Aachen not only provides its students with an excellent range of courses, but with everything they need for their daily life. However, a prerequisite for working and living is to have accommodation.

EXTRARAUM-AACHEN.de DE offers you the new student housing exchange for the Aachen area.

Here you can find apartments available in the Aachen area, which may be filtered according to your individual needs. In addition, you have the possibility to place a free advert for your apartment or your room in a shared apartment. If you have any questions our housing exchange advisers are available on Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 am and 2 pm via telephone or via mail. An additional service is the housing space ticker, which publishes the adverts on our Facebook page.

Once the stress of finding accommodation and moving in is over, it’s time to enjoy the many advantages of the city. On www.extraraum-aachen.de you find not only the housing exchange, but useful information relating to habitation and about everything Aachen has to offer.

The wildest expectations were far exceeded: Approximately 10,000 additional students have enrolled at the RWTH and at the FH Aachen. And the number will remain high. Until 2025, more than 50,000 students each year will liven up the city. At least half of them would like to live in Aachen.

One thing is clear: Aachen welcomes each and every student.

The city of Aachen, its universities as well as the student unions and their executive committees were the first ones in North Rhine-Westphalia to deal intensively with the rush of students. Each new student is welcome and should be able to study successfully and under acceptable conditions. To ensure this, an extensive catalogue of measures has been implemented - from additional personnel through construction projects to the EXTRARAUM campaign.

Since 2011, the campaign has called attention to the situation of students in Aachen and has asked for assistance. With creative communication measures it appealed to the citizens‘ sense of community and their hospitality. Together, extra space (“Extra Raum”) to live could be created in Aachen. EXTRARAUM has sensitized potential landlords to provide housing and has assisted students in their apartment hunting.

Now it’s your turn. Our new housing exchange provides you with up-to-date adverts and the ticker posts them on our Facebook page. If you have a room or an apartment to let you can advert it online free of charge. If you have any questions our housing exchange advisers are available on Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 am and 2 pm via telephone or via mail.

Appartment Consulting of AStA of RWTH
Pontwall 3 (ground floor)
Wednesday and Friday 10:00 – 14:00
Phone: +49 241 / 80 – 93792
Fax: +49 241 / 80 – 92394

Here we show you what you should look for when house hunting and especially when signing a lease, so it does not arise later surprises.

Correct renting

Appartment Consulting of AStA of FH
Stephanstr. 58-62
Phone: +49 241 / 6009 - 52807
Fax: +49 241 / 6009 - 52828

Renting out correctly

The Aachen House & Landowners Association e.V. offers legally watertight housing contracts.

More information can be found on the website of the association:

A rental increase by the landlord shall be in writing in all cases. A reason must be specified. Several cases can be distinguished:

Rental increase when the contract is concluded

When the new contract is concluded, the landlord can set the rent arbitrarily. The rental fee is only illegal in the case of usury or a “Mietpreisüberhöhung”. Usury is if the landlord exploits a predicament, the carelessness or inexperience of the tenant and calls for an apartment rent which is clearly disproportionate to the performance offered. That is, for example, if the rent exceeds the local reference rent (see “Aachener Mietpreisspiegel” = local reference rent index) by more than 50%.

“Mietpreisüberhöhung” is when the rent exceeds the local reference rent by at least 20% and the rent could only be achieved due to a limited supply of comparable homes. As long as the landlord calls not for an apartment rent which is clearly disproportionate to the performance offered, the rent is legal. If this is not the case and you think your landlord calls for rent too high, turn to the housing office in the administration building at the main station (Aachener Hauptbahnhof).

Rent increase due to capital cost increase

Rent increase is no longer possible in privately financed apartments due to higher cost of capital since 2001.

Rent increase after modernization

After a modernization and under certain circumstances, the landlord has the right to pass up to 11% of the modernization cost to the tenant by upgrading the annual rent. However, the rules and exceptions to this are so complex that they are beyond the scope of this document.

"Normal rent increase"

If none of these cases is present, the landlord still has the option of a "normal" rent increase. After receiving the rent increase letter you have two month to decide whether you agree on the rent increase or not. If you agree, the rent increase shall take effect at the beginning of the third month following notification letter. In these periods always count only full months: e.g. is the rent increase letter delivered on September 10th, you have time to check in October and November, and the increase will take effect no earlier than December 1st.

The landlord can only ask for the approval of the rent increase, if the following three conditions are met simultaneously:

  1. The rent is unchanged for a year.
  2. The requested rent does not exceed the usual local rent.
  3. The rent has not increased over a period of three years by more than 20%.

Points 1 and 3 are fairly easy to check, but rent increases due to modernization and operating cost increases have no limits (regarding to 1. and 3.).

