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Repatriation - Moving from Germany

So your time in Germany is coming to an end? It's time to call the relocation people again. They go into reverse, booking your flight, engaging the movers, canceling your lease, arranging for the renovation that is called for in many German leases, and much more.

There's quite a bit to moving out of a house or apartment. Your lease will probably require a period of notice, as little as three months if you have only been in it a short while, as much as a year if you were a long time resident. If you can't adhere to the notice period the landlord can charge you a fee, but he could waive this if a suitable tenant can be quickly found. The termination notice should always be in writing.

You'll be required to leave the premises in a clean condition, and many leases call for a renovation. You'll need to cancel utilities and settle things with a final meter reading. The telephone company should also be notified, and it is a good idea to keep your German bank account open for a while to handle these final settlements.

You probably gave the landlord a deposit of several months rent when you moved in. If so, you should now get it back with interest. The cost of any necessary repairs may be deducted from the deposit.

When you moved in you were required to register with the German police, and now it is just as important that you deregister with them. More and more communities are permitting you to deregister on line. Check that out! It can save you a long wait in line.

When you deregister your car the vehicle registry will want proof of ownership and registration and the license plates. Deporting your car can be complicated, but the shipper or the relocation people can smooth the way.

If you have kids in school you should give the school a reasonable notice of the impending departure. And don't forget to get transcripts to present to their next school.

Employed persons probably have been making payments to health, unemployment, retirement and long-term care funds. Health insurance should continue until you're settled at your next destination. And it may be possible to take your pension insurance with you. Check this sort of thing out with your relocator.

It might be a good idea to check with a tax consultant on the payment of any taxes that you may still owe in Germany.

You can arrange through the German Post Office to have your mail forwarded. They'll do it for six months for €15.20 and a year for €25.20, and it is now even possible to order a forward on line at www.efiliale.de/efiliale/umleitung/index.jhtml?_requestid=49138.

Check with the relocator or a veterinarian well in advance if you are going to take your pet with you. There can be different rules to comply with, especially if you're going to the USA, Canada or other non-EU countries. Animals shipped by air require approved containers.