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PHASE 4: Leaving Munich

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Quick Facts:

  • You need to de-register your place of residence upon leaving Germany.
  • It is recommended to keep a written confirmation of all cancellations.
  • In Germany, tenants don’t usually have an exceptional right to terminate their lease early because they are leaving the country.
  • Don’t forget to ask your landlord to refund your rent deposit plus interest before leaving Germany.

Moving Out

Moving out of your apartment is probably the biggest feat you have to accomplish when leaving Germany. Your place of residence might have become your second home and you have accumulated some prized possessions over time. But now it’s time to say goodbye, and good planning can make your farewell a little easier.

Giving notice

Giving your landlord timely notice that you will be moving should be the most important task on your to-do list. The statutory notice period in Germany is three months, but you should check your rental contract for any differing regulations. You should mail a hard copy of your formal notice to your landlord by the third business day of a given month at the latest. Once your notice has been accepted, you should receive a written confirmation.

If there is no major damage in the apartment and everything else is in order, you are entitled to a refund of your security deposit, including interest. Ask you landlord when you can expect to receive the deposit and let them know where to transfer it.

Canceling utilities

Remember to cancel any utilities and telecommunication services on time. When you move out, you need to inform the utility company about meter readings so that they can calculate your total consumption. Extra payments may be necessary if you have consumed more than estimated.

You also need to de-register your broadcasting license fee payments (DE) if they are registered under your name. Besides filling out the form, you also need proof of your final departure from Germany, such as a confirmation of your residence de-registration (Abmeldebestätigung).

What to do with your possessions

Deciding what to take back home and what to leave behind may be challenging. If you have already reached the limits of your baggage allowance, you may consider shipping a few boxes back home. In this case, make sure to compare different estimates and be aware of any customs regulations.

In case you want to sell some of your things, online platforms, local flea markets, and on-campus bulletin boards provide an easy way of getting some money for your belongings.

If you want to discard any bulkier items, make sure to recycle them properly. Electric appliances, furniture, and clothes don’t belong in household waste. You should take them to a Wertstoffhof (DE), a large recycling center for special waste. You can also recycle metal scraps or bulky plastics there.

Apartment handover

You also need to arrange a date for the final apartment handover with your landlord. On this day, you will return all keys and inspect the apartment together. Make sure to have the damage protocol from when you moved in ready, so that you will not be held responsible for any damage you did not cause. Usually, the apartment needs to be at least besenrein (clean swept) upon handover, meaning that it should be emptied out and clean. Depending on the regulations in your contract, you may also be required to make minor Schönheitsreparaturen (cosmetic repairs), such as whitening your walls. If in doubt, check your contract or ask your landlord.

De-registration

Just as you had to register your place of residence when you moved in, you also have to de-register it again when you move out (Wohnsitz abmelden). You can de-register either in person or by mail, enclosing a completed de-registration form and your passport or a copy of it. After you have successfully de-registered, you will receive a de-registration confirmation (Abmeldebestätigung). Keep it safely, since you may need it as proof of your departure from Germany when you cancel certain services.

NOTE: You can de-register no earlier than one week before and no later than two weeks after moving out.

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Financial Matters

Bank account

You may want to keep your German bank account for a while until all payments related to your stay here have been completed. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Return of your security deposit from your landlord
  • Any outstanding utility payments
  • Tax-related payments, such as a tax refund

NOTE: Please be aware that there is usually a fee associated with transferring money to international bank accounts outside of the EU.

Public health insurance

At the end of your work contract, your employer will inform your public health insurance provider that your employment is now terminated. After that, you will automatically remain insured for one month without having to pay contributions. However, your insurance provider will soon expect you to either take up a new job, join an unemployment insurance program, or insure yourself voluntarily. Therefore, to avoid unexpected bills, you need to inform your provider that you are leaving the country and include your de-registration confirmation as proof.

Pension contributions

As an employee, pension contributions have been automatically deducted from your salary, half paid by your employer, half paid by you. If you do not intend to receive a German pension, you may be eligible for a refund of your half of the contributions under certain circumstances. More information can be found on website of Deutsche Rentenversicherung.

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Academic Matters

End of your employment at LMU

If you have a limited work contract which expires with the end of our doctoral studies, you do not need to give your formal notice. The official date of the termination of your employment is stated in your work contract. If you have any vacation days left, your last day of work might actually be sooner than that. Talk to your supervisor or HR manager in advance to determine your last day. Make sure to return all keys or equipment before your departure.

NOTE: Germans like to bring a cake on their last day of work to say farewell and thank their colleagues for their support and cooperation.

Exmatriculation

If you are registered as a student (matriculated), you also need to be exmatriculated again at some point during your studies. Doctoral candidates are automatically exmatriculated after six semesters. You will also be exmatriculated if you do not apply for a continuation of registration by the deadline. In the rare case that you need to be exmatriculated before the end of the semester, you can file a request in person or by mail at the Office of the University Registrar (Studentenkanzlei). You will also need to hand in your LMUcard upon exmatriculation.

NOTE: You can still continue your doctoral studies at LMU even after you have been exmatriculated.

Becoming an LMU Gateway Alumni

Stay connected with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München! Please check our page LMU Gateway Alumni for further information.

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