Photo credit: Anna Logue

Finding Accommodation

On this page, we have compiled some links and information to help you in finding accommodation.

  • Furnished/unfurnished

    In Germany, apartments for rent are generally unfurnished. In Mannheim, about 80 percent of the apartments offered on the private rental market are unfurnished and only about 20 percent of apartments for rent come fully furnished. That means that furnished apartments are not easy to come by!

    For apartments that are unfurnished, except for the kitchen, the monthly rent is on average EUR 100 - EUR 200 cheaper. Furnished apartments are usually smaller, i.e. one- or two-room apartments. Bigger apartments rarely have furniture.

    If you plan on moving to Mannheim with your family and require a furnished apartment, your choice will be limited. Therefore, you should start looking for accommodation in Mannheim early on. This holds particularly true if you come with your children. Depending on the school your child or children will attend, you might be required to live in certain areas or neighborhoods of the city near to the respective school so that your options are further limited.

    If you are unaccompanied, you can also rent a furnished or unfurnished room in a shared apartment instead of renting an entire apartment. You will have your own bedroom but share the bathroom and kitchen with you roommates. These rooms are usually cheaper than furnished one-room apartments. Living with others may also help you to establish contacts with new people in your new environment. Usually, landlords are interested in renting out their apartments for longer periods. Consequently, the shorter your stay in Mannheim, the harder the search for an apartment may be.

  • Helpful links and tips for finding accommodation

    There are numerous websites you can use to find accommodation. As apartment listings often contain abbreviations that you may not be familiar with, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the most common abbreviations.

    The following platforms may be helpful to you:

     

    Hotels and boardinghouses

    Several hotels offer special prices for guests of the University of Mannheim. Here, you can find a list of hotels and boardinghouses that are located near the university.

     

    Youth hostel

    If you arrive in Mannheim before your apartment is available, you can stay in the youth hostel.

    Jugendherberge
    Rheinpromenade 21
    68163 Mannheim
    Phone.: +49 621 822718
    Fax: +49 621 824073
     

  • Security deposit

    In Germany, it is common to make a deposit of up to three monthly rent payments upon moving in. It serves a as a guarantee for your landlord that you return the apartment in good condition.

  • Neighborhoods in the city of Mannheim

    Many search platforms will ask you to indicate your preferred neighborhoods in order to narrow the search. The following neighborhoods are particularly popular among international researchers due to their close proximity to the university: 

    1. Innenstadt/ Quadrate / City
    2. Schwetzinger Vorstadt
    3. Lindenhof
    4. Neckarstadt-Ost
    5. Oststadt

    Due to their top locations, rents in these neighborhoods are usually higher than elsewhere. The following neighborhoods are also worth looking at, since they are well-connected to the city center through public transport: Almenhof, Neuostheim, Feudenheim, Waldhof, Käfertal. During the day, trams run every ten minutes, in the evening, every twenty minutes. At night, you can use taxis and buses to get around.

  • Price level of the rental market in Mannheim

    The average price level for rents in Mannheim is relatively high compared to other cities or regions in Germany, though not as high as in Frankfurt am Main or Munich, for example. Rents in Mannheim are lower than in Heidelberg, but higher than in Ludwigshafen or the suburbs.

    Unfurnished apartments

    In Mannheim, the average base rent without utilities is EUR 7,05 per square meter (rent index 2016). The exact rent, however, depends on the apartment’s size, its location within the city, the proximity to public transport, the condition of the apartment and/or the type of furniture.

    You can expect to pay about

    - EUR 350 - EUR 550 for a one-room apartment (30m²)

    - EUR 550 - EUR 850 for a two-room apartment (60m²)

    - EUR 800 - EUR 1,100 for a three-room apartment

    - EUR 1,100 - EUR 1,500 for a four-room apartment

    per month without utilities.

  • Utilities

    Utilities include payments for heating, water, power and gas according to consumption as well as costs that apply to the entire building and are split between its tenants. The latter include, for example, domestic waste collection, sewage, elevator maintenance (where required), and janitorial or cleaning services. Thus, when comparing apartments, please check if the rent is indicated as including utilities (“Warmmiete”or “warm”) or excluding utilities (“Kaltmiete” or “kalt”) in order to be able to compare rent prices. Also inquire on the exact costs that are included in the utilities if a given apartment is listed as “warm” and which additional payments you will have to make yourself, for example for electricity.

    Also be aware that for long-term rents, mostly in unfurnished apartments, the monthly utilities payment is an advance payment. Once a year, the actual consumption and resulting costs are exactly calculated and set off against the utilities payments made in advance. This may result in refunds or, if the consumption was higher than what the utilities payments covered, in additional payments.

    If you are renting a furnished apartment, especially for a short period of time, the utilities payment is usually a fixed amount.

