How is a roommate

Flat share: definition, founding + 10 important tips

When it comes to studying in a foreign city, a shared flat is the ideal form of living for many: Cheaper rent, new people with whom you (ideally) spend evenings together. Living with strangers can also be a challenge. What are the advantages and disadvantages, what you should look out for in the lease, plus: Tips on how to live together ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

What does a shared apartment mean?

People who are neither related nor related by marriage live together in a shared apartment. Each person has a private room. General rooms such as the living room, kitchen and bathroom are available to everyone. Depending on the size of the apartment, between two and five people usually live in a shared apartment. Anyone who moves into a shared apartment gives up a bit of freedom and privacy. There can be good reasons for this, depending on the phase of life and the situation. Most associate shared flats with students, but a shared flat for working people or a senior citizen's flat is also possible.

What do you need to set up a flat share?

Regardless of the stage of life, a shared apartment can function as a community of convenience or become a second family. If you want to set up a flat share, you should consider the following:

Meaning of the shared apartment

Purpose WG
This is where people gather who all have a common goal: to have a roof over their heads with reasonably affordable rents. Since we don't know each other, it can happen that you live next to each other relatively anonymously and only share the bare essentials. Depending on the size of the shared apartment, you should make sure that people with roughly the same values ​​and ideas are found, otherwise living together will be difficult.

Desired flat share
You set up a company with people you know: for example, fellow students or school friends who fortunately ended up in the same place of study. Advantage: You have someone close at hand with whom you can undertake joint activities. But there is also potential for conflict among friends. Often for the first time you experience cooking, living and cleaning behavior so closely. Just because they're friends doesn't have to fit on all levels.

Search for a shared flat or flatmate

At the beginning of the semester, the housing market is regularly flooded with apartment hunters. If you can, you should look for a room in a shared apartment at an early stage, as the housing market is tense, especially in university cities.

Regardless of whether you want to set up a flat share or move into a shared apartment: Think about which class of people you can get along with. Freshmen tend to have a different need for parties than PhD students. Personal motivation also plays a role: Are you looking for a connection in a foreign city or do you just want to keep costs low?

Clarify which conditions are important to you: location of the shared apartment, size of the room, equipment (furnished, partially furnished or empty), extras such as balcony or garden. Of course, the rent is particularly important in the offers: Does the stated rental price refer to cold or warm rent? Are electricity, cable and internet connections already included? Is there a deposit required? Some landlords also require a parental guarantee or Schufa information.

Use all media and channels. You can filter your search for online advertisements from local newspapers, city magazines and housing exchanges (,, WG- Students should also pay attention to the student union and notices in the cafeteria and at the university. Help with the search can also come through networks - fellow students, friends, family, neighbors.

Preparation for the WG casting

If you want to move into a shared apartment, you should think about it beforehand. In view of the often tense situation, viewing the apartment is more like a casting. This means that you as a potential roommate apply for the room in a shared apartment. And as with an application in working life, you want to make a good impression. These tips will help:

Names & addresses
The advertisements sometimes only contain first names. When you first contact us, write down the full name of the contact person. So you know which doorbell to press at the casting appointment. Arrive punctually at the agreed time and greet potential roommates in a friendly manner.

In the end, the personality is convincing. Common values, hobbies and habits increase the chances of getting along well. Are you more of an early bird, vegan, role-play fan ...? It's great if the future flat-share colleagues see it that way too. At the same time, you shouldn't bend if you are not all of that, but that's exactly what you want.

Practical test
Some shared apartments subject potential roommates to a practical test when they are casting a flat share: How well can they use the vacuum cleaner or cleaning rag? Humor is important, especially since you don't want to be seen as a brake on fun. But authenticity is more important: If the games go too far for you, you should break off the tour. The same applies to questions that are too personal.

Under no circumstances should you lug parents or friends with you to the viewing system. That seems dependent. You should check the apartment advertisement carefully in advance: dubious advertisements can be found again and again. Behind the dirt cheap dream dormitory including cleaning staff is usually a student association that rents out exclusively to male students. If, on the other hand, only young women are sought to sublet, this indicates dodgy landlords who expect sexual favors in return for the accommodation.

Rental agreement of the shared apartment

If you want to set up a shared apartment, you need a rental agreement: Who will be the tenant? We will introduce you to the possibilities and their advantages and disadvantages:

  • You are the main tenant

    One sub-tenant, all other roommates are officially sub-residents. Practical for the landlord: there is only one contact person who is responsible for everything. Instead of having to deal with five tenants, for example, there is only one.

