Shared Accommodation (Wohngemeinschaften - WG)

In Germany many students share flats to save costs by splitting the rent and living in shared apartments. If you live in a shared flat (so called WG, which is an abbreviation from Wohngemeinschaft) you usually share a kitchen and a bathroom with other flatmates and have your own bedroom. A room in a shared flat is cheaper than renting a whole flat for yourself and often at least the kitchen is already stocked with furniture and utensils like pots and plates, meaning you don’t have to buy as much. However you should bring something to WG with you.

You usually just need the furniture for your bedroom, but sometimes there is even the possibility to use or buy the former tenant’s furniture.

If you want to move into a shared flat, you need to send out applications to the tenants looking for flatmates in which you state your wish to move in and tell them a bit about yourself, your studies and your interests and why you want to live with them. If the tenants like your application they will then invite you so that you can get a look at the flat and they can get to know you personally.

On the right side there are some examples of what an application for a room in a shared flat could look like and you can use it as an inspiration for your application letter. However you should always write your own personalized applications.

There are some general important things to know about the German housing market and some important regulations (e.g. public broadcasting fees or unfurnished apartments). Please check our websites for more information on that topic.

Caution!!! Fraud!!!

Please be cautious and do not pay any rents or deposits I advance, before your arrival and before you have spoken to the landlord and have signed the contract or at least seen the particular apartment. There have been some cases of fraud recently. The indication of a foreign IBAN is quite certainly a reference to fraudsters.
What should your application include? ↓

Your application should include:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Your country of origin
  • Course of your study and the university
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Something about your job or source of income
  • The languages you speak
  • Your stance on pets
  • If you smoke
  • If there is some furniture or equipment/furniture you could bring that would be beneficial for the flat, e.g. a washing machine, TV, tumble dryer etc.

Important things to notice ↓

We strongly advise you to write your application in German! If you cannot speak German yet and you would like to apply in English you should state that you are learning German or would like to learn it in the future. This would  simplify the communication. Or maybe your roommates can benefit from your language skills -e.g.  you could teach them some English or another foreign language and vice versa? That could also be an advantage for everyone!

After sending your application you should make sure your phone is switched on and you are easily reachable - in case your future roommates would call you.

If you are invited to see the flat, respond immediately! You are most likely not the only one looking for a room and there are probably more applicants.

Where to find a shared accommodation? ↓

there are many possibilities to find a nice shared apartment and get new friends for the rest of your life! You will find many offers on the various websites listed in our PDF document on the right side of this website "Shared accommodation - Where to look for?"

Of course there are many more providers - we can not list them all, so browse the internet and ask your friends where they found their accommodation and if they can maybe recommend a flat or a free room!

Please pay attention to offers which can be found in the buildings of the FH Dortmund and ask your fellow students - sometimes they are looking for a flatmate or know other students who live in a shared flat in which a room is available.