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Finding accommodation in Frankfurt

It is very important you start your search for accommodation in Frankfurt as soon as possible. Frankfurt School does offer student dorms, however if you wish to stay somewhere else or, were unfortunately not offered a room due to space limitations, you will need to look for accommodation elsewhere. Frankfurt has various types of accommodation on offer, located in all of the different districts. As in many larger cities, looking for a place to live can take time. It is also important to know basic laws and rules of accommodation searching in Frankfurt. Below we list some of the different areas in Frankfurt, tips on looking for accommodation in Frankfurt and a list of websites and accommodation which we recommend you have a look at to help you in your search.

Districts in Frankfurt

  • Bockenheim offers a bit of everything and is one of the oldest and biggest areas in Frankfurt. It borders with the Westend and the Gallusviertel and offers a good mix of modern and older buildings. It also has many great cafés and restaurants to offer.
     
  • Bornheim is home to a lot of young people and has various restaurants, cafés and boutiques along the well-known Bergerstraße, which runs from one end of the district right through to the other.
     
  • Eckenheim or Dornbusch are a bit further from the city centre but are located closer to our campus and are priced at a resonable range for students. It's a quieter area where a lot of families live.
     
  • Gallusviertel & Gutleutviertel are just behind the Hauptbahnhof, however, very different to what you would imagine. The whole discrict has been renovated and has become the modern "Europaviertel". They are currently building a new Ubahn line there which will directly connect to the station "Deutsche Nationalbibliothek".
     
  • The Innenstadt (city centre) is a great location. Having the main shopping street on your doorstep, as welll as being only a few steps away from bars and clubs, makes it the perfect for those who really want a taste of city life. Being in the middle of everything has its price, so be prepared for higher rents in the city centre.
     
  • Offenbach, although not technically located in Frankfurt, it's also a great place to live, as it is a bit cheaper and well connected via S-bahn (inner city trains). Check out the renovated "Hafen" area of modern apartments, which is currently expanding and a great spot for river bank lovers.
     
  • Ostend is north-east of the river Main. The houses in this area are also relatively modern and its location makes it great for spending afternoons/evenings hanging out at the river. Our previous campus used to be located here - can you find it?
     
  • Sachsenhausen is south of the river Main. Although it is slightly further from our campus, it offers its own cinema and array of bars and restaurants; a great place for socialising without having to enter the hustle and bustle of the Innenstadt.
     
  • Westend is a quieter area, located right next to Palmengarten and the Grüneberg park. This is a bit like the "Upper-East Side" of Frankfurt. Very centrally located and quite pricey but is full of picturesque Altbau (historic) buildings of the late 19th and 20th century.

Types of accommodation

Accommodation is mainly unfurnished, however furnished flats are available. The rent  prices dependson several factors including size, location, age of building and amenities included. The average rent for a flat in Frankfurt is approximately €15 per m². Please be aware, most of the smaller flats are above the average as they are very sought after.

Private student dorms

In private doorms you usually have your own room and sometimes your own bathroom. Common areas such as the kitchen are shared with other people. Private dorms are mainly furnished and at times offer special services e.g. a concierge and study rooms. Prices start from €550 per month. Those living in private dorms are mostly students, making it a great option if you are new in Frankfurt and looking to meet people. It's also the easiest option if you are moving to Frankfurt from abroad, even if it's just temporary.

Wohngemeinschaft (WG) - Flat share

In a WG you have your own room and share the rest of the flat, such as the kitchen and bathroom, with other students/people. Depending on the size, facilities and neighborhood, rent prices for a room start at €350 per month. Rooms in shared flats can be unfurnished but you may also find furnished rooms if you are looking for temporary accommodation (so called Zwischenmiete). The amount of people you live with can vary from 1 to 4 depending on the size of the flat. WG's are also a great way to meet new people. However, you need to be sure you are ok with sharing a bathroom and kitchen. It's probably best to meet your future flatmates for a coffee before moving in, to see whether you have a compatible lifestyle or not.

Renting your own flat

Through this option you have an entire flat (including bathroom and kitchen) to yourself or you can move in with a friend/partner. On average, renting a flat on your own is more expensive than flat-shares, with flat prices starting at €450 a month. This is the best option for those who like their own space and like having control over the levels of noise and organisation that goes on in the flat. This is, however, arguably the most challenging option, as finding a flat in Frankfurt can take a while and the market is quite competitive.

What to watch out for

Be aware when looking for flats to rent that the cost quoted is usually just for the basic rent (in German ‘Kaltmiete’). On top of this, you will have to pay utilities and charges such as heating and water. The rent cost which includes these amenities is called ‘Warmmiete’. You need to arrange electricity (for example through Mainova) and internet (for example through Unitymedia) yourself. The cost is based on the options you choose in your contract. Be aware that your electricity costs will be adjusted to your actual usage after the first year, which could mean you end up paying more. It is not uncommon to receive a bill for extra heating and water usuage at the end of your contract, so be wise and save energy, otherwise the bill could be big!

Where to find accommodation

FS Student Dorms

We offer dorms on campus for the first year of your studies. For further information and to apply, please see here.

Private dorms and student residences

Due to the high demand for rooms or flats in Frankfurt, various private student residences have opened up. Here a short list with their location:

Please note you can't apply for a room in dorms owned by public universities in Frankfurt (linked to the "Deutsches Studentenwerk"), as they only offer accommodation to students attending public universities.

