You can view the recording of the event "Tenancy Law in Germany: Info Event for Students (in German)" in this video. You can also find the info sheets below in the download area.
Accommodation in AachenCopyright: © RWTH Aachen
Whether a room in a dorm, sharing an apartment, or your very own place – if you are going to study in Aachen or come here for a research stay, you will need to start looking for accommodation early on, because RWTH does not own any student dorms, only has very limited places at its guesthouses and therefore cannot provide you with housing.
Typically, RWTH welcomes more than 9,000 new students every winter semester, with hundreds of new employees and guests researchers too. The number of people looking for a place to live is equally high at this time. At the start of the semester it is particularly hard to find a place that is available, especially at a reasonable price. Thus, we recommend you start looking for a room at least two to three months before coming to Aachen.
Unfortunately, it is not possible for doctoral candidates and guest researchers to live in the student dorms run by Studierendenwerk. RWTH has three guesthouses with various accommodation options very near the university campus. As a rule, it is necessary to book very early (several months in advance), as this option is in high demand and the guesthouses are often fully booked. Since only your host institute can make a reservation on your behalf, please contact them early on to check availability.
If you are looking for furnished accommodation for a limited period of time, you will find offers for temporary and furnished apartments in Aachen on the website Wohnen auf Zeit.
Search for Accommodation
At RWTH, several student advising services are specialized in providing information on housing, for example, AStA Students' Committee, the AusländerInnenVertretung (AV), the International Office Housing Advice Service, the international student organization INCAS, and the Association of Indian Students in Aachen, or AISA.
These organizations have all teamed up and created a brochure offering a great amount of information as well as addresses that are helpful for both German and international students and researchers. Please take a close look at the brochure, which is only available in English, to find out about all the different options for finding a room or an apartment here in Aachen.
For international students in need of further guidance, the International Office Housing Advice Service offers individual advising as well as an international housing newsletter informing regularly about incoming private offers from owners and RWTH students, specific availabilities in student dorms, partnerships with private dorms, anti-scams tips, upcoming webinars and events related to housing. We highly recommend all housing-seeking students to subscribe to this newsletter.
International doctoral students and researchers can contact the Welcome Center for International Researchers for housing advice as well as for support in the general organization of their research stay. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to contact the Welcome Center staff. If necessary, you can make a personal appointment for a private advising session with the Welcome Center.
Ways to find accommodation - FAQ
Does RWTH own any student dormitories?
No, RWTH does not own, nor rent or manage any dorms or accommodation in general. The Studierendenwerk Aachen, along with further private dorms, offers low-priced housing options for students in and around Aachen.
Where can I find an overview of Aachen’s housing options?
Consult our Housing Guide, which contains an overview of short-, medium- and long-term housing options in and around Aachen, including the link to their website, approximate prices and application / booking procedures.
Am I eligible to apply for the so-called “quota rooms” reserved by the International Office in cooperation with Studierendenwerk Aachen?
Degree students are usually not eligible for quota rooms.
If you are an exchange, program or visiting student staying at RWTH for one semester or two only, you may be able to apply for one of the so-called quota rooms. For that, you first need to have applied at the Incoming Student Services in due times. Our Housing Advice Service will contact you accordingly to provide you the access to the application portal as well as your applicant number.
Please note that the International Office is in charge of the application process, whereas the Studierendenwerk – as owner of the dorms – is responsible for the offers, the allocation of the rooms and all further procedures (lease contract, rent payment, deposit refund, et cetera).
I would like to get a room offer from a student dormitory faster. Can I ask RWTH or the International Office for help?
The Studierendenwerk Aachen and all further private dorms are independent from the university. RWTH Aachen and the International Office have no influence whatsoever on the allocation process or waiting lists.
I would like to live in the Netherlands / in Belgium. Is that possible?
Students with German or EU citizenship may live in the Netherlands or Belgium. Non-EU students must apply for a German residence title to study in Germany and thus have a registered residence in Germany. It is therefore not possible for non-EU students to live in the Netherlands or Belgium.
What is a housing entitlement certificate, so-called Wohnberechtigungsschein, and am I eligible for it?
Some publicly funded and therefore lower-priced apartments have specific tenancy requirements. For instance, you need to present a housing entitlement certificate, or Wohnberechtigungsschein, which both German and international students can apply for. Those with little income can check their eligibility for the Wohnberechtigungsschein at WBS Rechner and at the City of Aachen housing office. Please note that both websites are only available in German.
Renting a room or apartment - FAQ
I have questions regarding my rental agreement. Whom can I contact?
If you have any questions regarding your rental agreement or if you are having problems with your landlord or landlady, you are welcome to contact the legal advice team at the Student Union AStA. There you can get advice from lawyers and find out what exactly your rights and obligations are as a tenant. AStA also organizes seminars on the topic of tenancy law. Information on upcoming events can be found here. Under downloads you can also find an AStA brochure on this specific topic. Please note that it is currently available in German only. Furthermore, you can find an information sheet with important information about tenancy law in the download area below.
