Should I pay commission to get the flat?

91 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello everyone..

I have applied for a flat a couple of weeks ago..I did this through the current tenant..he posted an Ad on WG-gesucht..I visited the flat, gave him the documents..and he gave them to the "hausverwaltung"...he did not mention anything about a commision and told me that, if the hausverwaltung asked for a commision you'd better not pay..they neither posted the ad nor arranged the visit

now the hausverwaltung called me...they said that i can get the flat..but i should pay 400 euros commision

they will call me again in few hours to tell them my decision...what should I do?? is there negotiation in such things here or is it like take it or leave it?

P.s..I do need the flat!

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Posted

Is this really the Hausverwaltung you are dealing with, or is it a rental agency? The former does not (and AFAIK is not legally allowed to) charge a commission or fee of this kind, the latter does levy a commission fee. And what are they calling this "commission" in German?

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Posted

Are you sure they really mean a commission (provision), and not simply a deposit (kaution)? Usually if they state there is no commission then there shouldn't be any. I would definitely double check, as it could simply be a misunderstanding.

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Posted

No it is provision...they said I should pay this as Provision and that as Kaution

and this is the Hausverwaltung I am sure..

A friend now recommended that I say "yes" and ask them to send me the Contract...it must be stated there that I am paying a commision and why I am paying it...otherwise it is illegal and I shouldn't pay..yea?

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Posted

have you told the current tenant? perhaps he can inform the HV he advertised the flat and you are paying him a Provision?

therefore they cannot charge you the 400EUR.

might be worth a try.

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Posted

I never know of Hausverwaltung asking for provision. Take your friends advice, but before saying yes inquire why is this necessary and will be mentioned in the contract. This will save you from any fraudulent activity if any.

Good luck.

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Posted

There is a suggestion that the same company is a "Hausverwaltung" and "Makler"..they are called FLG immobilien but cannot find that much info about them on internet..

but even in this case the question remains, what have they done to ask for a commision? the current tenant arranged everything!

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Posted

If they are an Immobilien then unfortunately they can ask for a provision - even though they don't actually do anything for it. I would certainly ask them why they are asking for it when the current tenant told you that you wouldn't have to pay anything and also arranged everything on their behalf. If they don't back down, then the question is simply how much do you want/need the apartment?

If you think it's worth paying then go for it - if not, you can attempt to negotiate or simply refuse to pay it and move on.

And make sure you see a contract that states the requirement for provision. It's possible they are trying to pull a fast one and taking advantage of the fact that you are a foreigner and may not know better.

I hope it works out for you.

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Posted

I also had a look on Google for the company; however, can't find any information on them. I am personally very suspicious of companies without websites or any online information - especially when they are asking for money.

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Posted

Thanks for the explanation

what happened is that he called me again..i asked why am I paying this exactly...He spent much time explaining -in german- so I didn't understand that much!

some keywords that I try to use to build a reason are: this is something new from 2013 - they are both makler and Hausverwaltung..or they are Hausverwaltung that deals with a makler something like this - they accepted that the current tenant leaves regardless to the 3 month notice although they did not have to accept it (according to him)..and finally he said that instead of the 2,3 kaltmiete which should have been 590 euros they are asking only for 400!..and he told me there is high request for the flat (not true according to the current tenant) tell me if you accept this or should i send the documents back?

I said yes..and I told him to send me the contract because i need a couple of days to read it with someone who knows german..he agreed

I will wait now for the contract..If it is stated clearly there why I am paying this..then I will pay...i like and need the flat

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Posted

the current tenant told me that he once had a problem in the flat and something needed to be repaired...they did it quickly for him..I think that's what matters or? I mean what else could be problematic in the future if i got the flat?

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Posted

As I said before, it really depends on whether you personally think it's worth it or not. I think you made the right decision by asking to see a contract and looking at with someone who understands German before signing anything.

Do they have an office where you can actually go in and speak to them, or have you only been dealing with them via phone? I would ask if it's possible to bring the contract back in person to make sure that they are a legitimate company.

I'm sure everything is perfectly above board, but like I said, I am not very comfortable dealing with companies who have no official website or business presence.

