Zu sehen ist ein Labyrinth aus Häuserdächern
CC0 Creative Commons

Rental Housing Market

In Germany, accommodation is quite expensive, especially in larger cities. You will often have to spend up to 40% of your monthly salary/fellowship amount on rent. This is particularly true of the kind of accommodation required by visiting academics, that is, furnished or at least partly furnished, and available at short notice for a short period of time.

However, the Duisburg and Essen housing markets are relatively cheap in comparison with other large cities. None the less, the accommodation on offer and the rents vary depending on the district.

The relationship between supply and demand, particularly in towns with a large percentage of students, varies considerably over the course of the year. At the beginning of the semester demand is especially great.

Finding accommodation

It is wise to begin looking for a place to stay in Germany as early as possible while you are still in your home country. Your host faculty in Duisburg and Essen may be able to assist you with looking for an apartment.

If you search for accommodation yourself, you can study the offers on the relevant online portals, in local newspapers (e.g. Stadtanzeiger) and on notice boards around UDE. You can use all three options to post your own advertisement searching for accommodation. You can also employ an estate agent to find an apartment for you, although you may have to pay a commission for this service. For a list of estate agents in your town, visit the “Yellow Pages” and search under “Immobilienmakler” and the name of your town.

We have compiled a list of further useful websites that might help you find accommodation below.

Useful information on accommodation in Germany

  • Very often in rental agreements, a one-time deposit equivalent to two months’ rent is required; this deposit will be refunded when the flat is vacated in good condition.
  • Unless it states that an apartment is furnished or partly furnished in the advertisement, you must assume that the accommodation will not include any equipment or furniture.
  • The charge for electricity is not included in the additional costs and must be paid to the electricity provider directly.
  • Collecting the key: Please take note of check-in times as it is not usually possible to collect the key for the apartment at other times. As soon as you know when you will be arriving in Duisburg or Essen, please inform your landlord and agree on the best time for collecting the key.
  • When searching for an apartment online, bear in mind that estate agents also offer accommodation on internet platforms. Check that you will not have to pay any additional commission to an agency before making a final decision.
  • Before signing the rental agreement, pay attention to the type of rental agreement: Usually it is either a permanent rental agreement, which you can terminate with three months' notice, or a temporary rental agreement, which is valid for a certain period of time and cannot be terminated before the end of this period.
  • When you moving in, ask your landlord to complete the "Wohnungsgeberbestätigung" (landlord's confirmation) (Essen, Duisburg (PDF)). You will need it to register with the city.

If you search for your own accommodation in Germany, you will come across a lot of abbreviations in advertisements. To facilitate your search for suitable accommodation we have prepared a list of abbreviations with English translations in our Guide for International Researchers (see p. 98-99).

Useful links for private apartment search

Temporary accommodation (mostly furnished):

Housing agencies that help you find furnished accommodation:

Providers of furnished rooms and apartments:

Search engines/platforms for finding furnished accommodation:

Permanent accommodation (mostly unfurnished):

Providers of permanent/unfurnished accommodation:

Search engines/platforms for finding unfurnished accommodation:

Shared accommodation:

Holiday apartments and rooms:

Providers of holiday apartments and airbnbs sometimes agree to lower their prices if you rent their accommodation for a longer period.
Zu sehen ist ein Schlüssel, der in einem Türschloss steckt

Guesthouses & Dormitories

Accommodation facilities of the University of Duisburg-Essen are limited. Student accommodations are not available to university employees and researchers. Instead, the international guesthouses of the University are an option especially for short to medium stays. The monthly rent for a 30 sqm single apartment in a guesthouse is 500 € and 750 € for a double apartment. Please contact us if you are interested in exploring this option.

Read more about guesthouses of the universityStudierendenwerk

The student residence "die BRÜCKE", also located on the Essen campus, mainly rents rooms to students. However, it additionally features eight guest rooms (without kitchen), which are also rented to non-students. More information is available on the BRÜCKE website.

Furthermore, there are five Wohnheime (residential accommodation) with 350 residential units for staff of the university hospital in the city of Essen. These are furnished single apartments and single rooms.

GEZ / TV & Radio Licence Fee

This monthly fee is collected by an agency belonging to the broadcasters ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio. The fee must be paid by every household in Germany.

After your registration at the Residents' Registration Office the fee collecting agency ("Beitragsservice") will usually be informed and will ask for your online registration. We recommend to register online by yourself to avoid possible additional payments. You do not have to register when you are living in a shared accommodation and someone is already paying the monthly fee. In this case you can apply for exemption (Antrag auf Befreiung).

You can read more about the necessary forms and information about the amount of the monthly fee on the website of the agency.