500k Fines for Untenanted Flat in Berlin?

43 posts in this topic

Hi all,

 

I was reading this article looking for what was now happening with Airbnb.

 

Much more surprising though -shocking I'd say- was to find out about the "untenanted flat law".

The article says there are fines for owners who leave their flat untenanted for more than 3 months.

 

A half million fine for leaving the flat without a tenant?
Is that true?

 

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What is shocking at pressuring owners/landlords to use their  flats , rather than staying empty. ? With the housing shortage,   why not?

NOt sure of fines, but hope it might discourage  them.

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9 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

What is shocking at pressuring owners/landlords to use their  flats , rather than staying empty. ? With the housing shortage,   why not?

NOt sure of fines, but hope it might discourage  them.

 

Because if you are the landlord, owner of that property, you have every right to do what you wish with it. Empty or full is the decision of the owner. Perhaps you want the place for your kid at college in a year? Very Marxist law if you ask me.

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On top of what Jeremy says I can see a hundred scenarios where one could lose the house without meaning no harm.

 

Example: one leaves the country for 4, 5 or 6 months without being aware of the regulation. Or his tenant says he'll register but he doesn't.
That qualifies as shocking to me.
Pressuring is one thing, destroying someone financially is another.

 

Anyone who knows about this law?

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52 minutes ago, jeremytwo said:

 

Because if you are the landlord, owner of that property, you have every right to do what you wish with it.

 

Nope, "Eigentum verpflichtet"! Take a look at the German constitution:

 

"Article 14


[Property – Inheritance – Expropriation]

 

(1) Property and the right of inheritance shall be guaranteed. Their content and limits shall be defined by the laws.

(2) Property entails obligations. Its use shall also serve the public good."

 

https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_gg/englisch_gg.html#p0090

 

Quote

Very Marxist law if you ask me.

 

But no one asks you.

 

9 minutes ago, lux7 said:

 

On top of what Jeremy says I can see a hundred scenarios where one could lose the house without meaning no harm.

 

A hundred? Both your so called 'scenarios' are weak excuses. 

 

9 minutes ago, lux7 said:

 

Example: one leaves the country for 4, 5 or 6 months without being aware of the regulation.

 

Ignorantia legis non excusat.

 

9 minutes ago, lux7 said:

 

Or his tenant says he'll register but he doesn't.

 

The landlord can check that any time. As a landlord it's your obligation to know the law, it's no ones task to spoon-feed you. 

 

 

 

 

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He gave his opinion as much as you gave your (judgmental) one as to what constitutes a mistake or an extenuating circumstance.

Please try to rein the aggression someones-daughter, it really makes for a bad atmosphere here that doesn't help anyone.

 

Now back on the topic with more facts and less opinion:

is there anyone who knows about this law? Is it real, is it actually applied, are there ways to ask for an extension if one has special circumstances?

 

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2 minutes ago, SpiderPig said:

Could you not be arsed to click on the link Someonesdaughter posted?

 

I didn't find anything relevant to the topic, which is very specific.

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Just now, lux7 said:

 

Please try to rein the aggression someones-daughter, it really makes for a bad atmosphere here that doesn't help anyone.

 

Actually it's your aggression that makes a bad atmosphere here: While you welcome his opinion ("marxist law"-BS) you deplore mine (based on facts) and get nasty. Stop that! Like it or not: The law is as real as the German constitution is. 

 

 

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Here are various links to articles on this issue:

https://www.berliner-mieterverein.de/recht/infoblaetter/info-115-zweckentfremdung-von-wohnraum-zweckentfremdungsverbot-gesetz.htm

 

https://www.rbb24.de/politik/beitrag/2018/03/berlin-zweckentfremdungsverbot-ferienwohnungen-betreutes-wohnen-leerstand.html

 

https://www.immobilienscout24.de/eigentuemer/news/2018/1/neuerungen-im-zweckentfremdungsverbot-untervermietung-an-touristen.html

 

Hmm... I wasn't aware of this either.

- I wonder how they could prove that a property was left empty for speculative purposes, or is simply 3 months without an occupier sufficient "proof" of this intention?

- Do they go after owners of just one flat, or are they mainly interested in the ones that leave whole blocks empty for long periods of time?

- In all the articles above they refer to the obligations of the Vermieter (landlord). Does one automatically become a "landlord" just by the fact of owning a property?

- I came across what seems to be an anomaly, in that a tenant may leave their flat unoccupied for indefinite amounts of time, as long as they meet their rental and maintenance obligations.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

Actually it's your aggression that makes a bad atmosphere here: While you welcome his opinion ("marxist law"-BS) you deplore mine (based on facts) and get nasty. Stop that! Like it or not: The law is as real as the German constitution is. 

 

 

 

No mate, I was actually being very kind with calling yours an opinion because this:

 

Quote

A hundred? Both your so called 'scenarios' are weak excuses. 

 

This is not an opinion (and much less a fact).

It's a misinterpretation.

You took two random hypothesis that I used to as examples to why the law didn't make sense to me and you made them sound as if they belonged to my particular situation.

 

It's a highly unfair way of debating because you imply I'm making (weak) excuses and you build a strawman against which you can more easily wiggle your accusatory finger.

You call them facts, but to me it felt judgmental and unnecessarily aggressive -especially considering you don't know me, don't know my situation and, well... Even if you knew, it would still be nice if one could just talk while respecting the differences.

 

And if you don't think that this tone here is aggressive and/or unfriendly (which let's not forget refers to a person who is a replying to a topic that you did not start):

 

 

Quote

 

But no one asks you.


 

 

Then you and I have different standard of what's peaceful and respectful mate.