According to the law, there are only the following possibilities for the owner in order to prove point 2:

  1. Reference to the rent index - In this case, the landlord must state in what category the apartment is classified (in Aachen is the predominant housing stock associated to the category “mittlere Wohnlage” / average residential area)
  2. name three comparable homes, for which increased rent is paid.
  3. Expert opinion - This must be done in the rent increase letter.

Of course, a comparison with rents which can be termed as usury or “Mietpreisüberhöhungen” is illegal, but the apartments referred to may belong to the same landlord.

If you do not agree on the rent increase, the landlord can sue you for approval no later than 3 months after the expiration of approval time limit. About the legality of the rent will decide a court. From the previous sections can be seen that the law provides a relatively high formal standard for a rent increase request. We have often had the experience that a rent increase can be delayed or completely avoided when you inform yourself and do not pay the landlords rent increase immediately.

In the case you live in a house with a number of tenants and your landlord asks for a rent increase, it is advisable to meet and discuss with all the other tenants. Many landlords try to impose a rent with inadequate formal reasons (e.g. "Since the general costs have risen, I must unfortunately raise the rent."). Once three tenants agreed on the rent increase, the landlord has three comparative apartments and can therefore demand the rent increase from all other tenants by referring to these. In any case, legal advice should be sought here.

The contract

The conclusion of a written contract is advisable in order to avoid anger with at least fundamental agreements. A written contract is also favorable in order to prove the existence of a rental contract before moving in. However, no contract must be made in writing. Also an oral contract is valid without limitation and the tenant has all the legal rights and obligations. As a proof of contract the possession of a key to the apartment and regular rental payments suffice. The oral contract has the advantage that landlords can not rely on contractual clauses disadvantageous for the tenant. Contract forms are available in stationery stores. Also you can get at the German Student Services Association (DSW) specifically drafted for student tenants contract forms. After signing a tenancy agreement that is binding in all cases. Even if you're not yet moved into the apartment, you can not unilaterally withdraw from the contract.

In each case, a written contract should contain the following/ Ein schriftlicher Mietvertrag sollte in jedem Fall enthalten:

  • Name(s) and address(es) of the parties
  • Exact location of your property description (e.g. 1st floor, left door)
  • start of the tenancy
  • Information about the monthly rent and additional costs to pay by the tenant (Additional costs can easily as high as a second rent. Therefore, ask for the last years billing of additional costs “Nebenkostenabrechung”)

Important for shared apartments:

  • regulations of what happens, when a tenant wants to move out before the other tenants want to
  • Signatures of all parties
  • protocol the state of the apartment when moving in

The protocol

Although the protocol is not part of the contract, it is advisable to create one. The protocol should contain: a flat description (is it renovated or not, etc.), optionally an accurate description of defects (e.g. cracks in the sink, stains on the carpet, damaged furniture, etc.) Defects can be captured on photos, they have the greatest probative value. If damage is found, ask for a written confirmation of the landlord that they will be removed. The protocol helps to avoid hassle and costs when moving out, if it can prove in what condition the apartment was taken. (The agreements in the contract are much more important for any subsequent disputes than is generally believed. In general, all agreements are effective, provided they do not violate public morals or mandatory laws. The so-called form leases offer no protection against hostile tenant contract terms, as there is no officially binding form. In principle anyone can create such a form.) In particular, you should pay attention to costs (additional to the rent and the additional costs) such as the obligation to acquire cosmetic repairs, etc.

Also important is the duration of the tenancy agreement:

A contract e.g. limited to one year can not be terminated before this time, and you have to pay the rent until the end of the contract (even if you already moved out). However, the requirements for time limited contracts have changed. These are only valid if the landlord can specify a justifiable reason for a time limited contract. In general, you can terminate the contract with a 3 month notice period. Otherwise, there is the possibility to request the permission from the landlord for a sublease contract, in order to rent the apartment to someone else for the remaining time of the contract. However, this contains certain risks.

Scale rent contracts

Scale rent contracts include a certain rent increase over specified time intervals. Here, no special rent increase letter must be sent by the landlord. The “Staffelmietvereinbarung” / scale rent contract is only effective if the amount of increase respectively the new rental amount is indicated accurately. An indication on a percentage basis is not allowed.

Download the rent index for Aachen (PDF)

Additional costs

The “Nebenkosten-Abrechnung” (billing of additional costs e.g. garbage collection, water, electricity, etc.) must be submitted by December 31st of the following year, everything else is time-barred. Additional costs can be part of the rental contract (additional to the basic rent), if these costs are clearly separated and assigned to the different contracting partners. The following different contract clauses are differentiated (mixed forms are possible):

Flat rate

One way is to agree a monthly flat rate covering all additional costs. There are no further backpayments or repayments. Thus, there is no “Nebenkosten-Abrechung” / billing of additional costs.

Gross rental income

Here, the additional costs are part of the basic rent. This is the case by default. No further payment in addition to the rent can be asked, however, the landlord is allowed to pass a proven increase in operating costs to the tenant.

