Renting houses or apartments in Germany is vastly different from renting housing anywhere else. Some aspects of renting are controlled by the law and others are specific to the landlord. Be sure you hire an attorney, have legal insurance or join the renter’s association (Mietverein) to protect your interests.
Most landlords require you to sign rental agreements and provide a deposit that can be as much as 3 month’s rent.However, deposit money is supposed to be kept in a bank account which is not attached to the landlord’s regular account, and that requires both your and the landlord’s signature to access.
If this procedure is not followed, then you cannot expect to ever recoup your deposit amount. Before you receive a deposit refund, all issues over repairs and repainting must be resolved with the landlord.
Painting is done by the tenant. It is always best to choose to paint when you are moving in and leave it unpainted when you move out. This avoids issues of having to paint to the landlord’s satisfaction when you leave, which will generally result in you having to pay a professional painter. It is also necessary to list all imperfections in floors, walls fixtures and other relevant items before signing a contract. This list should become a part of the rental contract. Take photographs of pre-existing damage for your records.