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How to Find an Apartment as a Student – 7 Tips for Success

A new adventure awaits: You want to move out from your parents‘ house and into your first, own apartment while you study. But how are you going to do this in the highly competitive housing market? As student you are in a particularly difficult situation since landlords usually prefer employed renters. In addition, you are pressed for time since it‘s not long between being accepted to college and the start of the semster.

But don‘t panic! These seven tips will help you to find an apartment with ease.

1) Tell Everyone that you are Looking for an Apartment

You never know if there isn‘t one of your friends whose uncle knows somebody who lets an apartment. The more people are in the know about your house hunt, the more likely it is that there will be sombody who can help you. Your friends can ask around in their own circles and maybe you can find a room even in a few weeks.

Use social media to get in touch with acquaintances you don‘t see on a regular basis. Post online that you are looking for an apartment and ask your network to share your post and to keep their eyes open. In addition, you should also join real estate groups for the city you‘re looking in.

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2) Use Classified Ads

Consider the good old newspaper – you can still find apartment listings in their classifieds section. Particularly older landlords will publish ads there and you won‘t be able to find them online.

The notice board of your university is also a good place to look for offers. Look for suitable accommodation there or post your own. Don’t just concentrate on your faculty, but look around other departments as well.

In addition, you will find countless advertisements on classified platforms. You can also place an ad yourself, through which potential landlords will find you.

Classifieds search engines like askalo go one step further, because they collect ads from many different pages and can save you a lot of time.

3) Be as Efficient as Possible

You can save a lot of time with both classified ads such as Locanto, Gumtree, Craigslist and real estate sites if you use them correctly. Most pages have helpful features to help you get better search results. For example, use the advanced search options: Search not only by keyword, but also by city or region, size or price. Combine the different parameters to get good results.

his way you don’t lose time on websites that don’t have suitable accommodation for you. Nevertheless, you are always up to date if a suitable ad is placed.

4) Also Have a Look at Apartments That do not fit 100 Percent

Especially if you are in urgent need of an apartment, you may have to make a few compromises in your expectations. Try to find somewhere to stay first – maybe as an interim tenant for someone who is currently doing a semester abroad. You can then get to know the city in peace and quiet and look for a better alternative.

For other requirements it may be worth asking. For example, you have a cat, but only find ads that do not allow pets? Just call the landlord and ask! A cat or a small dog is no problem for some landlords. If it does, it can help to take out a dog liability insurance. This covers damages in the rented apartment and helps you to convince the landlord.

Many websites also allow you to register for free email notifications. All you have to do is enter your email address and a search term – or your advanced search options. This way you will automatically receive new offers by e-mail and you don’t have to check the page every day.

5) Leave a Good Impression when You View the Apartment

Prepare yourself well and bring a checklist for the flat inspection and further questions to the landlord. Also think of information that the landlord needs from you, for example your identity card or a proof of income.

Punctuality and politeness should be as much a matter of course as a neat appearance and neat clothes.

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6) Help from your Parents

Many landlords want to make sure that the rent is always paid on time. You have no fixed income as a student? Even if you find it bourgeois, ask your parents to accompany you on the tour. (Of course not to WG Castings!)

It is very helpful if your parents sign the lease with you or co-sign for you.

7) Always Keep Looking

Keep looking while you wait for feedback from a landlord. Take further viewing appointments, even if you are absolutely sure that the landlords will choose you. Don’t stop until you have a firm promise – or even better – a signed contract, because something unexpected can always happen. In the best case, you will be offered two apartments at the end and can choose.


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