Things to do when leaving an apartment

36 posts in this topic

Posted

I'm leaving my current apt. at the end of next month and moving into a new one from end of December. I think I've most things sorted but have a few questions.

The contract for the old apartment was a standard contract from the Hamburg renters association. However it also included an additional part from our renters that stated we have to leave the apt. in the condition we found it. Only problem here is painting the walls. I know that this normally wouldn't have to be done but seeing as we signed this additional part of the contract would we have to paint the old apt? I've no problem with this but time is tight with Christmas, new year and travelling home.

I was looking at the glass tubes on our radiators to see if I could get a rough reading, not a chance! We have a radiator in our bathroom that is over the doorway so we never use it as I don't see any point in heating the floor above us. However the liquid in this glass tube has almost a quarter used even though the radiator has never been on. I looked at other radiators around the apt. that have been used and there is very little liquid gone. I'm guessing that the heat from showering may have caused this? Is there anything I can do here as I don't see why I should pay for heating I haven't used.

As our apt. required 3 months notice for departure we could end up having to pay rent for January and February. I've no problem with this if a new tenant cannot be found but what I do have a problem with is the following. A lot of the apt's in our building have been renovated with new kitchens and bathrooms. I don't want our renters to take advantage of us and use these 2 months to renovate while they are receiving our rent. I assume that if I hold on to the keys, this can't happen? Any disadvantages to me holding on to the keys for these 2 months?

Thanks!

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Posted

Re the heaters - Make an appointment with the Heizungsablesefirma (generally Brunata) and pay for a separate reading.

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Posted

Hi everyone,

My husband and I are moving out of our apartment on September 7th. We gave 3 months' notice, but the landlord told us we'd still have to pay rent for all of September unless another tenant turned up. Fortunately, one did, and he's moving in the same day we leave - but now the landlord says we still have to pay rent for all of September. What the hell? Can the landlord get full rent for September from both the old and new tenants? Or maybe the new tenant isn't paying for September - or at least not paying the landlord, and we're supposed to get some subletting payment? We didn't arrange the new tenant, but we have met him, and nothing like this was mentioned.

Can anyone shed any light on what's going on? I know we can ask both the landlord and new tenant directly, but I'd like to see if this is common practice in Germany first. Thanks.

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Posted

I'm certainly no expert but in my experience your landlord can hold you responsible for the entire length of the rental agreement no matter how much notice you give. However if you're paying rent you have every right to the place so the new tenant has to wait until Oct. or pay you, end of story. I don't see how the landlord can ask for the keys back or bar you from entry if you have a valid, paid lease agreement. So the new guy is out of luck unless he pays you.

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Posted

my experience was, i had a contract with the landlord till the end of April but I managed to find a new apartment by end of March. I gave ample notice to my landlord and he said if they could find a new tenant by 1st of April, then I am good to go. They did find a new tenant but he decided to move in on the 6th of April, the f*@ker made me pay for 5 days rent even though i have returned the keys and moved out on the 1st! when i refused to pay, he started calling my HR because they assisted in making the initial contract for me. of course HR will never fight for the staff, in the end i paid! sorry this is of no relevance but i had to vent :(

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Posted

The general law states that 3 months notice must be given.Your landlord cannot collect twice for the rent.If your landlord still insists on you paying for the full month of September then you also have the right to walk in and out of said apartment.Just gont give them the keys back until the end of September.I am sure a new tenant will not like the thought of anybody being able to walk in on them at anytime

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Posted

Welcome to the world of renting in Germany. Moving in and out can be a nightmare. In the States, all you have to do is put a coat of primer on any painted walls and leave the apartment in good condition. They usually hire cleaning crews to "turn" an apartment. Here you have to leave the apartment in pristine condition. (by the way i clean every week) Most landlords will turn into real a-holes the closer you get to leaving.

The key to this country is that you have to know the contract top to bottom, know your rights, and if you aren't sure then ask. Make sure everything is in writing and signed. That's all they know here. Don't let anybody tell you something without getting it in writing.

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Posted

- Paint the whole apartment (walls, ceiling, kitchen, toiletten). Or preferably, hire a painter as sometimes the landlord could be demanding on the quality of the work.

- In my former contract I had: If you live more than 5 years you need to pay 100% of the painting (material & work). Up to 4 years, you pay 80% and the owner the 20% left. From 1 up to 3 years, 50 / 50

- Damages on things such as windows, toiletten or electrical are covered by the owner of the apartment. The landlord makes a pre-check to verify this.

