Short term tenancies instead of hotel rooms: The letting of furnished apartments in the Main-Rhine area is booming. More and more business people are coming to the banking city of Frankfurt for projects, training courses and short term visits. Those who find hotel suites too expensive and impersonal for a stay of a few months, now do not necessarily have to carry out the tedious search for a furnished apartment themselves. Several companies in Frankfurt offer their services to perform this task, and the newest kid on the block is the residential lettings agency run by Heike Ruwe.
Just a phone call suffices and the 32 year-old entrepreneur starts her quest. Over 500 furnished apartments are stored in her computer, from one room apartments to luxury maisonettes, all of which she has viewed and approved of herself. "My customers are often company directors at executive level, so I cannot include mediocre flats with youth hostel décor in my range". The new home should be stylishly furnished, with bathroom and kitchen facilities in good condition. Tenant and landlord sign a tenancy agreement which is generally limited to between three and twelve months. "A big advantage for the property owners," says Heike Ruwe, "is that there is practically zero risk of troublesome tenants."
To say nothing of the net profit. For attractive one room apartments the rent can be anywhere between 800 and 1,400 Marks per month. For two / three room apartments 1,200 - 2,500 Marks. And who pays the procurement charge? "The tenant," answers Heike Ruwe, and explains her low pricing system: "I never charge more than fifteen percent of the rent, and that for no longer than ten months."