Landlord requests higher rent with a roommate

16 posts in this topic

Posted

Hey there! My problem is that, even though nothing related was ever mentioned before, either verbally or in written form, I was asked for an extra 25 euros in the rent to get a flatmate. I know that the first reply will be "get in contact with the Mieterverein" and I intend to do so as soon as possible. I was just curious to know if this is something common.

 

Also, in case someone wants to blame me for not reading the contract properly with my awful German :-) here is what the contract states:

 

 

Eine Untermietung ist nur mit schriftlicher Genehmigung des Vermieters gestattet. §540 BGB gilt entsprechend. Der Vermieter kann eine Genehmigung insbesondere dann verweigern, wenn Bedenken gegen die wirtschaftliche Leistungsfähigkeit, die berufliche Qualifikation oder die Zuverlässigkeit des Untermieters bestehen oder erhebliche wirtschaftliche Belange des Vermieters einer Untervermietung an den vorgesehen Untermieter entgegen stehen.

 

... and the letter they sent me:

 

 

...

Vorsorglich möchten wir Sie darauf hinweisen, dass wir im Falle der Erteilung der Genehmigung einen monatlichen Untermietzuschlag in Höhe von 25,00 Euro erheben würden.

 

Thanks for your time.

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Posted

Asking for more rent when another person moves in is legitimate, seeing as this second person will be causing an increase in water and, probably, electricity usage.

 

And: If this roommate moved in before you had the written approval of the landlord you can count your lucky stars that he isn't kicking both of you out and is only asking for a slightly higher rent.

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Posted

Even though he didn't say so before doesn't mean he doesn't still reserve the right now to increase the rent with additional tenants living in the flat.

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Posted

Such a case is described here.

 

The legal basis is §553 Absatz 2 German Civil Code = BGB:

 


 

Section 553


Permitting use by third parties


(1) If the lessee, after entering into the lease agreement, acquires a justified interest in permitting a third party to use part of the residential space, then he may demand permission to do so from the lessor. This does not apply if there is a compelling reason in the person of the third party, if the residential space would be overcrowded or if the lessor cannot for other reasons reasonably be expected to permit third-party use.

(2) If the lessor can only be expected to permit third-party use on a reasonable increase of the rent, then he may make permission dependent upon the lessee agreeing to such an increase in rent.

(3) A deviating agreement to the disadvantage of the lessee is ineffective.

 

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Posted

Thanks for the immediate answers.

I did not imagine that the 25 euros would be the extra Nebenkosten, it makes a lot more sense now.

I was just puzzled, because I would be expecting that this would be specifically written somewhere.

 

And no, nobody moved in yet :-)

 

EDIT: Ok, after Panda's answer I can now see that it IS written somewhere!

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Posted

 

I did not imagine that the 25 euros would be the extra Nebenkosten

Your landlord is talking about increasing the cold rent, not the Nebenkosten.

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Posted

Whatever the law says I would say your landlord has 'right on his side'

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Posted

 

Your landlord is talking about increasing the cold rent, not the Nebenkosten.

 

Yes, the OP will have to pay an additional 25€ in cold rent + all Nebenkosten caused by double occupancy.

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Posted

I have an additional question along these lines. When I moved into my flat, they asked how many people would be moving in. I told them it was just me, which is true. The previous tenant told me that she'd moved in alone, but then had a flatmate and that there was no problem. She wasn't specific though, if it was no problem because they don't care, or if they just never found out.

 

Anyway, I have looked through several times and there is nothing in my contract about subletting. Not a word. Can I assume then, that they can't cause trouble for me if I sublet my extra room?

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Posted

Don't assume - you need permission from your landlord to sublet. Not getting it and subletting anyway can be cause for your landlord to terminate your rental contract without notice.

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Posted

Hi jessiebeth,

 

Refer to the BGB (German Civil Code)here in the English translation starting from § Section 535 and onwards to find the laws applying to lease contracts. That's where you'll find about 5 different Sections relating to sublets dotted around under the applicable headings (Short term/Furnished/Unlimited Time/ Farm/Time-share). Your contract may contain §numbers BGB which you can read in English there. Just click on the heading for the full chapter & verse details. Some laws may apply to lease contracts (as standard unless otherwise stated) so you shouldn't assume anything that you don't see doesn't count. It's usually not a problem if it doesn't result in overcrowding, but you do have to inform or disclose in advance. Good luck.

