Accommodation is one of the most pressing - and challenging - issues at the beginning of a research stay in Bonn. Affordable and centrally located housing options are very limited. Therefore, we strongly recommend starting the search for accommodation in your home or residence country before travelling to Germany.
Apartment Search in Bonn
Guest Houses in Bonn
22 Apartments close to the University Main Building
Local Housing Website "Zimmer Frei"
The local housing website "Zimmer Frei" is a collective initiative of the higher education institutes in Bonn, the City of Bonn, the Rhein Sieg Administrative District as well as local partner institutions. It is intended to connect landlords and tenants in a fast and easy way. This search portal is also available in English.
Furnished and Unfurnished Accommodation
Information for Tenants
Before moving into an apartment you usually sign a contract with your future landlord. By signing the contract you enter into a legally binding agreement and should therefore read it carefully before signing, including the fine print. Purely verbal rental agreements are rather uncommon in Germany.
The contract should include the following information: basic monthly rental charge (Kaltmiete), monthly additional costs ("Nebenkosten", such as garbage removal, water, taxes and, in some cases, heating and hot water), starting date and duration of the rental period (in case of fixed-term contracts), notice period for open-ended contracts (usually 3 months), the tenant’s rights of use (basement, common areas, garden etc.), and information on renovation obligations before moving out (professional carpet cleaning, painting etc).
It is common in Germany for a landlord to ask for 1 or 2 months’ rent as a security deposit. The money is put in a savings account for you and is paid back in full when you move out unless you have damaged the apartment or have not fully paid your rent. The maximum permissible deposit is three months rent.
Hand-over Protocol for Rented Apartments
Any existing deficiencies in the flat should also be noted so that you will not be held responsible when moving out. Under German legislation, it is permissible to keep small pets (guinea pigs, caged birds, rabbits and hamsters). If you wish to keep cats or dogs, you should discuss this with your landlord in advance.
- Sample Hand-over Protocol: tba
Landlord Confirmation Form
Since 1 November 2015, you are required to present a landlord confirmation form ("Wohnungsgeberbestätigung") when registering your residence at the Civic Services Office. We recommend to have the form signed by the landlord before your registration appointment at the Civic Services Office.
Public Service Broadcasting License Fee
Since 2013, a simple rule was enacted and applies to all citizens: one residence - one fee. The license fee is not linked to a broadcasting device: It is irrelevant how many TVs, radios or computers there are at a residence. The license fee is 17.50 Euro/month and is only paid once per residence.
The fee only has to be paid by people of legal age. Cars for private use are also covered by this fee. If several people live together then only one person has to register to pay the license fee. This person pays the fee for all residents living at the residence. Families, cohabitations and those in shared accommodation benefit from this rule.
A separate application is required for second homes or other residences.
- More information and registration: License Fee for Citizens
Commission Fee for Real Estate Agents
Since 1 June 2015, there is a new regulation in Germany concerning the assignment of real-estate agents. He/she who assigns the agent has to pay the commission fee.
Usually, the landlord assigns an agent to act as a broker of his property. According to the new regulation, tenants only have to pay the commission fee if they explicitly assigned an agent to find suitable accommodation for them. If the agent draws on stocked objects, the tenant does not have to pay the commission fee.
List of Abbreviations for Apartment Search
In many advertisements for vacant apartments you may find a whole lot of abbreviations that you may not yet have heard of. Therefore, we have compiled a list of such abbreviations with explanations for your information.
Information for Landlords
You would like to rent a room or apartment to an international researcher at the University of Bonn?
Please kindly contact our Accommodation Support Services (see below), so that we can add your offer to our database. We will try to connect you with an interested researcher as fast as we can. We would be grateful if you could inform us on vacancies.
Alternatively, you can use the local website "Zimmer Frei" in order to post a vacant room or apartment. This housing portal is a collective initiative of the higher education institutes in Bonn, the City of Bonn, the Rhein Sieg Administrative District as well as local partner institutions. It is intended to connect landlords and tenants in a fast and easy way.
To a certain extent, the Welcome Center can help you searching for accommodation. We keep a list of apartments offered by private landlords. If this is of interest, please register at the Welcome Center and contact our Accommodation Support Services.
- Bärbel Heurich
Phone: +49 (0228) 73-6892