As there is a shortage of housing in Germany, accommodation is often expensive, at least in many larger towns and cies. You often may have to spend 40% of your monthly salary/fellowship on rent. This is particularly true for the kind of accommodation visiting researchers usually require: furnished or at least partly furnished, readily available and on a short lease. The relationship between supply and demand, particularly in towns where there are large numbers of students, fluxuates radically during the course of the year. At the beginning of the semester, the demand for accommodation is particularly high.
We urgently recommend you to start looking for accommodation for yourself and your family in Germany as soon as possible; preferably several months before you begin your stay.
Some universities have guesthouses for international visiting researchers. As there is huge demand for accommodation in these guesthouses, you should make enquires at the earliest opportunity.
If you want to search for accommodation privately, you can consult the following websites among others:
It is worth reading the advertisements in the local newspaper and checking the notice boards at your university for offers. You can also post your own advertisement on the websites mentioned above, for example, or in local newspapers and on notice boards. Furthermore, you can enlist the help of an real estate agency to find accommodation. Please note that from 1 June 2015, the real estate agent’s commission must be paid by apartment seekers only if they engaged the agent themselves. Otherwise, the real estate agent's services have to be paid by the landlord. A list of estate agents at your place of residence can be found in the Gelbe Seiten (Yellow Pages) (enter 'Immobilienmakler' and the name of the town).
Please note that sometimes people unfortunately use accomodation platforms to try to trick people out of money, so make sure to read advertisements carefully and use a bit of caution, especially in cases where requests for advance payments are made.
List of abbreviations for accommodation search
If you want to search for accommodation in Germany privately you will discover that advertisements contain a lot of abbreviations. A list of abbreviations is available here.