 

2B

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Posted

Thanks guys!

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Posted

 

Asking for more rent when another person moves in is legitimate, seeing as this second person will be causing an increase in water and, probably, electricity usage.

 

And: If this roommate moved in before you had the written approval of the landlord you can count your lucky stars that he isn't kicking both of you out and is only asking for a slightly higher rent.

 

sara, you forgot to add:

 

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Please have all legal advice you receive here verified by a legal professional.

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Posted

Even though it might feel overly formal and procedure-laden it is strongly advised to get the permission before subletting part of the apartment to a third party.

 

Whereas Section 53 Para 1 BGB deals with the requirements that have to be met to obtain the permission, Section 53 Para 2 BGB allows for a reasonable increase in rent. At this point one has to take a closer look. In the translation of 553 Para 2 BGB into English it reads “ If the lessor can only be expected to permit third-party…” In German the word is “zumuten” (Ist dem Vermieter die Überlassung nur bei einer angemessenen Erhöhung der Miete zuzumuten). So the emphasis is on „only“ in the English translation. This means there is not automatism of “permission to sublet” and “rent increase”. Such a surcharge is therefore justified if the landlord can assert that the additional person subjects the flat to heavy wear and tear. The size of the flat and whether due to its size the flat easily accommodates the additional person plays a role. Another factor maybe the way in which the running costs are calculated. If it is a flat amount asking for an increase with regard to the increased consumption is reasonable. If, however, the tenant pays a monthly amount in advance and the ultimate amount is to be determined at the end of the period, than the landlord is at no disadvantage that would merit a surcharge since the increased consumption will be reflected in the final bill to the tenant. A different question is whether the tenant is ready to enter into a lawsuit in order to obtain the permission unfettered with a surcharge. If the landlord makes the permission dependent on the rent increase and the tenant rejects the rent increase then the permission has been denied and the tenant would have to seek the permission in court. Such a decision should take into account if the requirements to obtain the permission are met in the first place, especially whether the need to sublet arose after entering into the contract with the landlord.

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Posted

When I read 'flatmate', I think of the opposite sex joining to live together. A 'roommate' makes me think that other person is probably the same sex as me and is sharing the rent. Sublet sounds more like a legal contract where I rent my apartment to another person.

 

The increased use of water as a rent increase sounds ludicrous (and hence, german) to me. What's the formula for two adults, one adult and a child, one tall adult and one short adult when it comes to water usage? What happens when an out-of-town friend comes to visit for a few weeks?

 

Don't confuse precision with perfection.

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Posted

Haha!

Don't confuse terminology with fantasy; flatmate = British/European

(not an alternate to a 'stacked' US roommate). ;) Think of the US/N.A. college dorm(itory) room usage.

My father spoke of his days in 'digs' meaning shared bedroom catered student lodgings in private houses.

I see you are also British, but I have only once referred to a roommate when 4 of us did share a flat with 2 double sleeping rooms otherwise they were my flatmates whichever sex they were. If we were sharing beds and other fluids then the terminology range expanded to lover, wife, girlfriend, lady, fuckbuddy, gf, fwb.

 

Water per head input v water per bladder output.

Don't overlook the fact that for every metered cubic meter incoming measured for freshwater your utility supplier is obliged to charge an equivalent amount by volume for waste water processsing charges.

 

The water treatment authority (normally in the form of the local community has an additional bill for the house-owner on a mix of per capita by occupation and quadrat meter by roof area for grey water disposal costs unless the house owner has installed a completely autonomous disposal system including drainage and credible volume of storage cistern capacity.

 

In addition communities charge for, and again on behalf of any operator they engage, the costs of waste disposal of trash, compost-able garden and food waste, paper, plastic, packaging and glass on a per capita by number of occupants.

 

Even though I am a full height adult I do know, (by virtue of long term observation of the recycling truck teams), that I produce far less than 10% by volume of waste packaging, paper, plastics or glass than any of the half-size under 12 year old kids in my immediate vicinity do.

 

They probably all eat, drink, crap and pee more than I do too, but I am sure none of their parents are paying the equivalent charges to those of my landord and I. What to do? Life ain't fair! Shit happens!

 

2B

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