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Secondary Residence Tax

The city of Hanover levies a "secondary residence tax" for everyone "owning a secondary residence within the municipal area" (Statute of 08 October 2015). All citizens who have registered with a secondary residence in Hanover will be sent tax return forms by the Department of Finance, "secondary residence tax" section, and are then required to fill out these tax forms and return them signed.

Under the statute "everyone who has a residence in Hanover serving as a secondary residence for the purposes of the Lower Saxony Registration Act" is liable for taxation, provided, however, that the principal residence is a "complete home". If someone e.g. has registered a single room in their parents' home as principal residence, this does not constitute a complete home, and the secondary residence is then not liable for taxation.

Married students or students living in a registered partnership may also be exempted from the secondary residence tax. The condition is that the principal residence lies outside of the Hanover city area and the distance is too great for commuting. Furthermore, there must be study- or job-related reasons for a secondary residence, and finally, the secondary residence must be the home predominantly used throughout the year.

For the purposes of the statute, a secondary residence is defined as follows: It has to have at least one room fit for living purposes, a kitchen or kitchenette, and a bathroom or shower with WC. The accommodation unit must be separate from other living quarters in the same building. Many student accommodations do not meet these requirements. No one who has rented, e.g., a room in a hallway community type of student accommodation with the Studentenwerk, or who inhabits a sublet room is liable for the tax. When you share a flat or a house ("WG"), the individual members of your "WG" are taxed proportionately.

Students with a low income can apply for a tax exemption. The income limit for this is the maximum BAföG rate, or the regular social security benefit rate, respectively. To apply, you need a proof of your regular income, documentation of monthly expenditures and of any assets. For detailed information on the tax exemption, refer to:

City of Hanover, Department of Finances
(German website: Stadt Hannover – Fachbereich Finanzen)
"Secondary Residence Tax" Section
Johannssenstraße 10, 30159 Hannover
Phone:  +49 511 1 68-4 34 73

The easiest way for tenants and other owners of secondary residences to avoid the tax liability is to register with Hanover as your principal place of residence. This will not lead to any financial loss for your parents, e.g. concerning child allowances. In any case, according to the Lower Saxony Registration Act, the principal residence is the place where someone resides predominantly. Since most students reside mainly at their place of study, they have to register with Hanover as their principal residence anyway, so that the secondary residence tax does not apply to them.



Studentenwerk Hannover
Student Accommodation Dept.

Jägerstraße 5
30167 Hannover

Phone +49 511 76-88 048
Phone +49 511 76-88 029
Phone +49 511 76-88 972
Fax +49 511 76-88 949

Office hours