Tips for Renting out Your PropertyCopyright: © RWTH Aachen
You own or rent an apartment or a house and would like to (sub)rent to RWTH students or researchers? Then you are in the right place.
RWTH Aachen University does not own or manage its own dormitories and therefore cannot offer accommodation to students. However, we are happy to forward any offers to those looking for accommodation.
At RWTH, there are several places where students can find out about available housing. You can thus publish or post your advertisement for a room or apartment for rent via several channels, including the following:
AISA Temporary Accommodation Program
The Association of Indian Students in Aachen, AISA for short, has developed a program similar to Couchsurfing in order to offer new international students a first place to stay right after they arrive in Aachen. Participation in the project is honorary and based on hospitality. Participation to AISA Temporary Accommodation Program as host is recognized as component of the Certificate International program.
If you would like to host an international student for a duration of two to ten days free of charge, please register as a host by completing this form.
The international student organization INCAS manages a register with sublet offers by fellow RWTH students who would like to reach out to international students.
RWTH Aachen International Office
The International Office offers a housing advice service and has the advantage of being in close contact with RWTH Aachen's international clientele. This includes not only international students from all over the world, but also exchange students, international researchers, as well as RWTH students who are planning a stay abroad. The housing advice service also manages a platform of privately offered apartments specifically aimed at international students and researchers. If you would like to have your apartment or house listed here, please complete the form for private offers and send it via email.
My Home is your Castle
You are studying at RWTH and are planning to spend a semester or a year abroad soon? Then you are the perfect candidate to register for My Home is Your Castle! This project was initiated by the International Office to make the outgoings' return easier for them after their stay abroad while also fostering contact between local and international students at the same time.
How does it work? You register your available apartment or room in a shared flat with the International Office Housing Advice Service via this form. The International Office will pass on this offer to students who will be arriving in Aachen soon and are looking for a place to stay for a limited time period. Ideally, you will find a suitable subtenant who will be studying at RWTH for exactly the period of time you will be gone.
You have the advantage that you won't have to go through apartment hunting again after your return and as an added bonus you are getting to know exchange students from your host university abroad or somewhere else in the world. In addition, you will be helping students who have a hard time finding a place to live at the beginning of their studies.
Become a Home Buddy!
The Association of Indian Students, AISA, has initiated the so-called Home Buddy project. Home Buddies are students who support international students prior to their arrival in Aachen in their search for a place to live by acting as their representatives as they view apartments and sort things out with landlords or landladies. To participate, you register via this online form, which will subsequently be processed by AISA. Participation in the Home Buddy project also qualifies as a component for the Certificate International program!
FAQ for Those Renting Out Places to Stay
What types of guarantees can international tenants submit? What alternatives can I request?
International students are usually unable to have their parents act as guarantors because their family is located abroad. It is up to housing providers to determine if a foreign parental guarantee from international students is sufficient.
For the visa procedure and when applying for a residence permit, international students and researchers must present proof of funds guaranteeing that they will have a sufficient regular income for their studies in Aachen. This can be proven, for example, via a scholarship approval confirmation, a declaration of commitment (a guarantee of funding the studies for the entire duration), a blocked account (more than 800 euros per month), or an employment contract. These documents offer a good alternative to the traditional German guarantee.
What documents can I ask tenants to provide as proof of ID?
You could ask potential tenants for a copy of their official identification, such as a copy of their passport or ID card.
Can international tenants provide a SCHUFA report?
SCHUFA cannot provide information on whether newly arrived international students and researchers are creditworthy. For this reason, a SCHUFA report cannot be provided during the first months of a student's initial stay in Germany.
Can international tenants provide proof of liability insurance?
Most international students and researchers will not yet have liability insurance when they enter Germany. If this is a prerequisite for a tenancy, please state this when a student shows interest. Liability insurance can be taken out quickly and usually cheaply via price comparison portals as well as via the bank.
Can international students and researchers obtain a housing voucher?
All students and researchers can theoretically apply for a Wohnberechtigungsschein (certificate of eligibility to public housing due to low income). However, the procedure may be more complex for them due to the documentation required and the official language being German.
What do tenants need from me to register their residence?
As landlords or main tenants, you have to fill in and sign the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung (housing provider confirmation) so that the tenants can register their residence with the City of Aachen within two weeks of the beginning of the tenancy. The template for this confirmation is available at the ServicePortal of the City of Aachen.
Please note that international students and researchers should register their residence as soon as possible in order to open their blocked or bank account and apply for their residence permit.
I would like to offer housing to international students and/or researchers. What do I have to do?
How long does it take for my offer to be advertised via the International Office?
Once your offer has been processed (usually within two to three business days), it will be forwarded to our international housing seekers until you inform us that the offer is no longer available – just send us a short email. Please note that there is no guarantee that you will find a suitable tenant through the International Office. In case of last-minute inquiries, we recommend you place an additional advertisement via the typical housing portals.
