Accomodation in Göttingen
Your department assistant at the institute, the Welcome Centre of the Göttingen Campus, as well as the Accomodation Service for international students will be happy to help you to find a place to live. The Welcome Centre of the Göttingen Campus takes care of of PhD students from the institute, postdocs, and professors. PhD students can also contact the International Accomodation Service: firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not hesitate to ask them for help! Please inform the above mentioned support contacts about your requirements as soon as possible even before your arrival in Göttingen. In some cases, the secretary of your goup may be able to arrange a room at our institute's on-site guesthouse or at guesthouses of our cooperating institutions in Göttingen. There are single and double bed rooms as well as apartments available.
Please note that admission to PhD studies does NOT automatically include a room at a student residence. Since affordable rooms and apartments are scarce in Göttingen and the waiting period for student residences may sometimes be a year or longer, it is important to take care of this very early on.
If you like to search for room/flat offers yourself, you may want to check the links below. Please note that in some cases you might have to pay a commission. .
Finding a Place on your Own
Göttinger Tageblatt Accomodation Advertisements (German only, in the Wednesday and Saturday issues)
www.wg-gesucht.de (German only)
www.wohnung-mieten.de (German only)
www.immobilienscout24.de (German only)
www.immonet.de (German only)
www.immowelt.de (German only)
The cheapest and most common way of finding a place is through the local newspaper, the Göttinger Tageblatt, or the online portals listed above. For abbreviations in housing advertisements, see: Housing Advertisement Abbreviations.
Another way to find a new home is to search via an estate agent (in German: Immobilienmakler, Wohnungsmakler). This is expensive though – when an estate agent succeeds in finding a place for you, he/she charges you a fee that is related to the rent you will be paying. The legal limit of this fee equates two monthly rental payments (excluding utilities). Never pay a fee unless the estate agent’s work actually results in signing a rental contract!
Although advertisements will indicate the number of rooms in an apartment, the rent will be calculated according to the square meterage (Quadratmeter: 1 qm = approx. 11.25 square feet). The number of rooms is estimated as follows: if you are looking for an apartment with two bedrooms, a living room and a dining room, you will be looking for a four room (4 Zimmer) flat. Please be aware, that furnished (möblierte) apartments are rare; most offers are unfurnished (unmöbliert).
Cheap Furniture can be found here:
Möbelino – a furniture shop offering second-hand furniture as well as household goods
Neue Arbeit Brockensammlung – this social project includes a furniture shop offering well-preserved (second-hand) furniture
In order to avoid disputes about damages during occupancy, tenants should examine the flat together with the landlord before moving in and make a list of damages or necessary repairs. These should be recorded in the lease contract. Most leases require tenants to repaint the interior of homes when moving out.
One special feature in Germany is “Ruhezeit” which means periods where no noise is permitted. Generally, you should avoid any noise between 1 and 3 pm, as well as between 10 pm and 7 am, Mondays to Saturdays and during the whole Sunday. "Ruhezeit" is holy in Germany.
During ”Ruhezeit” avoid any loud noises especially drilling, sawing, hammering, playing instruments, or turning up your stereo. Inform your neighbors if you are planning a party.
Utility and Rent Payments
Rental payments, including "Nebenkosten" (additional costs such as heating, staircase cleaning, garbage collection, and water) should be made no later than the third working day of the month. Electricity is usually paid separately directly to the electricity provider. Ask your landlord to specify the "Nebenkosten" before you sign the rental agreement. Once a year, tenants receive a summary of these extra costs, which in part may be deductible from income tax.
Landlords usually take two to three months' rent as a deposit, which is placed in an interest-bearing savings account in the name of the tenant. When the tenant moves out, any repairs that might be necessary are paid out of this deposit account or, if no repairs are necessary, the saved amount is returned to the tenant. Any modifications to the contract must be made in writing.
Leases are generally unlimited with a three-month notice period for both parties. Be prepared for forthright questions from landlords concerning employer, income, proposed length of stay and ages of children.
The Mystery of the German Garbage System
Garbage separation may be a bit mysterious to some, but it is mandatory. In Göttingen, the city usually provides three garbage bins. The green bin is for organic waste, the blue one for paper and the dark grey one is for everything that does not fit into any other category (e.g. general trash). In most areas, these bins will be emptied once every two weeks. For the collection schedule check the website of the Göttinger Entsorgungsbetriebe. Plastic and metal waste is collected in special yellow bags provided free by the recycling service Veolia or the Neues Rathaus. Glass (separate: white, green and brown glass) should be taken to the glass waste containers, which you will usually find near supermarkets.