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Accommodation FAQ

© Matthias Hultsch

We will support you in our best ability in your search for appropriate accommodation. However, due to the high effort involved in finding suitable places for all our clients, please understand that our capacity is also limited. Be aware, we provide information that help you finding an apartment only. You have to choose and apply for the apartments yourself.

As an international researcher you can request our assistance. To get access to our services, please fill out the initial contact form, so we can request the asignment for assistance from your supervisor.

Living concepts you will find in Germany are:

  • Apartments for one person/couple/family:
    – rent a whole apartment for usually at least a year
    – arrange furniture, electricity and internet yourself
    – in some cases a kitchen is included, sometimes you can buy furniture from the previous tenant
  • Flat shares:
    – rent a room and share bathroom/kitchen/community room with your roommates for usually an undetermined time
    – electricity and internet are arraged by the tenants
    – furniture is a matter of negotiation – sometimes it can be bought from the previous tenant
  • Dormitories:
    – rent an apartment or a room with shared bathroom/kitchen/community room for usually at least half a year
    – electricity and internet are included in your rent
    – are fully furnished
  • Subletting:
    – rent a room or an apartment for usually an undetermined time
    – electricity and internet are included in your rent
    – comes fully furnished.

Features and furniture:

– Most apartments come with a seller/attic/box room.
– Apartments include a floor, sometimes a kitchen and are usually unfurnished. (See exceptions above)
– Electricity and internet are usually to be arranged by the tenants. (See exceptions above)
– Some accommodations offer a parking spot/garden.
– Most accommodations include cleaning staff/caretaker for the shared hallway/garden/maintenance.

If you have found an apartment online you would like to visit and potentially rent, you need to contact the responsible landlady/lord or real estate agency. You will either find their contact information or a contact form (“Anbieter kontaktieren”). Since not everybody is speaking English, you can send your message once in English and once translated to German (with any translator) to increase your chances. If you speak conversational German do not hesitate to call directly. The more contacts you make the higher are your chances of getting an apartment.
Please be aware of the difference between Kaltmiete and Warmmiete in your search (See Accommodation related terms below).

Before the viewing appointment:

Your chances of getting an apartment are higher if you are prepared and either bring important documents to the viewing or have them ready to send as soon as possible in case you would like to rent the apartment. Therefore, ask the responsible contact person what he/she would prefer and what documents he/she needs from you.

Read here a checklist of documents you most likely need for applying:

  • Proof of income/Paychecks from the last 3 months
  • Mieterselbstauskunft
  • Credit rating information
  • Certificate of no rent dept in your former contract



During the viewing appointment:

You want to make you own little checklist about important things for you. We would suggest adding the following:

  • general state of the apartment (please note that every issue – even scratches on the floor – needs to be protocolled before you move during the Wohnungsübergabe, otherwise you might end up paying for it)
  • availability of seller/attic/parking spot
  • Is there any mold?
  • Are the windows and doors tight? Are the windows soundproof?
  • What are the experiences with neighbors?
  • Is there cleaning staff for the shared spaces like the hallway?
  • Do you have to pay a deposit or a cooperative share – Genossenschaftsanteile?

Your monthly rent – Warmmiete for a general apartment is put together by fixed costs like:

  • the rent, the maintainance/running costs for commonly used parts of the building such as the lift, costs of waste disposal, building and property tax, building insurance, smoke detectors, etc.

and a pre-payment for some variable costs, which depend at least in part on each tenant’s individual usage:

  • such as the cost of heating and water.

Following utilities and amenities are not included in your rent and pre-payments:

  • electricity
  • internet access, a landline phone, cable TV
  • the public broadcasting fee

This means, they must be registered, contracted, paid and also cancelled before moving out(!) separately by each tenant/household.

The broadcasting fee is a mandatory household charge, which serves to fund the public radio, TV and online broadcasting services. The payment happens per household, not per person. There are no exemptions or discounts for PhD students or scholarship holders. If you live in furnished short-term accommodation, find out whether your landlord or building administration already covers the fee and under which fee account number.

The broadcasting agency will find you a few weeks after your city registration. You will receive a letter with a registration form, asking you to either register a new fee account or name the existing registered household member and their fee account number.

Find more information here.
Find various forms here.
Ask us for further instructions on how to fill in the documents!


der/die Mieter/in tenant die/die Vermieter/in landlord/landlady
die Untermiete subletting die Wohngemeinschaft (WG) flat share
die Kaltmiete rent excluding service charges (e.g. heating)/
net rent
die Warmmiete rent including service charges/gross rent
die Kaution deposit die Genossenschaftsanteile cooperative shares
die Wohnungs- geberbestätigung home owner confirmation das Bürgerbüro citizens bureau


Where to find us
Einsteinstraße 9
01069 Dresden
Opening hours
Monday to Friday
10 a.m. till 3 p.m. (please make an appointment in advance)