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Posted

This FOCUS article contains a quote from a lawyer which references the contra-legality of the HVW charging a Makler Provision

Grundsätzlich verlangt die Rechtsprechung, dass Makler und Verkäufer beziehungsweise Vermieter unterschiedliche Personen sind. Der Hauptvertrag muss nämlich mit einem „Dritten“ zustande kommen. Das bedeutet zugleich: „Makler und Verkäufer/Vermieter dürfen dem Vertragspartner nicht als wirtschaftliche Einheit gegenüberstehen“, so Schwiete. Bei Wohnraum ist das relativ klar im Wohnungsvermittlungsgesetz geregelt: Eine Provision ist tabu, wenn der Makler selbst Eigentümer, Mieter, Vermieter oder Verwalter der Wohnung ist oder rechtlich an entsprechenden Wohnungsgesellschaften beteiligt ist.

I'll go and find a link to the relevant legal basis if someone can take that text through google translate in the meantime.

2B

PS:Mistress kitty is also right insofar that under Kaufverträgsrecht the Management may also (unter umstände) charge a Provision, but under Mietverträgsrecht it is not so.

OK I've found it. Wait a few while I formulate a post with links to the original text and a google translate version.

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Posted

Here is the above article machine-translated into English.
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Posted

OK Link to the Law regulating Provision for Dwelling

§ 1

(1) Wohnungsvermittler im Sinne dieses Gesetzes ist, wer den Abschluß von Mietverträgen über Wohnräume vermittelt oder die Gelegenheit zum Abschluß von Mietverträgen über Wohnräume nachweist.

(2) Zu den Wohnräumen im Sinne dieses Gesetzes gehören auch solche Geschäftsräume, die wegen ihres räumlichen oder wirtschaftlichen Zusammenhangs mit Wohnräumen mit diesen zusammen vermietet werden.

(3) Die Vorschriften dieses Gesetzes gelten nicht für die Vermittlung oder den Nachweis der Gelegenheit zum Abschluß von Mietverträgen über Wohnräume im Fremdenverkehr.

"http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/wovermrg/index.html#BJNR017470971BJNE000203377"

That explains who is considered an agent and how, where, and what activity is involved and covered by these regulations.

§ 2

(1) Ein Anspruch auf Entgelt für die Vermittlung oder den Nachweis der Gelegenheit zum Abschluß von Mietverträgen über Wohnräume steht dem Wohnungsvermittler nur zu, wenn infolge seiner Vermittlung oder infolge seines Nachweises ein Mietvertrag zustande kommt.

(2) Ein Anspruch nach Absatz 1 steht dem Wohnungsvermittler nicht zu, wenn

1.durch den Mietvertrag ein Mietverhältnis über dieselben Wohnräume fortgesetzt, verlängert oder erneuert wird,

2.der Mietvertrag über Wohnräume abgeschlossen wird, deren Eigentümer, Verwalter, Mieter oder Vermieter der Wohnungsvermittler ist, oder

3.der Mietvertrag über Wohnräume abgeschlossen wird, deren Eigentümer, Verwalter oder Vermieter eine juristische Person ist, an der der Wohnungsvermittler rechtlich oder wirtschaftlich beteiligt ist.

Das gleiche gilt, wenn eine natürliche oder juristische Person Eigentümer, Verwalter oder Vermieter von Wohnräumen ist und ihrerseits an einer juristischen Person, die sich als Wohnungsvermittler betätigt, rechtlich oder wirtschaftlich beteiligt ist.

(MY bolds)

That Section details who has or has not a right to charge a provision and what duties they must have carried out in order to qualify for payment. In short the case described in this thread is, by its nature, excluded from the the right to charge as the services or duties are not being carried out according to §2, (1) and according to (2) 2. and 3. the Verwalter is in this case amongst those categorized as disqualified from eligibility to charge the tenant involved a Provision.

This is only my OWN Opinion based on my interpretation of the above and a perfunctory read of the posts on the thread. I am not a lawyer and do not suggest or claim that my opinion is correct (due to the fact I've speed-read it this far), but am fairly sure that others will see my points too.

Laughably inaccurate google translate version.

OK Having now read the thread and the paragraphs of law I've quoted here I am now in agreement with my own prior opinion for the following reasons.

