The Munich Student Union (Studentenwerk München) is your contact for all questions about living in Munich even if you don’t apply for university housing. The Studentenwerk website describes the process and available support for your off-campus housing hunt, and we’ve provided additional tips and advice on where to look (in German) for private housing.
As soon as you set up a username through the Studentenwerk website, you’ll have access to online offers as well as advice through the Housing Referral Service (also called Accommodation Advice Service). You’ll also receive additional offline lists detailing other options for things like short-term housing. In other words, you’ll lead the search, but you’re not alone!
Housing Referral Service/Accommodation Advice Service
Entrance a, room a2
Get there by U-Bahn (U3 Olympiazentrum)
Tel.: +49 89 357135, +49 89 357120, +49 89 357126
Fax: +49 89 357135-61
Monday to Friday: 9:00am to 12:30pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Tips for Your Apartment Search
We’ve seen lots of international students find great places to live in Munich—and offer the following advice:
- Yes, it’s true! Newspapers in Munich still offer the best advertisement listings for apartments. If you’re buying the print edition, you’ll want to get it the evening before it officially appears, and call advertisers as soon as possible.
- Just like at any other school, bulletin boards at LMU have all sorts of announcements and offers, including ads from people offering rooms or looking for roommates. The student cafeterias and individual institutes all have notice boards.
- Get a head start by beginning to look well before courses begin so that you’ll be ahead of the other students flooding into Munich at the same time.
- Advertised prices are usually basic rent, without utilities such as electricity, warm water, etc. This is called Kaltmiete. Rent that includes utilities is called Warmmiete.
- Expect to pay a deposit (Kaution) of one to three months basic rent.
- Be aware of flats advertised by agents (recognizable by “IMM” or “RDM” in their titles). They charge a commission of up to 2.3 months basic rent.
- We strongly caution against agencies that charge an advance or monthly fee claiming they have special listings. They usually just browse the same newspapers you would. If you feel it’s worth the extra cost, that’s fine, but be informed.
- Rooms are sublet either in private homes or as part of what is called a Wohngemeinschaft or “WG,” apartments shared by roommates. Students have often found it useful to form groups and look for a larger place together to form their own WG. You may get connected during one of the welcome events organized by the International Office, via social media or the notice boards, or simply by teaming up during the housing hunt.
- If you are looking for a whole flat, be aware that apartments don't always have a kitchen built in. Always ask questions to avoid surprises.
- If you don’t immediately find the perfect place, accept a reasonable offer as a temporary solution, and then keep looking. If you’re staying for longer than a year, you’ll have the advantage of experience during the next cycle!
Understanding German Apartment Listings
Know the lingo! Here are some commonly used abbreviations to help you be fluent in German apartment-speak:
- 5ZKDB: 5 rooms (Zimmer) and kitchen (Küche), hallway (Diele), and bathroom (Bad)
- €400+ NK: €400 basic rent plus utilities (Nebenkosten)
- EBK: built-in kitchen (Einbauküche)
- Zi. i. WG: room in WG (room in apartment share or Wohngemeinschaft)
- KM: basic rent (Kaltmiete)
- Wfl.: living area in square meters (Wohnfläche)
- G-WC: shared toilet in hallway (Gang-WC)
- OG: upper floor (Obergeschoss)
- TG: underground garage (Tiefgarage)