Rent, or "Miete" or "Monatsmiete" in German, is the amount paid by the tenant ("Mieter") to the landlord ("Vermieter") every month. This is the "Kaltmiete" (cold rent) plus the "extra costs" such as garbage disposal, street and house cleaning costs, heating and water costs. All of these costs together are called the "Warmmiete" (warm rent). Some of the additional costs are dependent on personal usage such as heating and water costs. The others depend on the size of the apartment. Electricity and telephone costs are normally paid directly by the tenants themselves. The ancillary costs and the costs for gas and electricity are paid monthly at a predetermined fixed rate. Once a year the meters are read and the difference is either refunded by the respective utility company, or the extra costs must then be paid to them.
Rent comparisons can be made in each town or section of the city with the help of a table called the "Mietspiegel". This table lists the rent prices in any area. Thus it is possible to check if the rent is appropriate for that area or even if it is illegal to charge such a high rent. The "Mietspiegel" can be found at the local town hall or at the tenant associations ("Mieterverein"), see below. If the rent is above the legal limit, you can consult a lawyer or a tenant association and take action to reduce the rent.