4.4.4 The private accommodation market

Although rents have risen in Berlin during the last few years, they are still low compared to other European capitals. Shared accommodation in apartments (Wohngemeinschaften/WGs) where everyone has a room of their own are very popular, especially in the inner city districts of Prenzlauer Berg/Pankow, Friedrichshain/Kreuzberg and Neukölln. Rooms in shared accommodation are advertised online or posted at the University.

Once you have decided upon a room or a flat, you should complete a written tenancy agreement (Mietvertrag). Please pay attention to the trustworthiness of the advertisements and be aware of scams. Do not transfer money in advance. The rent deposit (Kaution) must not exceed three times the monthly rent. (► important security notices)

If someone rents a flat or an apartment, he/she is normally the main tenant and as such has more rights, but also more responsibilities. If, however, just one room is rented, the person living in it has the status of a sub-tenant. Tenancy agreements should always be read very carefully. There should be no signing of the contract before every detail is quite clear to the prospective tenant or sub-tenant.

Information about housing association accommodation specifically for students is provided at www.studi-wohnen-berlin.de. The Studierendenwerk offers an exchange for housing. A number of other websites are also aimed at students looking for housing:

Further accommodation websites are available such as:

Shared accommodation in flats is also advertised in various Berlin newspapers and in Berlin magazines such as Zitty and Tip, as well as on their websites under Kleinanzeigen.