Possible operating costs

Basically, you can only be charged for additional costs that are agreed on in the contract and that are actually incurred. The operating costs that can legally passed on to the tenant are listed in the 3rd attachment document of ħ27 of the second calculation directive (II. BV).

Advance payment

It is legal and common to arrange a monthly prepayment of the additional and operating costs, which will be settled up annually (cf. additional costs). The tenant has the right to inspect the invoice documents, however, it must not be attached to the initial billing. The invoice must be issued within 12 months after the end of the accounting period. The clauses regarding the additional costs are strongly dependent on the phrasing of the content in individual cases. If the landlord forgot to include all costs (allocatable to the tenant) in the contract, a later, unilateral change of the contract is illegal. The annual billing of additional costs is often disputed. Therefore, it makes sense to check it carefully by inspecting the landlord’s documents and receipts before paying, because it is very difficult to get back money once you paid too much.

Housing types

Stucco on the old building facade, chandelier in the stairwell, creaky floorboards? Romantics will highly appreciate the many old buildings in Aachen. Do you want to learn how to cook Chinese? Easy to do in the communal kitchen of a student hall of residence. Living without a rent, getting handy around the house and help more elderly? In “Wohnduo” young and old people living together as a perfect match. There are various options where to live.


This type of housing can be used by approximately 12% of the students in Aachen, since there are only a limited number of student dormitories. Dormitories are housing areas where many students live together. There are different types of dormitories. Several people living on one floor, sharing kitchens and bathrooms, individual apartments with integrated kitchen and bathroom, flat-sharing communities (“Wohngemeinschaften” / “WG’s”) and even apartments for small families. Dormitories have to be self-financing, but are not allowed to make a profit. This is why they are usually sponsored by charitable organizations. Dormitories offer an inexpensive way to live while studying. The monthly rent for a single room starts at 160€, the one for apartments at 190€. In addition to the Studentenwerk Aachen AöR, which maintains the largest residences, there are a few other non-profit organizations supporting student residences. Room size and decoration are quite different from dorm to dorm. The demand for student dormitories is very large at the beginning of the winter semester, therefore long waiting times are to be expected. Early application is beneficial. Further informations: http://www.studentenwerk-aachen.de/de/

Housing market

DThis is the form of housing, which comprises the largest part of the housing market and is used by most students. There is everything from a small room without shower and cooking facilities up to a luxury apartment. The rents are therefore in a fairly wide range, but the rent is not always equal to the value of the home. In principle, the rent can be arbitrarily set by the owner when certain limits are respected. It is very important to read the contract carefully, because especially in the additional costs high financial charges can be found.

Social housing

These apartments were funded with public money. Therefore, the maximum amount of rent is fixed by law and in most cases well below the level of the private housing market. In order to rent a social apartment / “Sozialwohnung” you need a permission in written form (“Wohnberechtigungsschein” / “WBS”). However, the market share of social housing in Aachen is only about 24% of the housing stock.

Wohnduo - Living for help in Aachen

The concept of "Wohnen für Hilfe" (living for help) tries to positively link the basic needs of students and the elderly and physically disabled people. The elderly people have often more living space than they can use themselves and want to make this available to students. Students pay not with money but with social assistance. The rules of interaction are defined in a contract. The following rule of thumb specifies roughly the rate: One hour of help per month corresponds to a square meter of housing. If you are interested, you can pick up and watch the “Wohnduo-Broschüre” (flyer) at the AStA. Specific requests can also be sent to the “Studentenwerk Aachen” (student council). Further informations: http://www.studentenwerk-aachen.de/de/wohnen/wohnduo.html

Living abroad

Living in the neighboring countries is an interesting alternative to the Aachen housing market. Even if the obstacles are often much lower than expected, specific questions for commuters come up again and again. If you are interested in living in the Netherlands or Belgium you can always consult the “Grenzgängerberatung” of the REGIO Aachen which will provide advice and information to you.

Primary residence

A beautiful apartment in Aachen found? In the shadow of the cathedral and town hall you will quickly feel at home. Registering your apartment in Aachen as your main residence (“Erstwohnsitz”) provides many advantages such as saving the secondary residence tax (“Zweitwohnsitzsteuer”), which is otherwise 10% of the gross rental income (“Kaltmiete”) you are paying.

Second home tax

Anyone who registers his second home in Aachen, must pay 10% of the rent (gross rental income / “Bruttokaltmiete”) as a tax to the city of Aachen.

