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I am going to travel to Germany. I have heard that students there can find listings in the newspaper requesting a home mate.

In this arrangement, the new person doesn't pay rent, in return for doing chores, like shopping, cleaning or cooking. Thus, the student can save money, but has less time for their studies or leisure.

What is this arrangement called? How can I find out more about it?

In particular, what kind of contract is usually used? If the house owner decides suddenly to end the arrangement, is there anything the student can do to stop them?

Are there any websites to find listings for these kinds of arrangements?

  • You mention "students"; will you be a student in Germany? Or are you using that just as an example of who usually enters into these kinds of arrangements? – Dan Getz May 23 '15 at 16:29
  • I think it should be a general form, and not limited to students – Salman Lashkarara May 25 '15 at 17:33
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    A common arrangement in Germany is simply to sublet rooms in a larger flat (or rent it together). This is called a Wohngemeinschaft or WG. But you do have to contribute to the rent. – Gala May 27 '15 at 6:32
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This article about such a project in Cologne calls it "Wohnen für Hilfe". wohnenfuerhilfe.info lists similar projects in other cities and there is even a site linking similar “homeshare” initiatives in other countries.

There are no details about any contract but apparently it's not a private initiative or a one-to-one agreement but typically something arranged by the relevant municipal service in cooperation with the university or a students' organisation. I assume that if you haven't made any trouble, they should be able to find a new room for you if your current room becomes unavailable.

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