Buying an apartment still inhabited by a tenant

29 posts in this topic

Posted

Dear Friends,

I would like to buy a flat for my own use and was searching it on ImmobilienScout24.

There I was one interesting offer with following line:

"Bezugsfrei ab: nach Vereinbarung"

or

"Vacant from: after agreement"

The responsible Immobilien-Agent said it will be vacant from tennant after Notary.

Now, Please suggest me should I trust the agent?

I hope it should be written in the rent-contract between the current tennant and owner.

What kind of rent-contract is this?

What words or sentence or clause I should look in this contract to be sure?

Please advice..

Thanks and Regards,

Ramsam

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Posted

that is one of the singlemost confusing OPs I have ever read. You start by saying you want to buy a place and then talk about rental contracts. Well which is it?

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Posted

Important question for buying flats that are not vacant: Who lives there? The owner or a tenant?

If the owner lives there, you can negotiate that he'll move out as part of the sale contract.

If it is a tenant, things get more difficult, as the old owner usually can not simply terminate the rent contract.

a) Either it is agreed in the rent contract that the tenancy ends at a fixed date ("befristeter mietvertrag") (this is easy, but then why does the ad say "after agreement", and not the date?)

B) or you probably have to buy the flat with the rent contract, and then you have to give the tenant the termination notice. If you want to move into the flat yourself, it is legally possible to terminate the rent contract. But if the tenant likes to make a fuss, it might take some months until you finally get him to move out.

Ask the agent what makes him so sure that a rented out flat will be vacant after the notary date.

Ask for a copy of whatever contract or agreement between the owner and the current tenant governing the tenant moving out.

If in doubt, consult with a lawyer, you might need one if the situation turns out to be B).

Disclaimer:

I am not a lawyer, and there might be other scenarios, but these are the ones that come to my mind.

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Posted

Dear flawed,

Thankyou very much for such a detailed and usefull reply.

Regards

Ramsam

----------

Dear Bell the cat,

I would like to buy a flat and would like to live in it.

I saw one good offer on ImmobilienScout24 and there on ImmobilienScout24 it was written on the description of this property:

"Bezugsfrei ab: nach Vereinbarung"

Ok...

It looks like this flat is owned by Person-X (Owner) and occupied by Person-Y (Tennant) and one property-agent Person-Z.

I hope this makes more clearity..

Regards,

Ramsam

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Posted

Sounds like to much of a headache.. Forget this place and move on..

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Posted

Another scenario: The current tenant wants a package before he leaves (moving costs, agency fees, six months rent of the new apartment). Step back and sit on your hands before signing any contract with this clause.

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Posted

It looks like this flat is owned by Person-X (Owner) and occupied by Person-Y (Tennant) and one property-agent Person-Z.

Hey Ramsam,

Dont take this as anything but friendly advice - I've no idea what your German is like, but if its anything like your english you will need someone to accurately interpret for you before you buy property in Germany. Its fairly straightforward but there are one or two hurdles that you need someone with excellent German to negociate for you and the language can be very daunting if you are anything but fluent.

If you are buying a rented property and expect to live there yourself, make sure it is a condition of the contract that the property is empty before it belongs to you. Usually that means making the "Übergang Nutzen und Lasten" (transfer of liability) conditional on the tenant moving out. Be aware that, under German law, there is essentially no useful (let alone cheap or quick) way of getting a paid-up sitting tenant out of a flat if they dont want to budge.

Also be aware that, if the property looks like good value, that may be because of the tenant. Rented flats are always cheaper. If it was empty, the price might go up.

andy M

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Posted

Dear pog451,

Thanks a lot..

Regards

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Posted

Hi TTers,

I am in the process of buying an apartment in Neuhausen opposite Rotkreuz-Krankenhaus. This apartment is currently rented and the contract end in October 2015. I am not sure if we need to sign a new contract with tenant or taking over from the current owner?.

I also worry about owner's meeting since we do not understand German (we will learn). If we do not participate, will there is minute of the meeting sent to us so that we can tranlate into English?.