- About the kitchen: if you bought it you can take it with you. If is old, you can sell it to the new renter.

- Give back the set of keys you received originally, even for the briefkasten.

- You may need to left a deposit for nebenkosten after you leave the apartment. Usually is taken out of the Kaution.

- Ask the kaution back.

- If you have a separate contract for the garage / tiefgarage, remember to end it as well.

- Ask a copy of the protokoll after you leave the old apartment.

- Be ready to have patience for unpacking, cleaning, organizing, painting, distributing, adjusting, assembling, re-organizing and placing all your things in your new place.

- Collect and classify your Müll: a lot of plastic, a lot cartons.

- Finally, think twice before moving out again.

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Posted

I highly recommend that you look for and join a Meiterverein (renter's association) in your area. The yearly fee is quite reasonable and they can go over your rental agreement with you as well as make contact with your landlord in case of discrepancies. Renter's rights have change drastically in the last few years (mostly in favor of the renter). Many of the changes have to do with giving notice and and what's allowed to be demanded when moving out.

Ian

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Posted

Thank you everyone for the replies! An update: my husband called the new tenant and asked if he's being charged rent for September. New tenant says he isn't. My husband suggests he pays us three weeks' rent, as we're moving out/he's moving in on the 7th. New tenant says that's fine; he didn't seem shocked at this request, but didn't say 'of course, that's what I assumed we were doing' either. So, I suppose this is good news...

But, really, this whole situation makes me a little uncomfortable. If we're paying the rent for September, and this new tenant is paying 3 weeks' worth to us, then I guess officially he's subletting from us - you'd think, in Germany, there'd be some paperwork for this? Instead, the landlord has arranged it all; we only met the new tenant briefly when the landlord brought him on a viewing, and we have his number because we chatted and exchanged business cards. He seems like a perfectly nice, reliable guy. On the plus side I'm happy that the landlord bothered to find someone who'd move in just as we moved out (clearly it's no skin off his nose if the flat's empty for September, since we're locked in to paying rent), but on the negative I wonder why he didn't make it clear the new tenant was subletting at first, and would be paying us the rent. Perhaps he thought it was all assumed, and my husband and I didn't appreciate how unbreakable the 'thou shalt not end a contract mid-month' commandment was (it's not the norm where we're from).

The landlord is coming round on the morning of the 7th to collect our keys and do an inspection, so we'll definitely ask him to sign something on-the-spot relating to the flat's condition, because if the next tenant trashes it and our name's still on the contract until October, couldn't we be held liable? Also, we'll get the money from the new tenant before we leave, because there's not much we can do once we've handed the keys back and left Germany. If anyone else knows of anything we should make sure of, or sees potential difficulties in this situation, please let me know!

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Posted

The general law states that 3 months notice must be given.Your landlord cannot collect twice for the rent.If your landlord still insists on you paying for the full month of September then you also have the right to walk in and out of said apartment.Just gont give them the keys back until the end of September.I am sure a new tenant will not like the thought of anybody being able to walk in on them at anytime

Do not hand over the keys until you have the agreement mentioned in your last post in writing, i.e. that the new tenant is technically subletting from you and that the landlord approves. Get the money from the new tenant in cash. Do not transfer any rent for September, give the landlord cash, get a receipt. Have the new tenant there as a witness.

Basically, cover your aß.

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Posted

Yes, get it in writing, signed, make it official, have witnesses, take pictures, do whatever you need to do. The other posters said it perfectly, cover your butt. A person's word here I don't feel is really worth much. You can have a landlord that won't make a big deal out of something then when it's ready to move, all of a sudden it is a huge problem. The contract is all that matters to them in the end. If they have a problem with you then they will pull out the contract. Don't believe what anybody says here unless you have it in writing.

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Posted

The whole point about finding a "Nachmieter" is that he pays the rent. When his contract starts on September first he pays the rent for September.

If there was "renovation with moving in" in your contract you can leave as it is.

If you are moving in, don't forget what is calles "Übernahmeprotokoll". Check your new apartment very carefully in the presence of your new landlord. Cracks in the windowsill, splintered doorframes, every little thing you can find. Write it down and let your landlord sign it. If you want to move out you have something to prove it wasn't your fault.

As for heating and power: You can ask for "End-Ablesung", but ask your landlord first if he wants to call the "Ablesedienst" or if you can do it. Write down the numbers on the counter.

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Posted

Lets put things in perspective.

