Accommodation in Germany, and in Europe, in general, is in some ways different from other parts of the world. On the following pages we give you a short introduction with some important information about Living Space and Rent, furniture or other opportunities for students.
With regard to the spacious conditions, there clearly is sufficient living space in Germany. Many families own the houses or the comfortable flats they live in. Small apartments are also spacious enough for a good quality of life. In most families every child has his or her own room. In general, the bedroom is clearly separated from the living area.
Germany is known for its rules and regulations. It is therefore not surprising that, by German law, everyone is entitled to a minimum of living space, which is 10-12m² per occupant at the moment. Therefore, a family with two children should have at least 48m² of living space. In most cases however, the actual living space is almost twice that amount.
Moreover, in Kaiserslautern you can rent a spacious flat for a good price. Depending on condition and location, the monthly rent of a flat measuring 100 m² may be as low as 600 EUR. A room of about 20m² in a residence hall including additional charges may cost between 200 EUR and 300 EUR per month.
Please note the difference between rent for your living space only (Kaltmiete), excluding utilities and the rent for the living space as well as the utilities (Warmmiete). The additional costs make up about 38% of the rent and need to be added to the Kaltmiete in order to calculate the Warmmiete, so that different offers can be compared.
One's "own four walls" is a very important subject to Germans. That is why most homes are very neat and tidy. Even stairways and common rooms are treated carefully and with respect. The strict separation of waste also reflects a sense for cleanliness inside and outside of German homes.
Living as they tend to do in such tidy and cosy homes, Germans mostly keep to themselves. Usually, one does not know the people next door. At the same time, one tries hard not to disturb the neighbours. There is even a law that stipulates that everyone must stop making noise after 10 pm. After that time it is strictly forbidden to play loud music or make other disturbing noise in your flat.
Further information on this can be found in the house rules, which should be attached to your tenancy agreement.
Generally, flats and apartments on the private housing market are not furnished. And even a room in a residence hall (with bed and mattress, desk, cupboard and kitchen unit) might not meet your expectations of a comfortable place to live in.
Furniture and accessories can be found in inexpensive furniture stores, for example:
- IKEA in Kaiserslautern & Mannheim
- Möbel-Martin in Kaiserslautern
- Möbel-Fundgrube in Kaiserslautern
Some good addresses for inexpensive second-hand furniture in good condition are:
- Caritas Kaiserslautern
- Möbellager -
Berliner Strasse 12
- Amt für Soziales
There are several important things that students should remember about the rental contract.
All contracts are legally binding. Read it thoroughly and make sure you understand everything written in the contract before signing it. Do not sign a contract for housing you cannot afford.
For the apartment you have to pay a security deposit in addition to the rent. This deposit is paid only once for the apartment and is returned to you when you vacate the apartment. It is very important that the apartment is always kept clean and well-maintained. As the isolation in the apartments is very good, it is important to air the apartment at least once a day (especially in winter) to avoid mildew. The deposit will not be repaid fully if the janitor / Hausmeister finds damages, stains, etc. in the apartment. When you move out you normally need to paint the apartment.
The cleaning and maintenance of the apartment has to be done by you. There will be no maid or servant who comes to clean your apartment. Also for those who have to pay utility costs (e.g., electricity) separately, be aware that excessive usage of water, electricity or heating will cost you extra. Always make sure that you turn your gas, heater, and lights off when you leave the apartment.
When you move into your apartment, make sure you go and see the janitor / Hausmeister within the first couple of days during his working hours. Introduce yourself and ask him to change the name tag on your apartment door, your bell and your mailbox.
Meeting the Hausmeister is also good in case you lock yourself out. Only if he knows you, will he open the door for you, although this service is only available during his working hours. Otherwise you will have to call a locksmith service, which costs up to EUR 200.
- Tag & Nacht Schlüsseldienst Schmitt GmbH (Phone: 0631-3606300)
- Lauterer Schlüsseldienst Schierlinger (Phone: 0631-13505)