Why German Apartments Don’t Have Kitchens: Explained

Why German Apartments Don’t Have Kitchens: Explained

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A recent Reddit thread revealed another surprising aspect of life in Germany for Americans living in Europe: apartments in Germany typically do not come with kitchens. This revelation sparked a flurry of reactions and comments from both American and German Reddit users.

The reason behind this cultural difference lies in Germany’s strict tenant rights laws and the high percentage of renters compared to homeowners in the country. Germany has one of the lowest rates of private property ownership in the European Union, with 57% of households being rented. In contrast, only 43% of households own their own homes.

The preference for renting in Germany has led to the development of strong tenant rights. German renters often view the contents of their apartments, including kitchens, as their own investments and belongings. Even after leaving a rental space, tenants have the right to take everything they own, right down to the kitchen sink.

As a result, German landlords are not obligated to include kitchens in their rental apartments. Instead, renters have the option to bring their own kitchens when they move in, allowing them to customize their kitchen to their specific needs and budget. This practice can lower overall rental costs and provide tenants with more control over their living spaces.

However, it is worth noting that apartments with pre-installed kitchens, known as Einbauk├╝che (EBK) in Germany, do exist but they typically come at a higher cost.

The TikTok platform has also been buzzing with videos of people expressing their surprise about German apartments not having kitchens. Some were astounded the concept of having to bring their own kitchen appliances and electrical fixtures when they move. Others found it fascinating, realizing that this tradition may be the origin of the saying “take everything but the kitchen sink.”

The design of German kitchens often reflects their modular and streamlined nature, as they need to be easily movable. In fact, popular furniture retailer IKEA offers affordable freestanding kitchen cabinets, which are particularly suited for renters who may need to bring their kitchens along when moving.

In summary, the absence of kitchens in German apartments can be attributed to the country’s high percentage of renters and strict tenant rights laws. Renters in Germany often bring their own kitchens, allowing for customization and reducing rental costs. This cultural difference has surprised many Americans living in Europe, highlighting the unique aspects of living in different countries.

Sources:
– Live in Germany – https://www.live-in-germany.co.uk/german-renting-policies/
– Alise Jordan’s Blog – https://www.aliseinwonderland.com/2021/02/14/german-apartment-no-kitchen/