The presence of troops from NATO countries stationed in Germany on the basis of a special agreement, the NATO Status of Armed Forces Agreement (SOFA) of 19 June 1951 (Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Status of their Armed Forces, BGBl. 1961 II p.1190) and the SOFA Additional Agreement of 3 August 1959 (Agreement supplementing the Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty on the position of their armed forces with regard to foreign armed forces stationed in the Federal Republic of Germany, BGBl. 1961 II p.1218). The supplementary agreement contains detailed provisions on all matters relating to troops stationed in Germany. After German unification, it was profoundly revised by the Agreement of 18 March 1993 (BGBl. 1994 II p.2594). A Forces Agreement (SOFA) is an agreement between a host country and a foreign nation that deploys armed forces in that country. SOFAs are often part of a comprehensive security agreement with other types of military agreements. A SOFA is not a safety device; it establishes the rights and privileges of foreign personnel who set up in a host country to support the strengthening of security measures.  Under international law, a status-of-force agreement differs from military occupation. Our office sees a number of problems that could have been avoided with a little respect for our German hosts and awareness of the rights of the host countries. While this brand new smartphone could be an attractive incentive to enter into a mobile phone contract, be careful.
Too often, Americans sign German documents without checking them properly. Also be careful in dealing with brokers. Brokers technically work for the potential tenant who is looking for the property, but they are very familiar with local landlords. Landlords often have more than one leased property and when their tenants are American, new tenants rotate every two or three years in their properties. This reality means that brokers often take the side of the landlord in the event of an owner-tenant dispute. In addition, real estate may be subject to high brokerage fees. In almost all cases, brokerage fees are non-refundable. . The quintessence: check with the Housing Office before contacting a broker. Here you can download a matrix with information on possible scenarios and compliance requirements.
This is for informational purposes only. In many host countries, especially those with a significant foreign military presence such as South Korea and Japan, SOFA can become an important political topic after crimes allegedly committed by soldiers. This is especially true when the facts are crimes such as theft, murder, homicide or sexual crimes, especially when the charge is defined differently from one country to another. For example, in South Korea, in 2002, a U.S. Army AVLB bridge vehicle accidentally killed two girls on their way to base camp after an exercise. Under the SOFA, a US military court convicted the soldiers involved. The panel found it to be an accident and acquitted the soldiers of manslaughter, without anyone anyone wearing criminal intent or negligence. The U.S. military took responsibility for the incident and paid civilian damages.
This has provoked widespread outrage in South Korea, calls for soldiers to be brought to justice again in a South Korean court, the spread of a multitude of conspiracy theories and a counter-reaction against the local expat community.  Since 2011, U.S. military authorities have allowed South Korea to charge and prosecute U.S. soldiers in South Korean courts. After three brutal rapes and arson in 2011, convictions were handed down in South Korean courts. The soldiers are or will soon be locked up in South Korean facilities.   Shortly after the rapes and other cases, the peninsula-wide military curfew was reinstated.  In German culture, for example, German citizens are encouraged to report inappropriate behavior – for example, parking in a non-parking area. .