1)The Building manager may not charge a provision unless the contract has only come about through his direct involvement in introducing the property to the new tenant.

2) An agent may not collect a Provision if he also is the owner, manager, lessee, lessor, tenant of the dwelling nor may any of these legal entities either act also as its agent or be acting as an economic partner therein.

If anyone sees any inconsistency between my arguments and the German text would they please point that out.

2B

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Posted

I suppose if you REALLY want that apartment and no other apartment will do, compared with the usual Provision prices you see on immoscout, 400 is a bargain. If the 400 were in some way part of contract administration costs, that might have been one explanation, but even then it sounds quite high even for admin costs.

I think gut instinct has to prevail here. If you feel you are being gouged, then once you're in the apartment and committed to a contract, what else lies in store, I wonder? If you feel its just part of Verwaltung bureaucracy and once you've settled it, you can be left in peace, then you can just shrug it off as one of those things that made sure you beat the stiff competition. But in any event, asking to see some cost breakdown or justification for the cost is a wise move, since all you're doing is asking for info, its not like you're refusing at this point.

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Posted

thanks a lot for your help..I will wait for the contract and will see what's written exactly in this part..or if there is anything actually written

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Posted

You should do exactly as you say and allow him to provide you with the rope to hang his greedy ass with.

He apparently assumes that, as a foreigner, you are likely to remain ignorant of the potential illegality of his intentions.

I would continue to act as if you were quite happy and, after both parties have signed the contract, then pay only the statutory Kaution and rent. If he tries to press for that Provision insist on him sending you a separate bill for that. Unless that is otherwise expressed you can then refer him to the above Link to the Law regulating Provision for Dwelling asking him how his bill stands with regard to its compliance with that law. At that point I'd expect him to quickly withdraw his claim then, unless he is a fool.

2B

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Posted

I had a similar constellation in a building on the Nymphenburgerstraße once. Friend was moving out and I wanted to move in. I talked with the Hausverwaltung and they told me I got to pay their agency.

Because the Hausverwaltung did not do any contract work and was also not acquiring new tenants. All this work was done via an agency that was working exclusively for them.

If it is the same in your case, you got no other choice than paying.

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Posted

siskebap, you are saying all that work was done via an agency..I didn't get it, what work? didn't you get the flat simply from your frind?

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Posted

I had a similar constellation in a building on the Nymphenburgerstraße once. Friend was moving out and I wanted to move in. I talked with the Hausverwaltung and they told me I got to pay their agency.

Because the Hausverwaltung did not do any contract work and was also not acquiring new tenants. All this work was done via an agency that was working exclusively for them.

If it is the same in your case, you got no other choice than paying.

Not really the same. In this case there is no agency involved - or the Hausverwaltung is also an agency, which means that they are not legally allowed to charge a Provision.

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Posted

I am supposed to receive that contract tomorrow..until then I have one more question

normally, should the commission be written in the contract or not? I've been searching on the internet but did not reach an answer

I mean if i got the contract and there is nothing mentioned about a commission..would it still be normal or not?

I checked this standard rental contract form but there is nothing there about brokers or commissions

http://www.mieterbund.de/fileadmin/pdf/mietvertrag/Wohnungs-Mietvertrag_online.pdf

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Posted

normally, should the commission be written in the contract or not? I've been searching on the internet but did not reach an answer

No, because it is forbidden by law that the landlord charges you commission and that contract will be between you and the landlord, so you see why it cannot be in there.

Normally, the rental agent writes you a separate invoice.

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Posted

Oh you are right! so in any case there will be nothing in the contract...what should I ask for then as a proof that this is legal...invoice? and what should be written there?

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Posted

If the invoice is issued by the Hausverwaltung then it is null and void, and you just have to cite §2 Absatz 2 Gesetz zur Regelung der Wohnungsvermittlung to get out of paying it.

If the invoice is issued by somebody else then it gets complicated, in that case I suggest that on no account do you contact the issuer of that invoice (so that they cannot later claim to know you and to have been instrumental in getting you the apartment!) and take that invoice to the Berliner Mieterverein, they also have a branch in Charlottenburg.

They will take it from there and write them a nasty letter telling them they have no right to ask for money if they weren't they ones who got you the apartment and they don't even know you.

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