Shared Apartments

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Shared Apartments (Wohngemeinschaften or WG)

If dormitories are not your thing and you would rather live in a more private environment, yet not alone, then you have the possibility to live in a shared apartment (Wohngemeinschaften, WGs). These are flats shared between two or more people, with a common kitchen and bathroom. Everyone usually has their own room.

By the way - German flatmates are of course an excellent way to learn German!

You will often find ads for WG rooms at the major bus stops (like at Ahornweg or Uni/Neue Aula), but the most convenient way of looking for a room in a WG is to search the web. Some search-term suggestions include "WG Tuebingen", "Wohngemeinschaft Tuebingen", "Zimmer suchen Tuebingen". These should lead you to the most common search portals, where you can also place an ad yourself. You can also try the Facebook group ”Uni Tuebingen WG Boerse”.


How does a WG Work?

WGs vary in size, location, number and age of occupants, as well as price. Usually you have to arrange for your own furniture for your room (sometimes the last occupant might even want to sell off a lot of theirs to the next one), but more often than not, the kitchen and other common facilities are already furnished.

This could be a good option if you don’t want to invest too much!

Before you go to see the flat, you already have a lot of information to help you decide. The ad usually provides either a contact number or an email address to contact your potential future flat mates. Remember that, in most cases, it’s the occupants of the house that decide whether you get the room, and the landlord has usually nothing to do with this process. Also, responding fast to these ads helps, as there are usually many people interested in the room.

The Interview

After you have found your ideal room and managed to arrange an appointment to meet the other residents. There are often 10-20 other ’candidates’ for the same room, so, it is wise to look for more than one WG rather than stopping at the first one that appeals to you.

Moving In

Moving day is often at the start of the month, but sometimes they want you to move in as soon as possible. If you are moving in the middle of the month, be careful that you only pay the rent from the day you move in! You often have to pay a security deposit (Kaution) when you move in, either to the landlord directly or to the previous resident’s account. This is usually from € 200-500, or twice to three times the basic monthly rent without utilities, so make sure you can cover this expense when you sign the contract.

Moving Out

If your WG contract is for an unlimited period, you are generally required to notice to your roommates three months prior to your departure date. However, in most cases, if you can find another occupant before this time, you can move out earlier. Your deposit is reimbursed to you either by the landlord or the next tenant, but don’t count on this process being very immediate - it can take as long as six months!

If you don’t want to carry your furniture with you, then you could try and persuade the next tenant to keep most of your stuff.

Updated 21/12/2016 3:31pm