Studies and accommodation

  • When do I need to officially register or deregister my apartment?

    Within Germany there is a mandatory city registration: Everyone who moves into an apartment or a room within Chemnitz or Zwickau, must register within 2 weeks at the responsible registration office! Also when moving within the city you need to inform the registration authority (“Einwohnermeldeamt”) immediately (according to §17 Federal Registration Act, “Bundesmeldegesetz”).

    Detailed information regarding city registration/re-registration/de-registration, all necessary documents and the responsible authorities can be found on the official websites of the City of Chemnitz or the City of Zwickau.

    Maybe also interesting for you: our article “What kind of benefits are there for new students?”

  • Who has to pay second residence tax?

    In Zwickau there is no second residence tax yet. In 2006, the tax was introduced within the City of Chemnitz. Students are not generally exempt from paying this tax.

    The second residence tax accounts for 10% of the annual net rent. In Chemnitz, the person who is actually tenant of the apartment is liable to pay this tax. Anyone who mainly lives in his/her parents' home within Germany (only inhabiting a room within) and who can not freely dispose of it, will not be liable to tax for a secondary residence in Chemnitz. Similarly, the tax for the tenants with a main residence in another city within Germany, which only inhabits a "room" (for example in the student hall of residence) as a secondary residence at Chemnitz does not have to pay the second residence tax.

    Everyone who registers in Chemnitz with a secondary residence will receive a letter from the City of Chemnitz. The letter is accompanied by a second residence tax return (“Zweitwohnungssteuer-Erklärung”), which must be completed in every case and sent back to the Treasury and Tax Office (“Kassen- und Steueramt”). This also applies if there is an exemption status. Corresponding information is also given in an enclosed fill-in assistance.

    Further information can be found on the website of the City of Chemnitz.

  • What kind of benefits exist for newly moved students?


    Anyone who registers his/her main or sole residence within Chemnitz and studies at the Chemnitz University of Technology can apply for a one-time welcome payment of 100 euros (“Begrüßungsgeld”).

    The necessary application is available at the Info point of Studentenwerk and can only be submitted from there with your current enrolment certificate (“Immatrikualtionsbescheinigung”) until 31st March of the following year. You can also find the application for welcome payment online. Please read the accompanying leaflet. The applications will be processed in the period from January to May of the following year, hence, you can expect the payment after this period.

    Please note that the City of Chemnitz decides annually about the existence of the welcome payment.


    When you register your main residence within Zwickau, you will receive the so-called "Freizeitverführer" as a welcome gift. This booklet contains coupons for sports, cultural and leisure activities within the City of Zwickau and is valid for one year starting from the date of issue.

  • Do I have to pay the German Broadcast Contribution (“Rundfunkbeitrag”)?

    Since 1st January 2013 every household in Germany has to pay a public broadcasting contribution based on the Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting and Television (“Rundfunkbeitragsstaatsvertrag”). The fee is €18.36 per month, and is usually paid quarterly. This means that each household must pay €55.08 every quarter. This system was installed in Germany to offer people staying in Germany independent and critical information provided by the public broadcasting stations in Germany. Not having a TV or radio does not mean that you do not have to pay. Also, all tenants are liable to the contribution irrespective of their nationality. However, there are some situations in which you can get an exemption from paying the contribution.

    What counts as an apartment?

    In principle, an apartment is defined in the strict legal sense as any structurally enclosed space unit that is:

    a) suitable or used for living or sleeping (existence of bathroom and kitchen is irrelevant)


    b) is accessible via a staircase, an entrance hall, from the outside by way of private entrance – not via another living space.


    Please note that every registered residence, whether secondary or primary residence, is regarded as a separate household by the German Broadcast Contribution Service and is therefore subject to payment of the Broadcast Contribution.


    Student halls and shared apartments:

    • A single apartment is considered to be an apartment, e.g. student hall Thüringer Weg 3 in Chemnitz or Makarenkostraße 4/6 in Zwickau.
    • In a shared apartment the contribution can be divided among all roommates when all contributory criteria of an apartment are fulfilled (see above), e.g. student hall Reichenhainer Str. 35 in Chemnitz or Innere Schneeberger Straße 23 in Zwickau. One adult tenant must be registered per household and therefore pays the total amount of the contribution to the German Broadcast Contribution Service. The amount of money can be split individually in each apartment between the tenants beforehand, but this has to be organised by the tenants themselves. It is necessary that all other tenants deregister by mentioning the contribution number of the paying tenant.
    • Rooms as part of a “corridor community” i.e. single apartments with a shared kitchen, shared bathroom(s) and a floor access door are regarded as single apartments by the German Broadcast Contribution Service and therefore the contribution can not be divided between the inhabitants on the floor.


    Further information in several languages and all necessary forms can be found on the official page of the German Broadcast Contribution Service. In case of questions please feel free to contact the Social Counselling Team of Studentenwerk Chemnitz-Zwickau or your Student Council (StuRa) in Chemnitz or Zwickau.

  • Who can get an exemption or discount from paying the German Broadcast Contribution?

    In general, minors are not obliged to pay the German Broadcast Contribution.

    Also as a BAföG-recipient you can apply for an exemption from the contribution obligation. For this purpose, you must submit a signed application form together with the enclosed certificate "Rundfunkbeitragsbefreiung", which you have received together with your BAföG-certificate. Applications for exemption are possible retroactively for up to three years if the exemption requirements have been fulfilled during this period. The exemption does not included roommates, except for married partners or registered partners living in the same apartment.

    Under certain circumstances, a discount of the contribution can be granted, e.g. due to disability.

    International students, regardless of the length of their stay in Germany, are generally obliged to pay the Broadcast Contribution. However, the same rules apply regarding the exemption or reduction of the contribution.

    Further information in several languages and all necessary forms can be found on the official page of the German Broadcast Contribution Service. In case of questions please feel free to contact the Social Counselling Team of Studentenwerk Chemnitz-Zwickau or your Student Council (StuRa) in Chemnitz or Zwickau.