You said that you gave 3 months notice and that you are moving out on the 7 of September. Almost all rental agreements state that they end at the end of a month. In your case that will be September 30. Hence the reason why you are still paying rent for the month of September. After giving notice, you should have receive written confirmation from your landlord which acknowledges when your rental period ends. That date is legally binding.

As to the new tenant. In a lot of cases the landlord lists when an apartment can be rented from and not when it is available. In your case that would be 1 October. In some cases when an apartment is available, the landlord offers the new tenant to take over the place, usually in exchange for the period of time's Nebenkosten. I have had such offers and have taken them so that I could use my last month in the old place to move at a leisurely pace and make repairs as needed as well as prepare the new place for moving in. That what it seems like is happening with your situation and why your landlord "didn't make it clear the new tenant was subletting at first, and would be paying you the rent". The new tenant is not subletting at all.

I am very surprised that the new tenant agreed at all to paying you the rent for the rest of September and I would make sure that he does do it before you hand over the keys to your landlord.

I understand that you are leaving Germany but I highly recommend once again that you get professional help by joining a Meiterverein for at least for one year. They have lawyers that will represent you and can explain what you are facing when you move out. You have quite a bit to deal with here; your deposit, your Nebenkosten for the present calendar year, possible renovations and so on and so on. If not a Meiterverein then look for a real estate lawyer. Both can inform you as what needs to be done as well as does not when moving out.

This forum can not substitute for good legal help.

I wish you all the best.

Ian

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Posted

@ kiil/Ian:

Thanks for that info, as it's useful to know how these kinds of situations usually go, but in this case the new tenant is not taking our departure date as a point to start slowly moving in. He's moving in lock, stock and barrel that afternoon, from another city - I would certainly expect him to be paying rent to someone for the rest of September, be it to us or our landlord. Otherwise, if we're paying the rent and he's living there but not subletting, then what is he - our houseguest? We don't know this man! Plus, as I mentioned, our landlord did make a point of saying we wouldn't have to pay for all of September if a new tenant could be found (this doesn't stand up against a written contract, but the landlord has no agenda for misleading us on this issue. It's not like we were responsible for finding the new tenants, or were kicking off an ungodly fuss at having to pay for the whole month). Our mistake was in thinking this meant our contract could be ended on the date someone new moved in.

The advice to consult a lawyer via various suggested routes is very sensible and yet somehow incredibly depressing. This is my tenth move in six years, including three international moves, and it's never been remotely necessary to use a lawyer until Germany. I just don't see how moving out of unfurnished rented accommodation merits this amount of complication. If we were buying a house, or merging companies, or facing a RICO trial, then fine. I know... standard caveats here: we're not in our own country, we don't fully understand the rules, we're certainly making a bad job of reading the situation by ourselves. Ugh. We were resigned to paying for September if a new tenant didn't arrive, but since we're practically going to be passing the new tenant on the stairs on the 7th then us paying for the whole month changes from irritating-but-that's-the-rule-here to even-here-that-seems-off.

However, at least the new tenant seems amenable so far. He needs to move in and we need to move out, so I hope we can work it out to everyone's advantage.

Thanks again for all the advice. We'll certainly get everything in writing.

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Posted

We have also been required to pay the full 3 months cancelation time, but that also means he cannot rent out the apartment in that time, as it is still rented to you.

Sounds shady to me. In that time, our landlord could not even enter the premises to do repairs, until after the end of the 3 months.

The meitverein is often suggested for clarification of who is in the wrong, they might be able to help in this case.

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Posted

@ Serenajean: thanks. The landlord has been very helpful/friendly/efficient during our 18 months here, so I do hope it's nothing shady. We've asked him to put something in writing about the new tenant's arrival, and are waiting for his response on that, so perhaps this will illuminate things! So often I find it tricky, living overseas, knowing what to be outraged about, what to be puzzled by, and what is standard practice. All the more argument for official counsel, I know, but often anecdotal advice from TT has helped us work stuff out. Thanks to all.

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Posted

Hi guys. I didn't want to start a separate threat. I think my question fits here and I would be forever grateful if you could help me.

So, my question is: Could you tell me the steps in moving out of an apt? A step-by-step moving-out guide?

I heard stories of landlornds chasing you to get more money 1 year after you are gone, the kaution is not paid back etc. And given that my landlord is, well I don't trust him as he tried to trick us into giving him money more than once, I would really like NOT to make anything stupid that will give him the right to ask for money afterwards...

So, all I know about moving out is Germany is that you give in your notice (in a special way so you can prove you sent the notice. Which way is that?) and exactly after 3 months you get out.

