How can I find a flat in Germany?

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Housing expenses have been rising sharply in Germany over the last ten years. The situation in smaller cities and counties is better, but as a newcomer in one of larger cities, it is likely you would have to face some difficulties in finding suitable accommodation. The most common way of flat-hunting is searching on the internet. There are various internet portals designed for advertising vacant living spaces. Another source can be newspapers. But to find a convenient and affordable home, you need some essential background information.

What do I need to know?

Can I move to a private flat during the asylum process?

How should I choose a flat during the asylum process?

Can I move to a private flat after I have been granted asylum?

How should I choose a flat after I have been granted asylum?

Can I move to another city?

What documents do I need to apply for a flat?

Where should I search?

What information can I find in housing ads?

From whom can I rent?

What is social housing?

“Fake ads” and fraud

What should I do after I move in?

What are neighbourhood rules and regulations?

How can I cancel my rental contract?

Are there any tenancy support services available?


Don’t make any payments unless your future landlord and you have signed a contract and you have received the keys to the apartment. If you can’t read the contract in German, ask for help and make sure you agree with all terms and conditions before signing.