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Owners are Happier than Tenants

German property owners are generally more content with their living arrangements than tenants. This is the upshot of a recent residential market survey (“Wohnen und Leben 2016”) that was commissioned by the real estate portal. In February 2016, one thousand platform users nationwide were polled for the representative survey. Participants were asked to rate the fairness of the price or rent for their apartments, the size of their apartments, the quality of the neighbourhood, the level of the service charges, the location, and the interior fit-out of their flats. On the whole, 20 percent of all respondents (tenants and owners) turned out to so dissatisfied with their accommodations they they intend to relocate eventually. That said, the degree of dissatisfaction was far higher among tenants than among owners. As you would expect, the conclusions drawn by suggest that tenants are generally less content because they need to compromise more often than property owners.

Property Owners Essentially Happier

The survey ultimately concluded that property owners are content in more ways than tenants. For instance, 26 percent of the tenant respondents were unhappy with their passing rents whereas the homeowners were largely satisfied with the price they had paid for their own abodes. Merely 13 percent of the owners felt they had paid too much. This does not come as a surprise since property owners benefit from the potential appreciation of their property, while the rent a tenant pays yields no return beyond the actual accommodation. But it is not just the price that makes owners so much happier. More than nine out of ten owner-occupiers were happy with the size of their condominiums, whereas 22 percent of all tenants were unhappy with the size of their flats. 

Service charges were the one aspect where both groups showed an equal degree of dissatisfaction, namely 35 percent in either case. According to, owner-occupiers have more leeway in their planning choices than tenants, and are at liberty to invest and remodel their accommodation without having to check back with a landlord. This explains why 40 percent of all tenants thought their flats had a poor energy performance, whereas less than one in three condo owners felt the same way. All things considered, property owners showed a higher degree of contentment in six out of seven criteria polled. Unsurprisingly, just seven percent of all owners are thinking about moving. The percentage among tenant is much higher. According to the survey findings, no less than 26 percent of the tenants would rather live elsewhere.