The First Long-Term Accommodation in Germany

Short-Term Accommodation

This article is about finding an apartment for a long-term stay in Germany. When you first arrive in Germany you have the right for a free short-term accommodation. Read more about it here: Entering Germany: Travel Routes & first Steps on Arrival

Can I rent my own Flat?

Yes you can. If you have a residence permit according to Section 24 you can rent your own flat. Looking for accomodation can be difficult in larger German cities. In smaller cities it might also be an option to look for houses instead of a two room apartment. If you get support from the Social Welfare Office or the Job Center ask your contact person about the allowance for accommodation. The social support for renting varies depending on the German state that you want to live in. Your contact person might point you to social housing projects supported by the state. If you were relocated by the state you need to stay in the applied region. However if you want to study in a different location in Germany or you get a job offer in another region you are allowed to relocate again.

Housing Projects for Ukraine Refugees

Where to look for Accommodation?

If you don’t need social welfare and aren’t registered with an office for foreigners or refugees you can rent a flat on your own. Hunting for a flat on certain websites is the best way to start.

Some popular german housing websites with a very broad offer listed below:

Housing websites with special “Help ukraine” offers and often in English or Ukrainian:

Shared appartments:

What do I need to rent a Flat?

If you rent a flat on your own you need these documents to rent a flat in Germany:

  • proof of income: If you applied for a job or already have a job tell the landlord and show some kind of proof. The employment contract or a letter from your employer is a good proof. If you receive Social Welfare or support from the Job Center ask them for a confirmation letter that the office will cover the rent or parts of the rent. In some cases you can also apply for the flat first and then take the rental offer “Mietangebot” to the Job Center or Social Welfare Office to ask for coverage.
  • official documents: A copy of your passport or residence documents or other proof of identity.
  • cover letter: A short cover will increase your chances of getting the apartment. A German speaking guide or friend will also increase your chances and might help you with the contract and other documents.