Welcome to Aachen

Taking a look into the soul of Aachen’s districts is worth it. The downtown party life, the cultural scene in the Frankenberger district, the urban, bustling working-class neighbourhood with real old-Aachen characters in the East and a lot of green idyll around the city are all within easy reach from the university. Who takes a look beyond the city boundaries can choose between European frontier experience and pure nature in the Eifel. Here, in the immediate vicinity of the Netherlands and Belgium, there are living more than 245,000 people from 156 nations. Numerous research institutions, high-tech companies, the four universities and RWTH Aachen Campus are the foundation of Aachen's future. Aachen is more than 2000 years old, but at the same time very young, after all, every sixth Aachener is a student. And soon you could be one of them.

International campus

Aachen is located in the border triangle of Germany-Netherlands-Belgium. But not only the geographical situation justifies the designation International Campus.

Over 8,000 foreign students are enrolled alone at the RWTH and FH Aachen, representing a share of almost 20% of all students. They come from 130 countries, many from China, Turkey and India.

Institutions such as the International Office or the student association INCAS and support programs such as the freshman program support international students in the first time in the unknown land.

The entrepreneur Kemal Şahin, Prof. Aysegül Artmann and the engineer Ivan Jerez reported in an interview of their intercultural experiences and give newcomers tips and advice for a successful start in Aachen.





FH Aachen University of Applied Science

A practical approach to teaching and research - this is a major concern of the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences: Close cooperation with both regional and international companies, renowned research institutions such as the Research Centre Jülich and numerous universities around the world guarantee students an academic education that meets the increasing demands in the labour market.

With over 12,000 students, 240 professors, more than 300 lecturers and about 600 employees at its two locations in Aachen and Jülich, the FH Aachen is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in Germany. In addition to a wide range of natural sciences and engineering the offered courses also include design and economics. Altogether there are about 70 bachelor's and master's degree programmes. The FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences was founded in 1971, but some predecessor institutions can look back on 100 years of tradition.

Fachhochschule Aachen
Bayernallee 11
52066 Aachen
T +49.241.6009 0


The Rhenish-Westphalian Technical University of Aachen (RWTH), founded in 1870 as “Royal Rhenish-Westphalian Polytechnic School of Aachen“, is composed of 260 institutes nowadays. Around 35,000 students are enrolled in more than 75 degree programmes. In October 2007, the RWTH has achieved the coveted status as University of Excellence in an initiative of the German Federal and State Governments and will have access to 180 million euros of additional funding over the next five years.

The RWTH Aachen offers, with few exceptions, a full range of subjects. Disciplines such as biology and computer sciences have a clear technical orientation. In addition to the nine faculties, interdisciplinary forums across subject and faculty boundaries have established and proven themselves by now.

The university puts special emphasis on the internationalization of the education. Study programmes and international agreements with prestigious universities allow students of the RWTH to complete valuable training modules abroad. For post-graduate students, in particular from the Anglo-Saxon area, the RWTH offers twelve master programmes.

RWTH Aachen
Templergraben 55
52056 Aachen
Telephone: 0241 / 80 - 1

Hochschule für Tanz und Musik

Nearly 200 musicians of the 1,700 students at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln / University of Music and Dance Cologne live and study at the Department Aachen and receive intensive support from 80 teachers and professors. The artistic education of instrumentalists and singers is a key focus of the Department Aachen and has a very practical orientation thanks to the long-standing and close cooperation with the Aachen Theatre: In addition to regular engagements of singers for individual opera productions there are orchestra and stage internships. Of particular note is the annual production of an opera at the Aachen Theatre whose entire vocal ensemble and orchestra consists of students from all Departments of the University of Music and Dance.

Besides, the curriculum is accompanied by an extensive concert programme in the University’s concert hall, in the churches of Aachen and in the region: With more than 60 events per semester the University enriches the cultural and concert life in Aachen. The students can regularly be heard in concert series in Aachen Couven Museum, in Vaals (De Kopermolen), in Schloss Rahe and in the Energeticon Alsdorf.

Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln
Standort Aachen
Theaterplatz 16
D-52062 Aachen
Tel +49 (241) 475712 0
Fax +49 (241) 475712 29


The KatHO NRW allows its approximately 3,500 students on the campuses in Aachen, Cologne, Münster and Paderborn to work target-oriented in a small and friendly environment with personal atmosphere. The instructors impart knowledge, skill and attitude in the fields of social services, health science and theology. The university is officially recognized and sponsored by the Church.

Studying at the KatHO NRW means to prepare yourself for working in the different professional fields based on science, theory and the Christian view of humankind, with a strong practice and application orientation - in order to help shape a more humane society.

A study programme in Social Work especially for women in or after the family phase is unique in Germany. A consecutive Master’s degree in Social Work with majors in ”Education and Social Integration“ and in ”Clinical Social Work“ is offered since winter semester 2009/2010.

Katholische Hochschule Nordrhein-Westfalen (KatHO NRW)
Abteilung Aachen
Robert-Schuman-Str. 25 D-52066 Aachen
Telephone: 0241-60003-0

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