As immigrants from the EU, you have free choice when it comes to searching for housing and buying property.
Important points of contact for local housing search include cooperative housing providers. The local housing office can also assist with finding accommodation.
If you're in a hurry, you can hire a real estate agent. Note: The real estate agent may charge a brokerage fee for successful mediation. Therefore, compare several offers. The maximum commission for you as a tenant may be up to two net cold rents plus value-added tax.
The local housing office can also assist with finding accommodation. Often, apartments are directly brokered there. For Saxony-Anhalt, the housing market offers relatively moderate rental prices compared to the nationwide average and especially compared to major cities in western Germany. Additionally, many cities and municipalities in Saxony-Anhalt offer social housing. These are usually only rented to individuals with low incomes. For this, you need a housing eligibility certificate, which you can obtain from your local housing office.
Tip: Post a housing request. For example, in local Telegram groups for housing searches or "Sharing is Caring." The names of these groups refer to the location. For Halle, for example, it's www.t.me/WohnenInHalle and www.t.me/hallecare817. For Magdeburg, the group is www.t.me/sharinginmagdeburg.
Rental Agreement and Rental Deposit
A rental agreement regulates the rights and obligations of the tenant and includes provisions regarding ongoing costs. In Germany, rental agreements are usually concluded in writing. Although there is no obligation for the landlord to do so, you should insist on a written rental agreement.
Indefinite rental agreements are the norm in Germany. A sample residential lease agreement shows what points you should consider when moving in.
Note: Before concluding the rental agreement, you should thoroughly inspect each room with your landlord and discuss any necessary renovation work. Check whether the heating, sockets, and connections are functioning. Document any defects during the apartment handover in a move-in protocol. The same applies when moving out of the apartment. Document the condition of the handed-over apartment in a move-out protocol.
A rental deposit (security deposit) is usually agreed upon in the rental agreement. The amount of the deposit can be negotiated. However, the deposit may not exceed 3 cold rents (monthly rent excluding utilities).
You can pay the rental deposit in 3 monthly installments. The first installment is due at the beginning of the rental relationship.
Good to know: The German Tenants' Association provides information on risks and pitfalls related to housing and rental agreements in the rental law section of its website.
Housing benefit is a government support for people with low incomes. It can be granted upon request.
You will only receive housing benefit if you are actually residing in the federal territory and are entitled to freedom of movement according to the law on the general freedom of movement of Union citizens (FreizüG/EU).
Housing benefit is only granted upon request - usually from the beginning of the month of application for a period of twelve months.
You must submit applications for housing benefit to the relevant housing benefit authorities in your area.
Only use the prescribed forms to apply for housing benefit in Saxony-Anhalt!
Good to know: Recipients of so-called transfer payments do not have entitlement to housing benefit, as accommodation costs are already included in the transfer payments.
Antragsformulare und Informationen um den Wohngeldanspruch: Ministerium für Infrastruktur und Digitales