Are there any language requirements for submitting an offer to the Housing Advice Service?
Knowledge of English is an advantage for housing providers. Many international students and researchers do not speak German when they first come to Germany and may need help with general communication or understanding a German rental contract. If needed, they can receive support from their Buddy or StaffMentor, for example.
Does the housing offer have to be fully furnished?
It does not necessarily have to be furnished or have any appliances. We inform international students and/or researchers about the furnishings of the respective housing offers at the time of the advertisement. However, since our target groups are new in Germany, they are predominantly looking for a furnished place as their first accommodation.
Does the housing offer have to be in Aachen?
No, it does not have to be in Aachen. However, offers in the Aachen area are more attractive for international students and researchers due to their proximity to the University or host institute.
Please note that it is more difficult to find students interested in offers in the Netherlands and Belgium. A large proportion of international housing seekers are non-EU citizens and are only allowed to live in Germany for residence law reasons.
What costs do I need to communicate to prospective tenants?
The basic rent and additional costs, such as the costs for electricity or heating, for example, and the deposit must be clearly stated in the ad and in the rental agreement. In case of graduated lease, that is, if periodic adjustment of monthly payments is determined in advance, this is also to be communicated right away. If a separate deposit is planned for furniture and furnishings, the items in question must be listed in the rental agreement.
Who has to pay the TV and radio contribution?
Both in the case of a regular tenancy and in the case of a sublease or interim tenancy, tenants must bear the costs of these legally prescribed contributions ("Rundfunkbeitrag").
How do we manage inquiries about your advertisement?
If there are queries from international students or researchers about your advertisement that cannot be answered by the Housing Advice Service or the Welcome Center for International Researchers, they will be forwarded to you.
Will prospective tenants be screened by the Housing Advice Service?
All international students and researchers looking for housing can register with the Housing Advice Service or with the Welcome Center for International Researchers and will then be informed about offers on a regular basis. For data privacy reasons, RWTH may only request absolutely necessary data from international students and researchers. We will not ask for the student's or researcher's financial situation and no interviews with prospective tennts will be conducted.
Can I choose who my advertisement is forwarded to?
You can choose whether your offer is forwarded to international researchers, students, or both. Beyond that, you cannot specify any preferences, either in terms of gender or country of origin. An openness to the entire international university community is the basic requirement for good collaboration with the Housing Advice Service. These should be clear to all those submitting an offer.
Who selects the tenants?
The landlady or landlord is free to choose who to rent the accommodation to. The International Office only informs the international students and/or researchers about your offer and contact details. We have no influence on the selection of tenants.
What type of accommodation do international students and researchers generally prefer?
This depends on individual needs. Some need short-term accommodation for the first few days or weeks in Germany, others are looking for a medium or long-term place to stay. Typically, the most important factors are location and price.
Apartments and shared rooms are usually more popular than an entire house as they are more affordable. Frequently, researchers come to Germany with a partner or family and are looking for affordable accommodation that is suitable for couples and/or for children.
When looking for housing, what is the price range that students and researchers consider?
As with choice of accommodation, this really depends on the needs and the budget of the individual. However, our experience shows that international students have an average budget of 250 to 400 euros for accommodation (including heating). PhD students traveling on their own and researchers without an employment contract generally have a budget of between 300 euros and 500 euros. Researchers with an employment contract may spend slightly more.
Please note, however, that the majority of international researchers finance their stay with the help of a scholarship, which may have to cover the costs of their family's stay as well as health insurance. For this reason, like the students, they are likely to be on a limited budget.
Does the University offer any services to assist students and staff who are looking for accommodation?
The International Office offers two housing-related services:
The Housing Advice Service is the central point of contact in the International Office for questions about housing for international (prospective) Bachelor's and Master's students. It is also a point of contact for those who would like to offer accommodation international students and researchers.
The Welcome Center for International Researchers is dedicated to supporting international doctoral students, postdocs, and visiting scholars.
Moreover, the Welcome and Dual Career Service supports newly appointed professors at RWTH and their families in preparing and implementing their stay in Aachen, including the search for accommodation. The Welcome Service supports newly appointed professors and their families to ensure their smooth and speedy transition to RWTH Aachen University.
The AStA Students’ Committee provides RWTH students with general information and legal advice in all housing matters.
Who can I contact if I want to change or deactivate my offer of accommodation?
Please write an email to the Housing Advice Service if you want to change or withdraw your offer. You can also contact us if you want to reactivate it.
I have problems with my tenant. What can I do?
Please note, however, that the International Office does not offer legal advice and that RWTH does not assume any liability for inappropriate behavior (on the part of the tenant or the landlord/landlady), unpaid rent, or other problems that may arise during the tenancy and can only advise both parties in case there are any problems.