Thank you very much in advance,

Phuong

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Posted

My apartment building was sold a while back and I still have my original contract. One thing to make sure is that the bond account gets transferred to your name.

I don't know about minutes, translations etc, sorry. I'd have thought you'd need to take someone (you trust, not someone official) with you for that purpose. (and if you've been here for about 2 years already and haven't learnt German yet, I doubt you're really seriously going to, so you'll need this person in future too).

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Posted

If we do not participate, will there is minute of the meeting sent to us so that we can tranlate into English?.

That depends on the company managing the building. Only they can answer this question, so go ask them.

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Posted

Hi TTers,

I am in the process of buying an apartment in Neuhausen opposite Rotkreuz-Krankenhaus. This apartment is currently rented and the contract end in October 2015. I am not sure if we need to sign a new contract with tenant or taking over from the current owner?.

I also worry about owner's meeting since we do not understand German (we will learn). If we do not participate, will there is minute of the meeting sent to us so that we can tranlate into English?.

Thank you very much in advance,

Phuong

Why are you buying the apartment at all? If you don't speak German and you're new in the country it doesn't seem like a very good idea to me. You're setting yourself up to be stung. Things work very differently here to Australia.

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Posted

Phuong

PandaMunich is bang on the button, as usual, but I would also support Hutchos thoughts that you are setting yourself up to be royally shafted on this deal. It starts with the price you amy be paying, goes on to you not being able to understand whats in the "Grundbuch" (Deeds, and yes, there can be considerable nasties in there) and continues with the issues of the owners association.

I have no idea whats motivating you to buy a flat just now, but I would really think twice or even three times about it and I would certainly not do it until you live here and have at least someone you trust who can translate for you.

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Posted

Thank you so much all of you for answering my questions.

Yes, I got all of documents mentioned. The bank also requested ones before they can lend us money.

My husband has been in Munich for 2 years and is learning German but very slowly since he can only do it after work.

English is the medium at work.

I will be joining him next month and I will be learning German intensively.

We want to buy the apartment to eventually live in when rent contract end.

The contract is as following

"Das Mietverhältnis beginnt am 1.11.2011 und wird für die Dauer von 4 Jahren geschlossen, also bis zum

31.10.2015. Die Mietzahlung beginnt am 01.11.2011 (Erste Mietzahlung). Zur vertragsgemäßen

Beendigung des Mietverhältnisses bedarf es keiner Kündigung. Der anschließende Abschluss eines

neuen, unbefristeten Mietvertrags ist möglich."

We decide to buy because

1. We like the apartment for its location, old type building (buit 1908) and excellent condition, good size for us so that relatives and friends can stay when visiting us.

2. we have 40% of the price with virtually no interest at all. The rest the bank lend to us with only 1.57%/pa which is so low that it is almost nothing.

I think it is not so bad that the meeting only taking place once a year. I can get friends to sit in with us.

Thank you so much everyone of you,

Phuong

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Posted

We want to buy the apartment to eventually live in when rent contract end.

The contract is as following

"Das Mietverhältnis beginnt am 1.11.2011 und wird für die Dauer von 4 Jahren geschlossen, also bis zum

31.10.2015. Die Mietzahlung beginnt am 01.11.2011 (Erste Mietzahlung). Zur vertragsgemäßen

Beendigung des Mietverhältnisses bedarf es keiner Kündigung. Der anschließende Abschluss eines

neuen, unbefristeten Mietvertrags ist möglich."

I don't want to scare you, but German law is very friendly to tenants, but not so friendly to the owners of the apartments.

There are only a few reasons for which you are allowed to do a fixed-term rental contract, they are listed in the German Civil Code, article 575:


Section 575


Fixed-term lease


(1) A lease may be entered into for a fixed period of time if the lessor upon termination of the lease period

  1. wishes to use the premises as a dwelling for himself, members of his family or members of his household, or

  2. wishes, admissibly, to eliminate the premises or change or repair them so substantially that the measures would be significantly more difficult as a result of a continuation of the lease, or

  3. wishes to lease the premises to a person obliged to perform services

and he notifies the lessee in writing of the reasons for the fixed term when the agreement is entered into. Otherwise the lease is deemed to have been entered into for an indefinite period of time.