Can I pay the rent late?
The first month rent and deposit are usually requested from the dorm administration, landlord or landlady to pay before moving in, after the lease contract has been signed by both parties. There is usually a clause included in your contract mentioning the latest possible date of payment (e.g. third of the month). In case you are late in payment, talk to your dorm administration or landlord or landlady. You may have to pay an additionnal fee for the delay.
How do I do the city registration (Wohnsitzanmeldung)?
Once you have moved into your new home, have the Wohnungsgeberbestätigung (the confirmation from your landlord, landlady or dorm administration) signed. Make an appointment at the Citizens’ Office in Aachen via the appointment tool at the latest two weeks after your move in date and bring the signed document as well as your personal ID or passport with you. Further information about the registration process is available in German at the Serviceportal der Stadt Aachen.
What should I do if my bank account is frozen and I cannot transfer the rent and deposit?
If possible, have a relative or a friend do the first transfer for you. Once you will have registered your address in Aachen, you will be able to unblock or create your bank account with the confirmation of address registration.
I would like to rent out or sublet an apartment. Whom can I contact?
I am living in a Studierendenwerk residence hall. What do I need to consider when moving out?
Even though your rental agreement with the Studierendenwerk runs until the last day of a given month, it is only possible to move out by the last working days (Monday to Friday) of the month and you need to arrange an appointment with the Hausmeister early on, as an official inspection of your room is necessary when handing over your key.
There will also be a "pre-inspection" of your room, approximately 6 to 8 weeks prior to the end of your rental contract in case any larger repairs must be scheduled in advance.
If you fail to follow the correct procedure when moving out or refuse to allow the "pre-inspection", a fee will be deducted from your deposit. For more information, please refer to the Studierendenwerk Questions and Answers page.
When can I get my deposit back?
If you are living in one of Studierendenwerk’s residence halls, it usually takes 12 to 14 weeks for the deposit to be transferred back. Should it take longer, please reach out to the Studierendenwerk directly. On the private market, it can take up to six months to take your deposit back. Make sure in both cases to keep your move out protocol until you get the reimbursement.
Beware of scams - FAQ
How can I know, if an online offer is a scam?
There are several tricks which are used typically by scammers targeting international students in particular. Some of them are summed up well on iamexpat.de. In general, use common sense and never send any sensible documents or transfer any money without having absolute proof that the person you are being in contact with and the accommodation offer actually exist.
Where can I be targeted by scammers?
Scammers are particularly active on social media like Facebook and the most popular housing research portals such as WG-Gesucht or Ebay Kleinanzeigen. They may contact you proactively, which only happens rarely in serious cases.
Some scammers are also using temporary housing portal such as Booking.com or Airbnb to insert fake offers. The latter can be easily spotted if the payment for your booking should be made by extra transfer and not via the secured payment portal.
The person offering the room or apartment says she is not in Germany and wants me to transfer a security deposit. Is it safe?
This is a typical scam situation: the alleged owner contacts the apartment hunter and informs them that he is abroad and cannot come to the viewing. He/she offers to send the key for the viewing of the apartment by mail or to hand it over through an intermediary. As a deposit for this, you should transfer money in advance to “secure” the apartment. As soon as the transfer has been made, however, you receive neither a suitable apartment key nor an answer from the alleged landlord. Sometimes, the scammer will go as far as trying to get you to transfer more money, saying the money never arrived on his or her account.
Should I book and pay the accommodation without seeing it?
Sometimes, you may not have the chance to physically visit the place before booking it. This is the case for example if you are applying for a student dorm from abroad. In those cases, you can usually easily check if the offer is legitimate, since those must have at least a website to refer to and have a company stamp or similar.
On the private market, you should be more careful. If you have been in contact with a potential owner or lessor but you were not able to visit the apartment or room beforehand, make sure to proof-check the legitimacy of the offer before transferring any money or providing any sensible documents. Do not rely simply on some pictures and an email / WhatsApp conversation.
What should I do if I suspect a scam or if I have been scammed?
- Ignore: Do not respond to the scammer's demands. Do not transfer money under any circumstances. Do not cash checks or forward letters and packages - do not keep them either. If you have already transferred money and if possible, immediately reverse any payments made.
- Back up: save all mails and chat texts as evidence on a storage medium. Keep bank transfer receipts, etc. If you are still unsure, contact your nearest police station. They will tell you what you need to do to secure all the evidence.
- Get help: File a report with the police and inform our Housing Advice Service. Prosecuting such perpetrators is difficult because they operate from abroad. Nevertheless, you should definitely report the incident to maybe help others students no getting scammed by the same person or alias.