs, responsibilities, and specific stipulations are transparent in your contract. By doing so, U.S. military and civilian personnel can navigate the complexities of renting in Germany, ensuring a seamless move and comfortable living arrangements.