If this website does not answer your questions, this is where you can find help about life in Berlin.

General questions

In English

You can get help from these communities and services.

In German

If you speak German, these communities can also help you

Immigration questions

Apartment questions

If you receive housing benefits, you can contact your local Sozialamt. They can help you with apartment problems.

If you are an asylum seeker, you can contact the housing section of the Landesamt für Flüchtlingsangelegenheiten. Call +49 30 90225 1261 or write to [email protected].

Medical questions

  • Lawyers
    Use my list of English-speaking lawyers in Berlin. If you have legal insurance, they can help you find a lawyer. Your legal insurance covers the cost of talking to a lawyer. They might have a legal hotline that you can call for free.
  • Tenant associations (Mieterverein)
    A Mieterverein protects tenants from landlords. When you are a member of a Mieterverein, you can get help from their lawyers. They can check your lease, help you with a bad landlord, get your rent reduced, and help you sublet an apartment. The membership costs 40€ to 100€ per year1, 2. If you have a low income, it can be cheaper1. Some unions have a waiting period before they help you, and some don't1. If you don't speak German, Berliner Mieterverein can help you in English and in other languages.
  • Legaltech (Rechtsdienstleister)
    Legal services can help you with specific legal problems. For example, Conny specialises in tenant law. They can lower your rent and many other things. I reviewed them here. Usually, their services cost nothing if you lose. If you win, they keep a part of the money you get.
  • Workers union (Gewerkschaft)
    If you are in a union, you can usually get free legal help, but only for work-related problems1.

If you have a low income, you can apply for legal help (Beratungshilfe) at the local Amtsgericht1. You will get a certificate (Beratungshilfeschein) that pays for your legal costs. If you get ALG II or Sozialhilfe, or if you are an asylum seeker, you are eligible1. You will probably need to speak German.

If you have legal insurance, it covers talking to a lawyer. They usually have a legal hotline that you can call for free.

Financial questions

  • Tax advisors
    Use my list of English-speaking tax advisors in Berlin.
  • Tax software
    • If you are an employee, you can use Taxfix or SteuerGo. Both are available in English. They help you enter expenses and file tax declarations.
    • If you are self-employed, you can use Sorted or LexOffice. They help you with invoicing and VAT reporting. Sorted is available in English. It lets you book time with a tax advisor when you need help. If you don't know what you are doing, you can still make very expensive mistakes. A tax advisor is better, but more expensive. Some banks like Kontist, Holvi and Qonto can also make your accounting easier.
  • Tax union (Lohnsteuerhilfeverein)
    A Lohnsteuerhilfeverein can help you file your taxes. It's usually cheaper than a tax advisor. The cost is often based on your income.

Business questions

People who can help you

Useful websites

Ask me

Write to [email protected]. I can't answer every question, but I can point you in the right direction.