    Problem with this constellation: If you are the main tenant, everything is up to you. You have to deal with the landlord alone if something is broken. But you also have trouble with the roommates - for example when someone moves out in a night-and-fog campaign and you wait in vain for the rent.

    Conversely, it can also be stressful as a subtenantif the heating fails in winter and the main tenant refuses to inform the landlord: be it out of convenience or avoidance of conflict. And if the house blessing is permanently wrong, the main tenant can easily terminate the sub-tenant.

  • You found a GbR

    You will be in a better position if you and the other roommates found a civil law company (GbR). Then all roommates are liable and responsible. But everyone stands for this in the rental agreement and has the same contact person.

    Problem with this constellation: The GbR model is cumbersome if you expect high fluctuation: Then the old lease has to be terminated each time and a new one with the current composition of the flat share has to be set up. However, you can prevent this effort if you include a corresponding clause in the rental agreement that enables the tenant to be changed.

  • You have an equal lease

    This constellation means the greatest decision-making power for all tenants. In other words: You will all receive a rental contract like you would with a normal rental apartment. This does not extend to three rooms, kitchen, bathroom, but usually extends to one room plus shared use of common areas such as kitchen, bathroom and possibly living room. If you want to avoid stress in the event of any damage, keep a handover protocol when one of the roommates moves out.

Before setting up a shared apartment, you should find out about the specific terms of the rental agreement from the potential landlord. If the second and third options are not possible, it is advisable to carefully examine your roommates beforehand and, if necessary, as the main tenant, to insist on a parental guarantee.

6 important rules for living together

  • hygiene
    Not everyone feels the same when it comes to dirt. Rough guide: leave a room the way you want it to be: no flooding in the bathroom, regular ventilation, remove hair from the sink and drain, use a toilet brush.
  • privacy
    Respect each other's privacy. Small signals that everyone understands right away help here. If you leave your doors open, you can be approached. If your room is closed, you signal that you want peace and quiet. And if something is important, the following always applies: don't forget to knock.
  • fairness
    So that it is fair and no one can shirk, you should create a cleaning plan. It records who takes out the garbage and when, cleaning the common rooms and the like.
  • Times
    Regulate your everyday life wherever there is an overlap. This will avoid morning traffic jams in front of the bathroom door. Fixed times also help when you need your (night) rest. During these times, you can turn your cell phone down a bit, speak in a muffled voice and, especially in the late evening hours, avoid noisy visitors.
  • Compromise
    Living in a shared apartment is more comfortable when everyone turns a blind eye every now and then. The cup washes even though it belongs to the flat-share neighbor. Mutual consideration is important.
  • Sanctions
    Determine what happens in the event of non-compliance. For example, an obolus for the common household budget. Or the defaulting roommate has to buy everyone a bottle of wine.

4 tips on how to defuse conflict situations

The topic of shopping is suitable for conflicts: milk, toilet paper, aluminum foil, washing powder - everything is always empty exactly when you need it urgently. In the long run it gets annoying when one goes shopping and the other uses it all up. Therefore, it is best for everyone to take care of their own things that they need for daily life. This is especially true for food that everyone can store in their own refrigerator compartment. This has the decisive advantage that there is no hiccup about who is shopping or the question keeps popping up as to why the household budget is empty again. However, should problems arise in the shared apartment, speak to them:

  1. If it is something important, the conversation should not take place between the door and the hinge.
  2. Be factual and don't offend the other.
  3. Do not form fronts: two against one - that backfires because the roommate inevitably feels pushed into a corner.
  4. Gossiping behind your back is unacceptable. In the worst case, this leads to the group breaking up.

But you have to accept that too, if necessary. Sometimes it just doesn't work out living together anymore. A shared apartment is a temporary community. And sometimes a horror ending is known to be better than an endless horror.

What is a shared apartment from a legal point of view?

The importance of a shared apartment plays a role when you refer to Hartz 4 (ALG II). Because the employment agency or the job center differentiate more precisely between living, needs and household communities. The shared apartment has no impact on state benefits.

With a community of need if there are family relationships between the residents: a family with children (under 25 years of age), a married couple (or registered cohabitation) would therefore never count as a shared apartment. In addition, there is a will for mutual responsibility and financial support in the community of needs.

The same applies to the household community, in which the roommates are also related to each other. Foster parents and older children over the age of 25 also count as such. Since they usually share the costs and purchases incurred, Hartz 4 recipients are financially less favorable if a type of living is not recognized as a shared flat.

There are no separate regulations in tenancy law for shared apartments. Anyone who lives in a shared apartment must adhere to the same rights and obligations as any other tenant.

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