Crocodilian: Rooms in Berlin = Bad Choice

Moving to a foreign city for a job, vacation, etc., albeit temporary, can be a bit stressful, trying to find accommodation for a month or 12 and don’t want to stay in a hotel the entire time. Berlin offers many solutions in this regard, be you professor, movie director, or even vagabond.

Let me start by telling you where NOT to look. I had an incredibly bad experience with the company “Crocodilian”. Though I haven’t rented through the agency, I have worked there and unless you enjoy throwing away your money to swindlers, I would avoid the agency at all costs. After I left the agency then manager told me I’d be lucky to get remuneration for all the hours I had spent in their crummy office with an ever-present, annoying,  yapping dog. In the end, I only received half of my due pay, taking advantage of this poor foreign worker. Thus, I would strongly caution others from placing their trust in them, especially in matters of finance.

So, what I can recommend are a number of other free or low-cost, reliable alternatives! If you can speak a bit of German then I would recommend the following websites:

http://www.wg-gesucht.de/wg-zimmer-in-Berlin.8.0.0.0.html

http://www.studenten-wg.de/Berlin,wg.html

Here you can cut the middle man and get in touch with the landlord or future roommates directly. They can help you find a place in just about any German city, not just Berlin, and has incredible search parameters. Need your own flat? Want to cut on costs and find a spare room? No problem. Search according to you price range, desired floor space and more.

Now if you’re looking for something a bit easier and completely in English, I can always recommend “Exberliner Flat Rentals“. The agency is reliable, easy to use, and comparatively cheap. Well, that’s my two cents in brief. If you’ve got further questions go a head and get a hold of me.

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Brecht said,

    Hey, thanks for your informative post!

  2. 2

    Gabriel said,

    Hey thank you for the advice about crocodilian.
    But listen, I have seen some people saying they are safe. I really don’t know what to think. But is quite hard to give your credit cards details without knowing them.
    Concerning the caution, isn’t that given to the landlord? So isn’t him that shall return it to you?
    I’m going to Berlin for an internship, and I definitely will need a ROOM. Any more advice I would appreciate man :).

    Any way thanks again.

  3. 3

    Doug said,

    I, too, was frustrated with Crocodilian, and Christine.

    I rented an apartment from them by Kollwitzplatz for a few months. They flaked out on a number of things they agreed to in the lease (internet, for instance). After I sent a letter threatening to deduct a smal amout from the rent, they got really nasty (even though this is what you’re supposed to do in Germany). I think they were thinking I didn’t know what the laws were. Anyway, they were really unprofessional. They’re lucky I didn’t have time to bother with how most Berliners would deal with it – which is to simply stop paying all together and sit tight knowing it’s very hard to get evicted.

    And if you’re looking to use them to fill your apartment, they aren’t any better. Most of the time when they were showing the apartment to future tenants, they didn’t even bother to show up, and asked me to do it. Lazy.

  4. 4

    HG said,

    Hello,

    Update on Crocodilian:

    I just wanted to update on your posts as I also used Crocodilian more recently (2011) to rent a flat. This turned out to be a very bad idea. The flat I moved into was filthy when I moved in (this included dirty sheets on the bed and mouldy food in the fridge). When I moved out I scrubbed the flat so it looked great and a colleague helped me move out. Even he said how good the flat looked! However, the landlady then tried to charge me, saying the flat wasn’t clean. She didn’t pay any of my deposit back – and the deposit was over 600 Euros. Crocodilian were absoloutely hopeless – saying that I must have left the flat dirty and basically refusing to help (I also spoke with Christine). This has resulted in me having to hire a German lawyer. Nearly one year later almost all of the deposit has been returned but it has taken a long time. I thought the only reason to pay Crocodilian’s inflated fees was in case something like this went wrong – however the agency couldn’t care less once they have taken your money and are unlikely to help resolve things. I recommend staying far away from Crocodilian.


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