The online platform “Helfende Wände” helps refugees from Ukraine to easily find private accommodation that matches their needs. In partnership with the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI) and the non-profit organization ProjectTogether, the platform run by Wunderflats is designed to alleviate the burden on host communities and to enable housing providers to offer private accommodation quickly and without bureaucracy. Find more information .
The border authorities will direct you to government emergency shelters as soon as you arrive in Germany. There you will be given a place to sleep, food and other assistance until you have found somewhere else to stay. Reception centres are located all over Germany.
The association cooperates with relevant authorities across Germany to jointly decide on the possibility of providing accommodation and care for refugee children, young people and families in the youth hostels.
If you are looking for short-term housing, you should seek help from official agencies and aid organisations. If you do not feel safe where you are staying, you should leave and find somewhere else to stay.
To protect yourself against human trafficking, never hand over your passport as security for your accommodation, and keep your children with you at all times.
If you notice anything suspicious, or if you are threatened, please call the police on 110.
1. Work in the household has to be remunerated
Sometimes refugees take on household-related tasks and/or care for people or animals living in the household they are accommodated in.
Naturally, this can also be a favour, however, there is often a very fine line between a relationship of goodwill and an employment relationship. Therefore, take care that you do not get into an exploitative situation and enter into an employment relationship without receiving any money for it. Because the following fundamentally applies: Work in the household has to be remunerated!
- Signs of a relationship of goodwill
As a rule, these are one-off services in especially close relationships, e.g. in the family or neighbourhood. The focus is on the assistance provided.
- Signs of an employment relationship
The working person is bound by instructions to and economically dependent on the employer. It is a bindingly agreed service.
If you work as a home help, you are clearly in an employment relationship and have to be appropriately remunerated. Note: In private households, so-called “non-monetary benefits in kind”, such as free meals or rent-free accommodation, do not qualify as remuneration for work.
More information on your rights in an employment relationship can be found under "Labour Law”.
2. Fair rental agreement
If you rent living space for longer than one year, this has to be set out in writing in a rental contract. Providers of accommodation are obliged to rent out their flats at
customary market prices. If instead they demand an unreasonably high rent, this may constitute an administrative offence (Section 5 Economic Offences Act, WiStG).
Rent is unreasonably high if it exceeds the customary rent by more than 20 percent. If landlords intentionally exploit the inexperience or predicament of tenants, they may be liable to prosecution (Section 291 of the German Criminal Code, StGB). In addition, the General Equal Treatment Act (Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG) protects against unequal treatment on the housing market based on ethnic origin and racial discrimination.
If you cannot afford the rent yourself, the Job Centre can help you. More information on this can be found under “Social benefits”.
If you have been accommodated in a private household, this may well also lead to excessive demands and stress. It is important to take signs of stress, tension or insomnia over a longer period of time seriously and get psychosocial help. Trusted persons in your area and/or networking with local initiatives and voluntary associations can provide support in coping with the situation.
- Mental health counselling hotline: 0241 / 80 36 777
(Mon. - Fri.: 9am - 12pm / 1pm - 4pm)
- Crisis telephone: 0800 / 11 10 111 (daily 24h)
Yes, as soon as you have a residence permit in Germany, you can rent your own flat. To do so, you, and in certain cases your family members, must register, for example
- at an emergency shelter,
- at an arrival centre,
- or at a foreigners authority.
Some of the federal states offer information on their official websites to help refugees from Ukraine find long-term housing:
In addition, people who have housing to provide can list it on the Wunderflats website. As soon as you have found a suitable listing, you can send a booking request via the website.
You can turn to local organisations such as neighbourhood centres or clubs. You can get their addresses from a migration advisory office. You can also ask acquaintances whether they know someone who has housing for rent or is looking for a tenant.
As a joint project of LaruHelpsUkraine e.V. and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), the Berlin advisory centre advises Ukrainian refugees on various issues such as services and offers of the job centre, the family payments section (Familienkasse) and the social welfare office. The consultations are offered in Ukrainian and Russian and can be carried out online or face-to-face. In addition to informative advisory offers, Ukrainian refugees also receive assistance in filling out applications and forms, making appointments (including medical), writing official letters or, on request, receive support when visiting the authorities.
Berlin advisory centre:
Am Treptower Park 14, 12435 Berlin (in the Treptow Park Center shopping centre)
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. (Closed during lunch from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
Go to the website () / () / () / (h)
Be careful when looking for housing, because unscrupulous people may try to take advantage of your situation. Watch out for the following warning signs:
- The rent is too low (hidden defects)
- You are asked to transfer money online in advance
- You are asked to pay the deposit in cash when viewing the flat
Never pay any money before you have signed a rental agreement.
If you are staying with friends or relatives after arriving in Germany, you do not have to register your address for the first three months. However, we recommend registering your address in the first three months if you want to place your child in a school or kindergarten or if you need other benefits or services from the local government.
After three months, you and your children are required to register your address with the local residents’ registration office. Children and young people up to age 16 must be registered by the parent(s) they live with. Newborn babies must be registered only if they do not live with their parent(s).
Please remember to de-register with the residents’ registration office if you move to another country or return to Ukraine.
- If you know where you will be staying for the long term, you will need the following documents to register your address at the residents’ registration office (Bürgerbüro): biometric passport or other identity documents, such as a government-issued ID card, for all family members
- residence permit, provisional residence document, certificate indicating the reception facility responsible for you (Anlaufbescheinigung) or arrival certificate (Ankunftsnachweis)
- Confirmation from your landlord or host that you have moved in (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung) You can find the necessary forms on the website of your town or city or your local residents’ registration office.
- Birth certificate for children, marriage certificate for married couples
If you don’t have these documents with your information written in the Latin (not Cyrillic) alphabet, please register first with your reception centre or foreigners authority.
Your information will be stored in the population register. You will receive a document confirming that you have registered your residence. Please keep this document in a safe place. You will need to show it to other government authorities as proof of your residence. In particular, you will need to show it to the foreigners authority or reception centre.
The confirmation of residence from your landlord or the person who is hosting you in their home must contain the following information:
- the name and address of the person providing the home and the name of the owner, if this is a different person;
- the date you moved in;
- the address of the home where you are living; and
- the names of the people required to register.
You can find forms for the confirmation of residence on the website of your local government or at the residents’ registration office.
The person providing the home (Wohnungsgeber) is generally your landlord or someone authorised by them, such as a property manager. If you are staying with friends or relatives, they would be the persons providing the home.
If you move out of one home and into a different one, you are required to register your new address with the residents’ registration office at your new location within two weeks of moving.
You only need to de-register your address with the residents’ registration office if you move to another country or return to Ukraine. To de-register, go to the residents’ registration office no more than one week before you move or two weeks after you move, or write or send an email to the registration office informing them that you are leaving Germany.
If you know that you will be living in a flat on a long-term basis, you will need the following documents to register your residence at the Citizens’ Registration Office:
- passport or Ukrainian ID card
- Arrival certificate, fictional certificate, registration certificate
- Tenancy agreement
- Confirmation of moving in from the landlord
- If applicable, birth certificate for children, marriage certificate for married couples