    Telephone and Internet fees as well as the public broadcasting fee (Rundfunkbeitrag) are not part of the utilities and usually need to be paid separately. However, costs for these services are sometimes included in the rent for furnished apartments.

    Heating

    There are different types of heating: gas and central heating.

    If your apartment is heated using gas and these costs are not included in the utilities, you should plan on paying higher additional costs for gas. If gas is included in the monthly utilities payment, this will probably be higher than usual.

    Electricity and gas

    If electricity and/or gas are not included in the utilities, you need to contact a provider of your choice to set up these services. To do this, you'll need to first get the current meter readings from both the gas and electric meters when you move in. You can ask your landlord about how to get the meter readings. After your registration, the energy supplier will set a monthly or quarterly service rate that is determined according to the average consumption of the previous tenant. This rate is comprised of a basic fee and a payment component that is based on your expected consumption. At the end of the accounting period (once a year) these advance payments are set off against your actual consumption. You will receive an annual invoice indicating if you will receive a refund or need to make additional payments. For electricity, you can expect to pay about EUR 40 to EUR 60 for a single person per month.

  • Telephone and Internet

    Most apartments have telephone and Internet connections, however, they are not always activated. In this case, you will have to contact a provider of your choice and have them activate the connection according to your tariff selection. There are numerous options for telephone and Internet plans. Please be aware of the minimum contract duration and the cancellation deadlines before entering a contract.  

    Furnished apartments sometimes come with activated phone/Internet services, which can be used right away. If the costs for phone and Internet are not included in the monthly rent payment, the landlord will bill you separately for these services.

  • The public broadcasting fee (Rundfunkbeitrag)

    Public service broadcasters in Germany are financed by the public broadcasting license fee (Rundfunkbeitrag). This way of funding enables media coverage independent of commercial or political interests. Whether you will have to pay the fee depends on the duration of your stay in Germany:

    1. Do I need to pay the fee? If you stay in Germany for less than three months and do not register your residence at the Mannheim citizen's service offices, you do not have to pay the fee.
    2. How do I register to pay the fee? If you stay in Germany for more than three months and thus have to register your residence at the Mannheim citizen's service offices, you must pay a fee of EUR 17.50 per month as of your first day of residence. As soon as you have registered your residence at the citizen's service office, the „ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice” will automatically contact you by sending you a letter. You may either react by mail or answer online. For replying online, please comply with the instructions we have compiled for you:
      1. If you live in a one-person household, you must pay the entire fee of EUR 17.50 per month. Please follow the guide “How to react to letters from ‘ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice' (one-person-household)” that you will find in the instructions.
      2. If several people live together in the same household, the public broadcasting fee has to be paid only once for the entire household. First, one of the tenants has to register as explained in the guide “How to react to letters from ‘ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice' (one-person-household)”. The other roommates have to follow the guide “How to react to letters from ‘ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice' (paying roommate)” in the instructions once the initial registrant has received his/her registration number (Beitragsnummer).
      3. If you have registered your address at the citizen's service office and do not receive a letter from the 'Beitragsservice' (after several weeks), you can also register without an “Aktenzeichen”. Please use the guide “How to register for the public broadcasting fee without an 'Aktenzeichen'" in the instructions.
    3. I am moving - do I need to inform the Beitragsservice? If you change your residence within Germany, you have to inform the “Beitragsservice” about your change in address. This applies to any relocation within Germany. In case you have already registered your first residence in Germany with the “Beitragsservice”, please follow the guide “How to change your address” in the instructions.
    4. I am leaving Germany - what do I have to do? Do not forget to de-register! If you have registered your residence at the citizen's service offices of the city of Mannheim and thus registered for the public broadcasting fee, please make sure not to forget to de-register from the public broadcasting fee before leaving! Please follow the guide “How to de-register from the license fee due to leaving Germany” in the instructions.

Please note: Do not transfer any money to someone’s account as a deposit or other payment before having signed a contract and before having inspected the apartment. This especially applies to bank accounts in other countries. Fraud is not uncommon on the rental market, as people are unaware of the dangers and very keen on finding an apartment. If in doubt, please contact the Welcome Center.


When plugging in electronics, please keep in mind that power lines in Germany carry a current of 220V. Use an adapter if your devices require a different voltage.

Before and after moving in, there are a number of formalities to be dealt with: signing the rental agreement, registering your residence in Germany at the citizens service office, registering at the energy supplier and much more. Feel free to contact the Welcome Center Team, we are happy to help!

Contact:

Julia Potapov

Julia Potapov

Consultant for International Academics
University of Mannheim
Divison II – Student Affairs
International Office / Welcome Center
L 2, 2-4 – Room 117
68161 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
by appointment only
Claudius Werry

Claudius Werry

Team Coordinator Welcome Center & Consultant for International Academics
University of Mannheim
Divsion II – Student Affairs
International Office / Welcome Center
L 2, 2-4 – Room 117
68161 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
by appointment only