Your home in Germany

Finding a place to live

Flats or houses for rent (Ger. "Vermietungen") or purchase (Ger. "Wohnangebote") can be found:

  • online
  • in specialised magazines
  • at real estate agents (Ger. "Makler" or "Immobilienmakler")
  • in the classifieds section (Ger. "Kleinanzeigen") of newspapers.  Note: "Chiffre" means that you will have to send a letter to the newspaper quoting this number and they will forward the letter to the person offering the flat.  
  • at your local Housing Office (Ger. "Wohnungsamt") where information about state-run housing associations (Ger. "Wohnungsgesellschaften") is offered
  • at the "Mietwohnzentrale", an organisation that rents furnished rooms and apartments on a temporary basis.
  • on university campus notice boards you will find ads for shared flats (Ger. "Wohngemeinschaften" or "WG") 

For an indication of average rental costs, check the rent index (Ger. "Mietspiegel") at the local town hall or tenant associations (Ger. "Mieterverein").


Useful language

Monatsmiete monthly rent
Mieter tenant
Vermieter landlord
ZKB room (Ger. "Zimmer") (could mean a living room or a bedroom) + kitchen (Ger. "Küche") + bathroom (Ger. "Bad")
2 ZKBB 2 rooms, kitchen, bathroom and balcony (Ger. "Balkon")
EG ground floor (Ger. "Erdgeschoss")
2. OG second floor (Ger. "Zweite Obergeschoss")
DG roof or loft apartment/floor (Ger. "Dachgeschoss")
VH front of the house (Ger. "Vorderhaus")
HH back of the house (Ger. "Hinterhaus")
qm square metre (Ger. "Quadratmeter")
KM "cold" rent, without heating costs (Ger. "Kaltmiete")
NK ancillary costs, e.g. refuge disposal, street and house cleaning cots, heating and water costs (Ger. "Nebenkosten")
WM "warm" rent, i.e. rent includes ancillary costs (Ger. "Warmmiete")

Rent contract and deposit

Make sure you sign a rent contract (Ger. "Mietvertrag") which contains all the important details, including your rights and obligations.  If needed, have it translated before you sign it.  


You will usually have to pay a deposit (Ger. "Kaution") of about 1-2 months rent when you sign the contract.  Important:  The landlord will deduct money from this deposit for any repairs that are needed when you leave, so make sure you look after the flat as though it were your own!

Once you have signed the contract, what do you need to do next?  Read here about the first steps in your new home in Germany:

Understanding the ins and outs of living in Germany may not be easy.  Find out what you need to know about house rules, pets, utilities, garbage, winter service and more right here: