Advice on starting a "Wohngemeinschaft" (WG)

18 posts in this topic

I searched for posts on WGs and really only found posts on how to find or join one. We want to start one. And it's proving difficult. I speak almost native German, so it's not like they're discriminating based on me being a foreigner. But as soon as I mention that I'm looking at the apartment for a WG, they tell me no immediately.

 

In the US, living with roommates is a pretty normal thing, so I'm surprised at the bias against it here. But I guess it's a tight market and they can do as they please.

 

So I'm almost 30, permanently employed, at the same company for 18 months now, good salary, EU citizen. I would think I'd make a good tenant. Add another guy with an equally good salary, though, and suddenly they won't talk to me.

 

So, has anybody successfully started a WG? How did you do it?

 

Is it a bad idea to say I'm renting the place just for myself, and then have a roommate?

 

What about pretending to be a gay couple?

 

All advice appreciated. :)

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From the number of WG's in the classified section, and on most of the real-estate websites, it can't be that hard.

Anybody in one of those WG's or whatnot give this guy some tips?

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Never done it but lived in some and as they're usually aimed at irresponsible student types I can understand why most landlords don't want them. Instead of saying you want to make a WG try the semantically more appealing 'I would like to be able to sublet, do you mind?'.

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Yep, agree with HellesAngel.

 

A landlord's main concern is that he receives the rent each month. If three people live in a WG, that's three lots of rent he has to worry about, whereas if a family lived there he'd only have one payment to worry about.

 

The key is to be the Hauptmieter. This means that you pay the full rent and deposit for the whole apartment. You then collect the rent from your housemates. This obviously transfers risks and responsibilities from the landlord to yourself, so you have to decide if that's what you want. But it will be hard finding a landlord who is prepared to take on that risk on your behalf.

 

If you do choose this route, get hold of some pre-drafted contracts for your future tenants to sign. This will help cover your back.

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OK, so if I take this route of being a Hauptmieter, what do I tell people on the phone? When I call people to ask about apartments, the first thing they always ask is how many people will be moving in. Should I just say two of us and leave it at that? Should I wait until later to say the two of us are not related?

 

Thanks for the responses!

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Officially, you have to be honest, because otherwise the contract can become invalid and you'll find yourself on the street. The landlord will eventually find out who's living there, and may well want to meet the second person before you sign the contract. If you want to pretend to be gay then good luck to you, but if there's one thing that many Bavarians hate more than students...

 

I think the best thing is to say the apartment is for yourself only, but ask whether it would be possible to take in a lodger at a later date.

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this thread's starting to make me laugh. Just wondering how you pretend to be gay..

 

How about pretending to be black?

 

But then, being Bavaria... :ph34r:

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I think the best thing is to say the apartment is for yourself only, but ask whether it would be possible to take in a lodger at a later date.

Or you could go to www.wg-gesucht.de and sign on to someone else's existing WG. There's certainly plenty to choose from and you don't have to worry about being the Hauptmieter or about finding a WG-friendly landlord.

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What exactly are they asking when you call? How many people will be living there? And when you say more than one do they ask if its a WG?

Or do you just come out and say its a WG?

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or you could just avoid the wg word and say a friend and I are looking for an apartment. Explain you are both professionals earning good salaries. WG rings of irresponsible student and risk for landlord.

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Landlords hate "real" WGs because, if there are multiple signatures on the rental contract, the contract is only cancelled if all signees "withdraw". If a WG breaks up, and only one or two people remain, the chance is increased that he won't get his money. Also, of course, if the contract lasts long enough this way, the tenant protection slips in against cancelling, even if there is only one of the original signees remaining in the WG.

 

Most "WGs" that are around these days are actually simply the landlord renting out a flat per room to different people on separate contracts.

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Tell a little white lie and say you are moving in with your partner.Leaves it open then.So long as you are the only one whose name is on the rent contract they cannot do a thing.Then either write or get a sub let contract between you and your friend covering the financial side of things for damages and rent and the like.Easy when you have a sly mind :ph34r:

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I rented a 3 bedroom apartment in Berlin.

I found most agents were happy to rent to me even though I stated I was going to share.

I think it helped because only my name went on the contract.

And obviously all the responsibility is on my shoulders.

But it only took me a week to find a place!

Finding flatmates was pretty fast.

 

I used ImmobilienScout.de

Here!

 

Best of luck!

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We sublet our flat to flatmates. It is hard to find a place but we just asked the landlord if it was ok to sublet one of the rooms. They told us that most companys prefer the one tentant on the contract agreement and after that it is up to us to sort out. Do check you can sublet though as some contracts (like ours) say you must get permission in writting.

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Multiple tenants and high turnover are troublesome for a landlord...paying out partial deposits (plus interest) twice a year, tracking down people for last years Nebenkostenabrechnung, disputes about the condition of the place ("the previous guy did that"), trouble getting his rent when too many people move out and possibly getting stuck with tenants he doesn't want. It's easy to see why (given the choice) landlords prefer a single tenant. They're much more open to the idea of a single tenant subletting a room, especially if you make it clear that this will be a permanent arrangement and there won't be a new tenant every other month smashing up the lights in the stairwell while moving his furniture.

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Landlords hate "real" WGs because, if there are multiple signatures on the rental contract, the contract is only cancelled if all signees "withdraw". If a WG breaks up, and only one or two people remain, the chance is increased that he won't get his money.

Actually, the reason behind having multiple signess on the contract is because a) Every single one of them can be made liable for the full amount of the rent and B) Anyone who moves out and doesnt get himself removed from the contract is still liable for (all the) rent. In practice a landlord would want to make sure a follow-on tenant was included in the contract before he removed someone else.

 

 

Also, of course, if the contract lasts long enough this way, the tenant protection slips in against cancelling, even if there is only one of the original signees remaining in the WG.

Not so. Tenant protection is effective immediately, but if everyone moves out without the contract being changed they are still all liable for all the rent (if the landlord can find them).

 

 

Most "WGs" that are around these days are actually simply the landlord renting out a flat per room to different people on separate contracts.

Personally I would avoid this way for exactly the reason that it is then my responsibility to find "Nachmieter". The flat I rent out has a "zweier WG" in it but I only have one tenant with explicit permission to sub-let.

 

andy M

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Hi!

 

I know this thread is very old but I'm currently in the same situation. What's the best place to look for a WG-ready apartment? I want to move in to a place with a friend of mine and split the rent. Is WG-Gesucht the best choice or are websites like immobilienscout better for this situation? Has anyone had any luck with either of those two? We're both 25, have good steady jobs, and plan to stay there for a while once we find something. I speak fluent German and am a dual citizen. My friend is from France and speaks OK German.

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