Complete guide to find accommodation in Germany

Once you decided to move to Germany, the next vital part is finding accommodation in Germany. Before finding it, it’s also important to know the terminologies.

Zimmer – room

2 Zimmer Apartment – In some cities, the living room also considered a room. 2 Zimmer apartment means 1 bedroom, 1 living room, and of course the bathroom and kitchens are included.

1 Zimmer apartment – 1 bedroom, combined living, and kitchen. But varies in some cities. Please look at the details clearly when searching.

Being a foreigner, it is not so easy to find one. But, don’t worry this post might show the path to find the accommodation for you.

Now, let’s go through types of accommodation in Germany. Almost all the rental agreement runs for 12 months or 24 months or more.

Private accommodation in Germany:

Private apartments meant renting the entire space. This will be expensive as all the costs bear by you. The price variation depends on the region and you can choose outside of the city which costs a bit less if you are not a regular traveler.

Where you can find:

  • Facebook groups – This is one the best way to find accommodation in Germany. There are a lot of Facebook groups as per region. Please post your requirements or find ads posted in the groups.
  • immobilienscout24

Shared accommodation in Germany:

The shared accommodation is really famous in Germany, also called WG (Wohngemeinschaft) and it’s sharing the apartment with others. This can be strangers who will become friends later 🙂 or you can share with your friends. You will get a separate bedroom with shared kitchen and bathroom.

Where you can find:

  • Facebook groups

Student accommodation in Germany:

The student accommodation is quite cheap than all others. If you are a student, look for help at your university. Basically, this is applicable only for students with student id. However, some students go on vacation for a few months, then they will do subletting their space. If you are lucky, you might get one which is cheaper than any other accommodation

Where you can find:

  • Facebook groups
  • University portals
  • Friends at University

Temporary accommodation in Germany:

This can be your last choice. After trying all other accommodation options, if you still not holding any rental agreement then you can book temporary accommodation on websites like Airbnb, hostels, hotels, booking. Remember, you can’t do Residence registration which is required if you are staying more than 3 months in Germany and should be done before 14 days of your arrival.

Where you can find:

Sample email to landlord:

The landlords also get hundreds of emails like employers. It’s very hard to shortlist the tenants. All you need to do stand as unique in the competition. You have to include all your details in the email while sending it to the landlord. There should not be any question mark about you. Let’s have a look of sample email in German:

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

Ich arbeite als {Your Position} bei der {Company details} (Or mention what you do in Germany, for example student)

Und interessiere mich für Ihre Wohnung, gerne möchte ich sie zeitnah besichtigen.

Termine kann ab dem {Date} ich zu folgenden Zeiten einrichten:
Vormittags bis {Time} Uhr
Abends unter der Woche ab {Time} Uhr oder
An Wochenenden
Telefonisch erreichen Sie mich unter: {Your contact number}

Also, mention about your hobbies, habits and how long you are living in Germany.(This could give an clear idea about you for landlord) and easy to shortlist you.

Herzlichen Dank vorab und viele Grüße,
{Your Name} 

Important tips:

  • Always read the contract carefully and completely, some landlords add rules like need to stay for 24 months if leaving early need to pay 3 months rent, etc.
  • If you don’t know to speak the German language, then it’s quite difficult to find accommodation quickly. As most of the landlords expect you to speak German. In this case, you can look for new projects or projects maintained by companies. Those companies look for the valid id, employment that you can pay the rent and good SHUFA score.


Can I pay before visiting the apartment?

No, don’t ever pay the deposit or rent amount before visiting the apartment. You will get a lot of spam emails like saying that they are not in Germany and will send keys by post. Please ignore such emails.

Can I sign the contract on visiting day?

No, normally the process here: The landlord invites a lot of people at different dates and different timings. After inviting all and landlord chose the best for their apartment and this process can take some days. If the landlord is asking to sign the contract on visiting, then you must think something wrong. If you have doubts about the apartment, please check the landlord details in Rathaus based on the region.

Can I pay as a cash to landlord?

No, basically all landlords expect the payment once you move into the apartment and signing the contract. And, to pay via the bank transfer. Don’t ever pay with cash as you will not be having any proof too.

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