SUPER Tips for finding a flat share (WG) in Germany


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Flat shares are particularly popular with Expats, students and young people – low prices and comparatively easy availability do not only sound tempting to the ears of students. The following tips will help you find the right room in a shared apartment.

flat share

Where can I find the right room in a shared apartment?

The Internet is the first point of contact for rooms in shared flats. The advantage is obvious: With the help of detailed search filters , the right flat share can be found easily. A detailed text including photos provides information about the roommate, the flat share and the requirements for the new roommate. In this way, the seeker can quickly get an idea of ​​his potential new home and decide whether the respective flat share suits him.

Web 2.0 offers numerous flat share offers

In the meantime, there are also numerous pages in Web 2.0 that offer rooms in shared flats. On Facebook and Co., many ads for shared flats are posted in certain groups. The advantage is, on the one hand, that the advertisements are posted at relatively short notice and the room is often available at the earliest possible date. On the other hand, the groups often have a direct regional connection – the number of suitable offers is correspondingly high.

But even the classic way often leads to success with shared accommodation. In addition to advertisements in local newspapers, many offers are posted on the notice boards of the respective universities.

Most student unions also offer private accommodation options in addition to student dormitories. As the name suggests, these are primarily available to students. This is often a cheap sublet with a family or a single room with senior citizens. In return, the landlords expect minor household chores. The advantage is that the room is usually already fully equipped and the household items can also be used.

Student flat share or student apartment?

For first-year students, the question arises as to whether they would prefer to move into a shared student apartment or prefer to have their own student apartment. Depending on which type you are, you can make a good, but also a bad choice with a student flat share. In most cases, a student apartment is at least more expensive, but you have more opportunities to withdraw. Even so, student shared apartments are more popular with most new students. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of flat shares.

flat share

Advantages and disadvantages of a room in a shared apartment

A room in a shared apartment offers both advantages and disadvantages, which are briefly discussed in the following section:

Advantages of a flat share

  • Low price: You only have to pay the full rent for your own room. The costs for the shared rooms are borne by the residents jointly.
  • Good equipment: A shared apartment is already equipped with all utensils for daily needs – this can save a lot of money, as the purchase of cooking pots, vacuum cleaners, etc. is not necessary.
  • High availability: Due to the high fluctuation, especially among students, there is a permanent supply of rooms in shared apartments. This can shorten the search considerably – even if the demand is very high during peak hours.
  • New contacts: Another advantage is the sociability of the roommates. For newcomers in big cities in particular, the new contacts made in the student flat share are of great value.

Disadvantages of a flat share

  • Little space: Many tenants are put off by the fact that they only have a single room as a place of retreat. Depending on the size of the room, it is not easy to equip it as a place to sleep, work and stay at the same time.
  • Increased potential for conflict: In addition, various conflicts can arise with the roommates. This can result from different cleaning habits or from personal 
flat share

What should I look out for in the flat share and the flat share room?

Your own life situation

An important point of reference when looking for the right flat share is your own living situation . So pay attention to whether it is a working flat share , a student flat share or a mixed flat share .

It is best to formulate in advance what is out of the question for you. For example, while some do not want to live in a smoking shared apartment under any circumstances, others insist that the shared apartment has a living room or a bathtub. The number of roommates can also be such a criterion – not everyone wants to live in a large collective with seven other people or share the intimacy of a two-man flat-share.

It depends on the situation

The location of the shared apartment also plays an important role. Particular attention should be paid to the transport links to the university or to the workplace . The things of daily life should also be in the immediate vicinity of the flat share. The surroundings of the respective district should be found out at an early stage – not everyone likes to live on the city’s party mile.

Flat share checklist

No-Go’s• Smoking allowed
• No living room available
• No bathtub available
• Too many roommates
• Passage room
Working flat share• Structured everyday life
• High quality interior
Student flat share• Lots of freedom
• Low quality equipment
location• Transport links
• Things of everyday life
• District
Shared room• Size of the room
• Location within the flat share
flat share

Flat share casting and flat share viewing

friendly and interested demeanor is essential when viewing a flat share , after all, the new roommates have to be convinced of themselves. In addition to important questions about the flat share, the applicant should show an honest interest in the flatmates and start talking to them. As a rule, this shows very quickly whether there is a common basis or not.

