Shared flat, interim tenancy, or my own room: What’s right for me?
You have decided to move to a new city for your studies or your job and are still looking for a place to stay. We have compiled a list of housing options to help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of shared apartments, student dormitories, and apartments.
As the name suggests, only students can apply for a place in a student dormitory. This type of housing has two advantages: it is inexpensive and you quickly connect with fellow students. In addition, the rooms usually include basic furnishings (i.e., table, chair, bed with mattress, wardrobe, and lighting). This makes your move easier—especially if you come from abroad.
Whether you get a studio apartment or a room in a shared apartment depends on the dormitory. In Germany, it is not common to share a room with others, as it can be in English-speaking countries. In addition to the rooms, many dormitories also offer common spaces, study rooms, and laundry rooms as well as gyms and parking facilities. There is usually an administration or a janitor on site as a direct contact point for all questions and problems. For families, some dormitories offer special family apartments at reasonable prices. You can find detailed information about room types, facilities, and costs on the websites of the individual providers.
The cost of a room in a dormitory varies, depending on the provider, room type, and facilities. Students should expect the monthly rent to be between 200 and 600 euros. There are often wait lists (several semesters in length), especially for the cheaper rooms.
Universities are usually unable to arrange rooms for students directly but are in close contact with the Studierendenwerke. All information about offers, deadlines, and applications can be found on the websites of the respective providers. In Nuremberg, for example, the Studierendenwerk Erlangen-Nürnberg operates several housing complexes.
In addition, there are numerous other providers in Nuremberg as well as privately managed dormitories.
vij Wohnheim für Studentinnen
Wohnen in Bayern
No. 45 – Wohnen für BAFöG-berechtigte Studierende
Studentenwohnheim Verein Nürnberg e.V.
Maxtormauer Student Apartments
Castle Apartments Nürnberg
Shared Apartment (WG)
Shared apartments, better known as WGs (German for Wohngemeinschaften), are another popular form of housing for students. Here, the common areas of an apartment, such as the kitchen, living room, dining room and bathroom, are shared with roommates. This lowers the cost of rent for each individual. In addition, communal living is often important. For example, most shared apartments organize WG parties, which are a typical part of student life in Germany.
The search for a suitable shared apartment can sometimes be tedious, as many existing WGs organize so-called WG castings when a room becomes available. As an applicant, it is best to use these castings to get an idea of the current residents. It is important that you get along well with the other residents, especially if you want to do a lot with your new flat-sharing community in the future.
Your Own Apartment
Of course, there is also the option of finding and renting your own apartment on the open housing market. This option is particularly suitable for those who like it a little quieter or who would expect to move to Nuremberg with their family. Of course, a wide range of offers and rental prices can be expected here. The pricing depends on your individual needs and preferences.
In an effort to support students, the Studierendenwerk Erlangen-Nürnberg has set up a private room placement service. However, since the arrangement can only be made in person, this option is only available after arrival.
In addition to the common websites, there are some large real estate companies in the region that publish their listings on their websites.
Especially for the first few months or if you are not yet familiar with a city, a sublease is an ideal solution. Here, current tenants rent out an apartment or a room in their shared apartment for a limited period when they will not be living there. They may do this, for example, because they are going abroad for or are doing an internship in another city. One of the biggest advantages is that the apartment or the room is usually completely furnished. You can simply arrive with your suitcase and move right in. In a shared apartment, you also have the opportunity to meet other people and make friends more easily. There may even even be a chance to take over another room in the shared apartment after the official sublease ends.
Please note: Even with a sublease, you should make sure that you get a proper rental agreement and tenancy confirmation from the landlord/landlady to use for the registration at the Residents’ Registration Office.
Housing for a Short Time
If you can’t find a suitable apartment right at the beginning of your studies, you can bridge the waiting period for a few weeks or months with temporary rentals. These accommodations are usually more expensive than a permanent apartment. However, they can be available on short notice.
Please note: If you plan to rent a temporary accommodation for more than one month, you should definitely clarify in advance whether the landlord can issue a tenancy confirmation. This document is mandatory in order to register at the Residents’ Registration Office.
7 Tips for Your Apartment Search
Anyone who has looked for an apartment knows how difficult it can be to find the perfect place to live, especially in a big city. We’ve put together seven tips to help you find your dream accommodation.
- Start looking for accommodation as early as possible—at least two months before the start of the semester or work contract!
- Search and contact as many providers as possible, and do not rely on a single offer.
- If you don’t know what an abbreviation in an apartment ad means, just look it up in Simple Germany’s rental dictionary.
- Be as flexible as possible in your search, both in terms of location and rental period. Sometimes it is easier to find a sublease than a permanent lease.
- It is worth searching for a suitable apartment through all available channels. Don’t limit yourself only to websites as social media or classic daily newspapers may also have interesting apartment offers.
- Add as much content and detail as possible to your profiles on websites and your contact requests. This helps give potential landlords and roommates a good impression right away. Also be sure that all your information is true.
- Beware that apartment ads on the Internet are sometimes fraudulent. Investigate whether the offer is serious. Never transfer money, share sensitive information (e.g. passport, visa, bank account details, personal ID documents) before you have seen the apartment and signed the contract. Apartment viewings are generally free of charge in Germany.