there is certain information that needs to be in a lease contract. For example, the price of the rent, the operational costs, the bond, the heating type, and the warm water supply. This information should always be on the rent-offer (Mietangebot), in order to be able to compare if the rent price is justifiable according the legal requirements.
This table (Angemessenheittabelle, find attached) is the most important tool to have while looking for a flat. It’s very important to be able to compare the rental offers separately from each other. You will see two prices for the Bruttokaltmiete on the table. For those who live in a camp or don’t have a long-term lease, the state it going to pay you 20% more on the overall rental price to protect you from homelessness.
The rent and the heating costs together should not be more than the second price on the table. Otherwise your costs will not be covered. Also important to note: every person who is over 6 years old is allocated at least 9 square metres, and those under 6 six years of age - 6 square metres. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean one room for each person.
The electricity costs will not be covered by the Jobcenter or the LAF but you have to pay for them yourself.
Furthermore, LAF requires that there is a stove and a sink in the apartment, so you have to check this in the rental offer. This is not a requirement at Jobcenter.
A caution of three maximum Netto cold rents will be payed for you. But neither LAF nor Jobcenter will pay a provision and only in a very few cases they will pay you scale rent. The LAF is providing the caution as loan without taking money from you. Whereas at Jobcenter you need to apply for the loan and it will be deducted from your money monthly (10%).
One tip: it is worth thinking about moving into a shared flat, when you are alone. Because it can give you better chances of finding an apartment.
For example: if you live with a friend that you are not in a relationship with, everyone has their own room and you are entitled to receive 2x 437€. This increases your chances to get an apartment because you then have a bigger selection of apartments because the flats can be more expensive.