WGs

There are various websites where you can find a room in a shared flat. Some of these are listed below:

Flats for rent

There are various websites for finding flats. They are mainly available in German only. Some websites are listed below:

Facebook

There are various Facebook groups where you can find offers for flat-shares and student rentals which they are worth checking out! Some of these are listed below:

Applying for accommodation

First contact

If you are looking for accommodation in Frankfurt, it is easier to be here, in person. Landlords are more likely to agree to let accommodation if they have met the prospective tenants. However, you can also ask them for a Skype call if you have not arrived yet. In the peak times before the semester starts, a lot of people are looking for a flat or room and it is common to not receive a response from someone after you have messaged them as they are often inundated with requests.

If you are interested in a flat and have already been for a viewing, you need to be very quick in letting the landlord know and providing them with all the documents and information they require, otherwise you will probably lose the flat to someone else. Check flat websites regularly or sign up for update e-mails. When contacting landlords, you should introduce yourself, explain what you are doing in Frankfurt and how you will cover the rent payments. Landlords can be picky when renting out to students, as the stereotype is that they will be loud and won't pay their bills. Reassure them this will not be the case. Often landlords will accept your parents as guarantors if you can't finance the flat yourself.

Viewings

If possible, go to viewings with someone who speaks good German and can support you. It is likely the landlord will invite you to a group viewing, so you won't be the only person there. However you may also be invited to an individual viewing. Take the opportunity to ask any open questions you should have during the viewing and, if you are interested in the flat, let the landlord know without being too pushy. Should you notice any damage to the flat during the viewing, you should ask the landlord politely what will be done about it – and once you get the keys for the flat, check the work has been carried out during the hand-over protocol. Otherwise you might face unnecessary costs when moving out.

Contract

If you are offered a contract, you should read through it very carefully, especially if it has been drafted by the landlord himself. A rental contract should contain the following:

  • Monthly rent excluding any charges, the so-called Kaltmiete (basic rent)
  • Monthly charges for amenties (the Warmmiete) such as water, taxes, heating, warm water and garbage collection
  • Beginning and termination of the tenancy (in case of fixed-term rental agreements)
  • Notice period in the case of unlimited rental agreements (as a rule, this is 3 months)
  • The tenant’s rights of use (cellar, communal rooms, garden etc.)
  • Agreements regarding renovation when moving out
  • Be aware that once the rental contract is signed, there is no right of withdrawal. It’s best to have someone local read through the contract.
  • Landlords do at times have the right to adjust rental costs yearly depending on inflation

If you are going to be living in private dorms, the application process is usually much easier and faster.

Short-term accommodation

If you are only looking for short term accommodation (a few days or weeks), Frankfurt also has different options on offer.

Hostels or youth hostels

There are several hostels in Frankfurt where you can stay until you find something more permanent. Below are some links to a few hostel websites:


There are also portals for comparing availability, prices and user reviews for the different youth hostels: Hostelbookers & Hostelworld.

Airbnb

You can also find a place to stay via the Airbnb website. Airbnb is a service that allows you to book private apartments and guest rooms. Depending on the flat owner, you can usually book a flat for a few days up to a few months.

Mitwohnzentrale (letting agency)

Letting agencies are based in many towns and act as agents for short term accommodation. Mostly, these are furnished rooms in private households. Letting agencies often offer accommodation for a few weeks. This can be an advantage if you are just looking for an interim solution. However, letting agencies are commercially oriented and claim a fee for their services.

Information on accommodation seeking from A-Z

Application documents

When applying for a flat (usually only relevant for WG's or normal flats), you will be required to provide the landlord with various documents. Usually this includes a fully filled out "Mieterselbstauskunft" form (application form) which will be provided by the landlord, proof of your financial status (or of your parents' financial status), proof of your enrolment and/or job contract and some may ask for your SCHUFA report (credit rating).

Deposit

Landlords usually require a security deposit of three months' rent before you move in. This security deposit will be returned back to you once you move out of the flat, providing you keep your room or flat in good condition.

Fraud

Please be aware that there are some fraudulent offers on the internet. Signs for this are bad German or English and cheap prices for huge flats or flats in the most wanted areas. Often these people will mention how they have moved abroad and therefore cannot meet you in person. Anyone who asks you to send them money before you have even seen the flat in person, should be immediately ignored. If you are not sure whether someone is a fraud or not, always ask for a second opinion.

Registering your address in Germany

Once you have found accommodation and signed the contract, you need to go to the Bürgeramt (resident’s registration office) within 2 weeks and register yourself at your new address. This is compulsory in Germany and if you don't or do it late, you will be charged a fee.

Rundfunkbeitrag

The Rundfunkbeitrag is a tax for public-service broadcasting paid by everyone living in Germany. This tax is separate from the rent and is paid directly to the ARD/ZDF/Deutschlandfunk Rundfunk. It currently costs 17,50€/month and is shared by all tenants of a flat. If you live in a WG, the individual contribution will be split between the people living in the flat. You will be contacted directly by ARD/ZDF via mail once you have moved in.

Unfurnished accommodation

As most accommodation in Frankfurt is not furnished, you will need to buy your own furniture. You can either buy new from shops such as IKEA or you can look for cheap or even free used furniture. The best places to find furniture are the Frankfurt flea market on the Schaumainkai and Osthafen, in second-hand furniture shops such as Neufundland (www.neufundland-frankfurt.de), online in private ads on websites (https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/) or on Facebook (free your stuff group Frankfurt).

Wall painting

Sometimes, when you move out of a flat, you may be required to repaint the flat before getting your deposit back. Make sure you ask in advance what the landlord expects and whether the previous tenant has actually painted the walls or if the landlord will be taking care of this.

Good luck with your search!