A separate apartment is a necessity for a dignified life. For this reason, people who receive Arbeitslosengeld II (ALG II) – Hartz IV – receive not only financial aid for the everyday necessities such as food or clothing, but also support for housing costs. But what about a move? Is it possible for a Hartz IV to move to a different apartment or a new place of residence, and do they receive financial support for their services?

On this page, we explain the costs of moving from the job center to a change of residence.

The right to move and change residence

For many, the rumor is that Hartz IV recipients are allowed to move with the approval of the jobcenters only. This is not correct and would limit the inviolable freedom governed by the Basic Law. Arbeitslosengeld II beneficiaries also have the right to a residence or a change of residence, be it in another district, another city or one in another state. In order to cope with the financial burden for service providers, the job center can assume the costs for the move. For this, it is necessary to apply for the change of residence at the Jobcenter. In addition, the costs of rent, heating and other incidental costs will be borne if deemed appropriate.

But not every reason is enough for the job center to approve a move and take over the associated costs. In principle, the Jobcenter distinguishes between a necessary and a non-necessary move. The cost bearer will only pay the costs if the relocation is also required. The following reasons are commonly accepted:

  • Working in another city.
  • Mold in the apartment (in case of inactivity of the landlord despite reminder, to fix this damage).
  • Health restrictions, e.g. Detectable high load on stairs.
  • Too small living space due to family growth.
  • Change of living conditions (marriage, separation or divorce).
  • Cancellation by the landlord (but only if this was not caused by the tenant).
  • Profitability of the new apartment

Tip: Before changing your accommodation, you should also apply the deposit costs. This amount is generally granted as a loan and must be repaid to the job center with a monthly share of 10% of the regular rate.

In addition, the job center may ask for relocation. This is the case when the costs of rent and heating are too high – that is, they are not rated as adequate – or too large for the housing community. In such a case, Hartz IV beneficiaries must seek a new apartment that meets the requirements of the jobcentre.

However, people with disabilities do not have to move immediately and are afraid to lose their home. As a rule, the job center takes up the cost of housing up to the move – but for a maximum of six months. If it can be shown that a suitable new apartment could not be found despite sufficient efforts, this period can be extended.

There are also cases where the job center does not agree to a move. This is among other things the case when the new apartment is more expensive than the previous one. Hartz-4 recipients under 25 years of age are only allowed to move from their parents’ home to their own home in individual cases – for example, if this is necessary because of a job. If there is no commitment from the job center, the costs incurred for the move are not taken over.

Should a relocation take place without prior approval of the Jobcenters and without a valid reason, the Hartz IV recipient has no claim for the costs. For this reason, it is advisable to obtain approval prior to signing a rental agreement. With this you can request the transfer of the rental deposit as well as the removal costs.

When is a move from the job center not approved?

The following reasons for a move are usually not recognized by the Office:

  • rental shortages
  • family reunion
  • investigate / improve the chances for a new job in another city
  • excerpt from a Hartz IV recipient at the parents before the age of 25 – Exception: a training place in another city or living together with the parents is no longer reasonable for serious reasons

This is how the office takes over the costs when a move is made

If the relocation of the Hartz 4 receiver is approved, the jobcenter assumes the following costs:

  • cost of moving boxes,
  • cost of a moving car,
  • costs for a relocation company – prerequisite: health reasons do not allow for an independent move (proof),
  • costs for the catering of private moving helpers and
  • costs for contracted work renovation work (flat rate)

If in the current rental contract beauty restoration and / or renovation work for the pull-out, the Jobcenter also assumes these costs.

In principle, the Jobcenter only provides financial support for self-organized moves. Except for this are private helpers from friends or acquaintances, for whom a helper package is provided for meals.

In the case of serious and demonstrable health problems, a relocation company can be contracted and the costs can be applied for. However, the Jobcenter requires cost estimates from at least three relocation companies. This also applies if a person has to move in his own government and have to hire a transporter to move the furniture. In addition, a one-time helper package of 20 Euro per person can be requested.

In general, you must make a timely request for costs, in order to be entitled for the costs to be covered by the Jobcenter!

Further information about Hartz IV accommodation and rent