Every step in between is missing :rolleyes:

Some questions:

What's with the Protokoll? I know it's important but what's the procedure?

When and how do I get the paper from the current landlord saying what a great tenant I was? (i think it's needed for when you rent a new apt)

That's all for now. I am sure I will have lots of questions later. Please, do consider me as being stupid and explain it with patience:)

Thank you!

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Posted

So, my question is: Could you tell me the steps in moving out of an apt? A step-by-step moving-out guide?

Thank you!

Step one: Go and join your local Meiterverein. Take a copy of your present rental agreement with you. They have all kinds of brochures and leaflets as well as offering consultations and advice and even representation from professionals.

Now on to your questions: Giving notice means sending in written form a statement that you are ending (terminating) the rental agreement.

Your local Meiterverein can help you formulate such a statement and here are links for form letters that you can download and fill out yourself.

1 http://www.umzug-formulare.de/Download/Formular-Download-Mietvertrag-kuendigen.html

Or http://www.briefform.de/ where all kinds of termination letters such as terminating your telephone or internet service, insurance and even subscriptions among others. They offer a web form that you would fill out online and it produces a finished letter that can be then printed.

You would then send the letter of termination per registered post (Einschreiben) http://www.deutschepost.de/dpag?tab=1&skin=hi&check=yes&lang=de_EN&xmlFile=link1017121_1009313

How long a period of time needed before you can give notice is stated in your rental agreement — normal at present time is 3 months. Your local Meiterverein can tell you the particulars based on your rental agreement.

Some questions:

What's with the Protokoll? I know it's important but what's the procedure?

When and how do I get the paper from the current landlord saying what a great tenant I was? (i think it's needed for when you rent a new apt)

When you had moved in to your present apartment you had probably did what's known as a Wohnungsübergabe (flat handover with walk through). If you were observant you had listed damages you might have found. When you move out your landlord will inspect the flat and make sure it's more or less in the same condition as when you moved in. There might be conditions listed in your agreement that you might or might not need to meet. Once again your local Meiterverein can tell you based upon your agreement what you will need to or not need to fulfill before handing over your flat.

Your landlord will not give you a "paper saying what a great tenant you were".

Find some friends (German or otherwise) who have already done this. It's not scary and all you need to be is informed and prepared.

Last but not least: join your local Meiterverein http://www.berliner-mieterverein.de/ which can be a big help in getting your deposit back.

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Posted

I knew that there is a similar thread - albeit not dedicated solely to leaving an apartment.

Check here, there's some very good advice. In short, however: Take pictures, make sure that you have witnesses to any conversation or agreement, get identical copies of anything set down in writing.

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Posted

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Hello,

what is the correct procedure to hand over an apartment once lease is over? My Vermieter has been hostile and tricky all along, and I have a strong suspicion he might try something with the deposit...

The apartment does not have any damage, and is now empty. Lease will be over at the end of May. I have been there 18 months, so basically everything is in the same condition as it was before.

I have never done a German übergabe before, but in my mind:

- I give him an appointment around the end of May, say the 26th

- We meet there, and if he finds that the apartment is ok, then he gives me a signed piece of paper that says everything is ok - otherwise, he tells me what he thinks is wrong, I fix it, we meet again after 2/3 days and then he gives me that piece of paper

Things that could go wrong, knowing Germany:

- somehow the law has a special procedure for doing the übergabe that I am not aware of - landlord tricks me and I lose deposit [he comes the last day of the month, finds "problems" and does no give me the piece of paper, or something like that] -> who makes the appointment? what if "problems" are found?

- landlord tries to delegate somebody to do the übergabe for him, I get the piece of paper, just to find out that person had no authority -> I lose deposit

How is it done?

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Posted

Take lots of pictures or make a video showing the state of the apartment on that day (you could take a picture of that day's newspaper in the series too).

Have someone else with you as a witness.

*obligatory question*

Are you a member of the Mietverein?

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Posted

Fantastic idea, I'll go with my girlfriend and a video camera, if he starts giving trouble, I'll start filming.

I am not a member of a Mietverein - once I get in, how long do I have to stay with them? My next landlord is extremely nice by account of the whole building...

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Posted

The Handover Procedure

This is for moving in, but the same applies to moving out:

Take pictures with a date stamp

Take along a witness (not related)

Read the meters

Get everything in writing

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Posted

Sorry, I had overlooked this thread - by reading it, I noticed that I have changed my door lock, so I cannot give back the original keys, only the new ones.

Is it a problem?

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