In many shared apartments, the viewing turns into a real casting due to the high number of applicants. An interesting personality is more important to the roommates than a smoothly ironed résumé. An extravagant leisure time or an interesting job can mean the necessary lead over other competitors.

Impressing the landlord

When filling vacant rooms in a shared apartment , the landlord is generally very reluctant and trusts the recommendation of the flat-share residents . His primary concern is that the rent is paid on time. 

Therefore, it cannot hurt to bring some documents with you during the inspection or to send them to the landlord afterwards. The documents are mainly the identity card, a SCHUFA information and a proof of income or a guarantee.

What will this cost me?

Basically, the rent index of the destination city says a lot about the expected rental costs. In large cities like Munich or Hamburg, rents are between eight and ten euros per square meter, while prices in Berlin are a moderate six to eight euros per square meter – with large differences between the districts. Thus, the basic rent can even amount to 300 euros for an 11 square meter room. 

The cold rent for long-established flat shares is often lower than for a new rental in trendy neighborhoods, as an old rental agreement is still in force. The ancillary costs are added to the rental costs. This usually includes all apportionable costs for heating, electricity, gas and water.

In addition, a deposit is due to the previous tenant or the landlord. This serves as security in the event of payment defaults. Their amount must not exceed three months’ cold rent. It can be paid by the tenant in three installments and is paid out again plus interest when moving out. Finally, there are the costs for the telephone and internet.

Avoid second home tax

Many cities and municipalities levy a so-called second home tax for the maintenance of a second home. Many students keep their previous place of residence or the place of residence of their parents as their main place of residence. You have to expect to be asked to pay around 10 percent of the annual cold rent. An early re-registration of the main residence circumvents this problem.

flat share

Before the final approval, the rental agreement should be read carefully. At least one day should be made available for this. 

The following pitfalls should be considered.

1. One or more main tenants

The main tenant entered in the contract is responsible for paying the rent on time and for any damage to the apartment. Therefore, all people from the flat share should be registered as the main tenant. Since this makes it difficult to change roommates, it should be agreed with the landlord that a change is possible without his consent. When moving out, a rental cancellation agreement should be drawn up – otherwise the main tenant is still liable for damage to his subsequent tenants when he moves out.

2. Rental deposit

The rental deposit and its conditions (amount, due date, interest rate) should also be set out in the rental agreement. After a reasonable period of time for checking, but no more than six months after moving out, the deposit must be paid together with interest. Therefore, when moving out, a handover protocol should be drawn up with the landlord, which certifies the proper condition of the room. Otherwise, the tenant may have to pay for the negligence of his previous tenant when moving out.

3. Rent increase

As a rule, the rent may only be increased once a year within the framework of the local comparable rent. It may not increase by 20 percent within three months – unless an index or graduated rent has been agreed. This defines the future rent increases when the rental agreement is concluded.

4. Notice period

The usual notice period is three months. In many cases, the landlord will be accommodating if the deadline is not met, provided that a new tenant can already be shown.

5. Cosmetic repairs

The tenant is responsible for so-called cosmetic repairs. As a rule, he will have to paint the walls white before moving out.

flat share

The flat share market in Germany

The flat share room market in Germany is characterized by a high degree of heterogeneity. This applies to both the availability of rooms in shared apartments and their price. In popular cities and university locations such as Munich, Hamburg or Berlin, it can take a few months to find a suitable room in a shared apartment. In addition, the average monthly rent is very high due to the sharp rise in demand, as this comparison shows:

  • Munich – 348 euros
  • Hamburg – 345 euros
  • Cologne – 333 euros
  • Berlin 298 euros

In contrast, the rental prices in smaller cities such as Duisburg or Giessen are significantly lower. This also applies to some east German cities: Chemnitz, for example, is the cheapest city with an average rent of just 210 euros.

Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany



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