If one of those reasons is not listed in the rental contract you have, then that rental contract does not end automatically on 31.10.2015, but is in reality an unlimited contract.

If the tenant is a member of the Mieterverein (= association of tenants), and most Germans are, then they will tell him this and you will have to pay him a lot of money so that he agrees to move out, think 10,000€ to 20,000€.

However, I am not a lawyer.

I suggest that your husband becomes a member of the Haus- und Grundbesitzerverein (owners' association) and consults one of their lawyers, they can tell him whether that rental contract is a valid fixed-term contract or rather an unlimited contract:


  • Haus- und Grundbesitzerverein
    Sonnenstr. 13, 3rd floor
    80331 München
    Phone: 089/55141-0
    Fax: 089/55141-366
    eMail: info@haus-und-grund-muenchen.de

post-24869-1357692999329.jpg

Membership there costs a one-off fee of 20€, plus a yearly fee that depends on your rental income, if you take in from that apartment between 10,000€ and 25,000€ in rent, then that yearly fee is 110€.

I suggest your husband becomes a member there, this will allow him to consult for free with their 18 lawyers who are specialised in rental law.

He can become a member on the spot and then go directly to a consultation.

He should bring along the rental contract and all documentation he has about the apartment, the lawyers there will then tell him whether you have cause to worry or not.

These consultations are walk-in, so he doesn't need an appointment, but they can only take place:

in the morning:


  • Monday to Friday 8.30 - 12.00

in the afternoon:

  • Monday to Wednesday 13.30 - 16.00
    Thursday 13.30 - 17.45
    Friday 13.30 - 15.45

Becoming a member of the Haus- und Grundbesitzerverein is a good deal, see here for the services they offer that are covered by the above membership fee.

As a comparison, an independent lawyer is allowed to charge up to 226.10€ just for the first consultation.

We decide to buy because

1. We like the apartment for its location, old type building (buit 1908) and excellent condition, good size for us so that relatives and friends can stay when visiting us.

Is the apartment in a listed building?

If yes, then any renovations will be expensive, since they will be supervised by a state institution called Denkmalschutzamt and they have strict rules what you are allowed to do, what materials you have to use and so on.

2. we have 40% of the price with virtually no interest at all. The rest the bank lend to us with only 1.57%/pa which is so low that it is almost nothing.

Mortgages are an art form in Germany.

Unless you expressly negotiate otherwise, the bank will give you a mortgage that is only of advantage to them, i.e. one where you are not allowed to pay off the amount prematurely or one where the interest isn't fixed for a long period.

Banks are also known to push Bauspar plans on people in combination with loans and to then lie about the interest rates, i.e. they publish a lower interest rate than the real interest rate, for details please see The awful truth about Bausparen plans.

I suggest you contact our Toytown resident mortgage broker Starshollow (real name: Patrick Ott, his web site) and ask him for a quote for the mortgage, one that does allow you to pay it off should you suddenly come into money and one where the interest is fixed for the long term.

This quote will be free of charge, he is honest and will have your best interest at heart, which unfortunately cannot be said for the banks.

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Posted

To condense PandaMunichs advice:

Do not, I repeat DO NOT buy an apartment you want to live in yourself with a sitting tenant, especially with low fluency in German.

BTW - Are you SURE your banks is giving you a 60% mortgage with 1,57% interest? I mean interest rates are low, but thats suspiciously low. Id check that. I think youre missing a 1% somewhere. If not, which bank is this? I need an offer.

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Posted

Thank you so much PandaMunich. Your advice is so valuable and appreciated.

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Posted

1.57% sounds low to me too. Around 2% would be more realistic right now.

