Finding accommodation in Hamburg
Are you searching for an apartment or a room? Although affordable housing in Hamburg is rare, please do not despair! Patience and luck will help you find suitable accommodation!
Important! Start looking for accommodation as soon as you can! Vacant dorm rooms provided by the student services Studierendenwerk fill up quickly and searching on the free market may take months.
Studierendenwerk (student services) accommodation
Studierendenwerk Hamburg currently provides 26 housing facilities for 4,400 inhabitants. All rooms are furnished and rent including utilities starts at EUR 230. This rather inexpensive type of accommodation is much desired, however. We strongly recommend that you apply online at least three months before your planned moving date!
For further information, offerings and deadlines, please refer to the pages of student services Studierendenwerk.
Commercial housing opportunities
You will find numerous communal housing cooperatives, housing companies and private landlords in Hamburg. Check out the following online real estate portals for vacancies!
Do you want to be a roommate rather than rent your own apartment? Online you will fiind several portals and exchange platforms for shared housing:
You can also resort to the traditional ways of looking for an accommodation via University notice boards or apartment ads in local newspapers.
Accommodation for exchange students
Special accommodation service for exchange students from partner universities (Erasmus+, Central Student Exchange Program or faculty exchange)
Exchange students must go through their Erasmus+ offices at Universität Hamburg to apply for a room at the Studierendenwerk Hamburg. Every semester, the Studierendenwerk makes a certain number of rooms available to exchange students at Universität Hamburg, so applying is worth it. As the number of rooms is limited, however, not all applicants can be guaranteed a room. We recommend that you also seek private housing on your own in addition to your application to the Studierendenwerk. Unfortunately, finding affordable housing in Hamburg on your own is not easy. Please start making arrangements as soon as possible.
How do I apply for a room in a residence hall?
Contact your coordinator in Hamburg for an application form. Please note: As an exchange student, you cannot apply directly to Studierendenwerk Hamburg for a room in the residence hall.
Important: The deadline for submitting your application varies by faculty. Please ask your coordinator for your deadline.
Common living arrangements
Most students live in a shared apartment (Wohngemeinschaft or WG in German), a private apartment or a residence hall. Those living in shared apartments or residence halls normally share a kitchen, bathroom, and other common spaces with their housemates. If it is important to you to live only with people of your own gender, for example, make sure you read the ads for shared apartments carefully: many sharing arrangements involve people of different genders.
Overview of most important terms and abbreviations in German housing ads.
Confirmation of tenancy (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung) as per Section 19 of the federal citizens’ registration act (Bundesmeldegesetz, BMG)
In the confirmation of tenancy, the landlord or landlady confirms that the tenant lives in the apartment in question. Everyone subject to mandatory registration must be given a confirmation of tenancy so they can complete their mandatory registration within 2 weeks after moving into the apartment. When registering the new address, the tenant must submit the confirmation of tenancy to the registration office (the tenancy agreement alone is not sufficient). Where the tenancy is governed by a sublease agreement (e.g., in a shared apartment), the main tenant is responsible for issuing the confirmation of tenancy.
Registering your address/registration certificate
You must register your new address within 2 weeks after moving in. You can register at the customer service centers of the City of Hamburg. Book an appointment (ideally online) within 2 weeks after moving to comply with the registration period. After registering, you will receive a registration certificate, which allows you to open a bank account or apply for your residence permit, for example.
Legal support for tenants
If you encounter legal issues in relation to your tenancy, the ÖRA (public legal advice for low-income individuals) or an advocacy group (e.g., tenants’ associations) can give you advice and support.
More apartment-hunting advice is available from the Hamburg Welcome Center.
The districts Sankt Pauli and Sternschanze are trendy and immensely popular among students. This also applies to Eimsbüttel due to its proximity to the University. Appartments and rooms in Altona and Ottensen are in equally high demand as are the expensive districts bordering on the Alster Lake. Apartment hunters with limited budgets should explore alternatives outside the city center.
The city map at hamburg.de will help you find your way!