Since 2015, anyone renting in Germany who wishes to register their address needs an extra piece of paperwork: the Proof of Residence Certificate (Wohnunggeberbestätigung).
What is a proof of residence certificate (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung)?
The proof of residence certificate (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung or Wohnungsgeberbescheinigung) is a form, filled out and signed by your landlord, confirming that you have moved into a new place of residence. By law, anyone wishing to get registered at the local citizens’ office (Bürgeramt) needs one.
The law was brought in in November 2015 to combat so-called “Scheinanmeldungen” (sham registrations), where people register at addresses despite not actually living there. This might be to get into the catchment area for a good school or to save money on car insurance by registering at an address in a lower risk area.
How do I get a proof of residence certificate?
Legally, your landlord is obligated to provide you with a proof of residence certificate. Failure to do so could result in them being fined up to 1.000 euros.
You can usually find a template form on your local citizens’ office website, which you can download and ask your landlord or rental agency to fill out and sign. You should do this once you have signed your rental contract. If your landlord does not own the property, you also need the owner’s signature. Once signed, you can take the completed form along with you to the registration appointment in order to receive your registration certificate.
If you are moving into a shared residence (Wohngemeinschaft - WG) you still need to obtain the landlord’s signature. Just asking the lead tenant (Hauptmieter) to fill out the form will not suffice. If you are buying a house, as the property’s owner you can fill out and sign the form yourself.