In any case, I think it's a somewhat foolish situation to buy an apartment here without good knowledge of the German language and the system here. That goes double for one that has a tenant in it. You could have a very hard time getting them out if they want to kick up a stink. The fact they signed up for 4 years makes me think they're long term and that they might.

Have you also factored in the extra costs (normally around 10%) that you'll have to pay when you buy it? Prices are high at the moment because interest rates are low. If they go up, you can expect prices to drop and demand to fall. It may very well take you 20 years to get the price for the apartment plus your costs back if you choose to sell, and if you choose to rent get ready for a whole new set of headaches if you get bad tenants.

Again, things do not work here like they do in Australia. You should have a very good knowledge of the system here before buying property (especially if you're putting 40% down on it).

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Posted

Thank you all of you . I am starting to feel a bit iffy.

Anyway, I am confident that they will move out.

They are not family but 3 students sharing the rent.

And apartment is rent in the name of one student's parents.

Sorry,I make a mistake about interest. It is actually 1.75% since since we are not living in. This interest rate is for 5 years.

After 5 years, I would like to pay off the rest if interest is high. If it is still low, then I have the option to extend .

Commerzbank is the one.

Big thank you.

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Posted

I could not believe after all the works we have done running around with all the paper works done an ready for the signing of contract in from of the Notare. Out of a blue, we got a letter from the agent (who was also very upset) to inform us that the owner has signed a contract with the original buyer (who was paying a higher price but got trouble with finance). I wonder if it is legal to just ignore the contract of sale like that?. In that case, what is the point of signing?.

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Posted

From what you write I'm not quite sure what you mean by "the point of signing".

Did you and the seller sign a contract, or were you just preparing to?

If were you just preparing to, then, yes, its legal.

Both the buyer and the seller can change their mind up to the last moment, i.e. even if they are already sitting in the Notar's office, as long as they haven't yet signed the contract in front of the Notar.

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Posted

She probably means the conditional contract I assume she signed with the Markler. The "original buyer" has also signed it, and presumably before she did, and as you say the only legally binding signatures are made in front of the Notar, so the point is anyway moot.

It's a dog eat dog market in Munich. My practical, if not morally on solid grounds, advice - if you really want the place, offer an extra €5000. The "original buyer" has done so.

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Posted

You'd probably know if it was legal or not if your German was better and you could understand the contracts you were signing. Because of this, I reckon you can count your blessings that this didn't go through, as it would have likely be the start of a lot of nasty surprises for you.

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Posted

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Hi,

I am about to make a decision on an 67m2 apartment. The unit is being sold by a property company that typically buys buildings, rents them for 10 years, and then sells individual units without makler fee. More often not with a renter in it; and unfortunately this unit has one in it.

The Renter, verbally, has indicated in front of the sellers company agent; their interest for leaving the unit -but- has not given a date. So this angle is probably the biggest concern to me; especially since they are paying 30% below market rates.

I don't know if I want to move in myself, or rent it. But if the choice is to rent below market rate or living in it myself; I'd prefer the later.

Another problem area is that seller company wants to use their own "Notar". Which could mean the contract may be riddled with clauses that could have seller protecting clauses; but the company otherwise comes with good credentials; I have friends who dealt with them before; so I don't think its out there to swindle me; but probably protect themselves from potential liabilities.

So to that end I need guidance:

a.) How to deal with a renter, if things go south, they change their mind from leaving. I mean at the rate they are renting; I'd prefer living in it myself :-)

Just a caveat, I don't want to be the -dick- landlord; I would be ok in agreeing to let them stay up to12 months if they guarantee departure at the end of this term. I just would like to know that if we can't agree for a written contract, and I start feeling like they have negated on their intention; what I should be doing?

b.) How can I get guidance on the notar contract? How much would a lawyer assistance here dent me? Does anyone know a Munich lawyer specializing in such transactions; and what are his/her prices?

Thanks up front for any constructive suggestions, and if I offended anyone's sensibilities with my words up-front apologies.

-- Aihal

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