 

------------

Anyway, that being said, I have no interest in Internet quarreling someones-daughter.

I am sending my olive you my branch right now.

 

If I offended you in any way, I am sorry.

 

And I appreciate that you spend time here helping out people man.

I really do.

It's not the first time we cross paths and you have helped me in the past with your posts.

Kudos to you and all others contributing here: there is a special place in heaven for people who give and contribute without asking anything in return!

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14 minutes ago, lux7 said:

This is not an opinion (and much less a fact).

It's a misinterpretation.

You took two random hypothesis that I used to as examples to why the law didn't make sense to me and you made them sound as if they belonged to my particular situation.

 

You claimed to have "hundred scenarios" and presented exactly ... two. Random or not, both are weak. And I think you know it, that's why you don't even try to defend them or go on with your other 98 "scenarios" but go ad hominem. 

 

Quote

 

It's a highly unfair way of debating because you imply I'm making (weak) excuses and you build a strawman

 

 

Both of your so called "scenarios" are very weak excuses because - like it or not: it's fact! – neither does ignorance of the law help to avoid legal consequences nor does negligence as a landlord.

 

Quote

against which you can more easily wiggle your accusatory finger.

You call them facts,

 

Yes, I call facts fact. You prefer hysterical emotions instead: "shocking" ... "destroying someone financially". Cry me a river. 

 

Quote

Then you and I have different standard of what's peaceful and respectful mate.

 

Definitely you have some strange double 'standards', "mate". 

 

 

 

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Someone-daughter, OK, you're right.

It's an open forum and there's no ignore button, but I'd really really appreciate If you don't reply to me or to my threads and questions anymore.

I'll be happy to do the same with you.

 

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28 minutes ago, Feierabend said:

Here are various links to articles on this issue:

https://www.berliner-mieterverein.de/recht/infoblaetter/info-115-zweckentfremdung-von-wohnraum-zweckentfremdungsverbot-gesetz.htm

 

https://www.rbb24.de/politik/beitrag/2018/03/berlin-zweckentfremdungsverbot-ferienwohnungen-betreutes-wohnen-leerstand.html

 

https://www.immobilienscout24.de/eigentuemer/news/2018/1/neuerungen-im-zweckentfremdungsverbot-untervermietung-an-touristen.html

 

Hmm... I wasn't aware of this either.

- I wonder how they could prove that a property was left empty for speculative purposes, or is simply 3 months without an occupier sufficient "proof" of this intention?

- Do they go after owners of just one flat, or are they mainly interested in the ones that leave whole blocks empty for long periods of time?

- In all the articles above they refer to the obligations of the Vermieter (landlord). Does one automatically become a "landlord" just by the fact of owning a property?

- I came across what seems to be an anomaly, in that a tenant may leave their flat unoccupied for indefinite amounts of time, as long as they meet their rental and maintenance obligations.

 

 

 

 

Thanks mate!

Yes my questions exactly.

 

For example I was thinking to spend the winter somewhere warm and while I wanted to sublet the place anyway..  What if one doesn't find a good tenant before leaving?

I was wondering if one could go talk to them and ask for an exemption in that case.. 

 

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27 minutes ago, lux7 said:

Someone-daughter, OK, you're right.

It's an open forum and there's no ignore button,

 

There is an ignore function, ask your fans how to use it. 

 

Quote

 

 

but I'd really really appreciate If you don't reply to me or to my threads and questions anymore.

 

Don't worry, never again will I help you as I did in the past. I wasted enough time with your fare dodging problems, your inability to understand how to leave a paper trail (by written mail) or tell you where to get a Nachsendeauftrag ...

 

You are not worth it.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, lux7 said:

 

Thanks mate!

Yes my questions exactly.

 

For example I was thinking to spend the winter somewhere warm and while I wanted to sublet the place anyway..  What if one doesn't find a good tenant before leaving?

I was wondering if one could go talk to them and ask for an exemption in that case.. 

 

 

The Berlin Senat recently passed the Zweckentfremdungsverbot von Wohnraum (Ban on the misuse of living space) law. One of the main aspects of the ban was to reduce or limit the number of dwellings being primarily let to tourists at a time when residents are finding housing to be in short supply.

 

The law doesn't restrict the subletting of up to 49% of the area of a dwelling but it limits the subletting of a whole dwelling to a maximum of 90 days per annum.

 

Also, if you intend to advertise on an Internet platform (and the city quote AirBnB and Wimdu as examples) you would need to apply first at the Wohnamt of your Bezirksamt for a permit  (Genehmigung) and a Registriernummer. All Berlin AirBnB ads should include this Registriernummer in the text. The city claim to be actively controlling this and may issue fines to offenders.

 

To apply for a permit and registration number you need your ID, (for rented dwellings your Mietvertrag), and a Genehmigungsgebühr von 225 Euro!!!

 

That law also introduced an Übernachtungssteuer (City Visitors Overnight Tax). As far as I can determine (without downloading xxx PDFs I've no wish to read) there may be stages at which this tax, or the amount, first applies. You can find that out for yourself by reading the relevant info (some of which is actually in English!) from the Senat Finanzverwaltung Übernachtungsteuer (City Tax)

 

Source info: Fragen und Antworten zum Zweckentfremdungsverbot von Wohnraum / Land Berlin FAQs

 

NB: do be aware that the penalties for non-compliance are fairly high.

 

FYI: If you have need of it you may find www.deepL.com provides a swifter, smoother and generally better machine translation of web page text than www.translate-google.com does.

 

PS: If you go to your TT profile and look at the top for the settings symbol you can set your own Ignore Username list up.

 

2B

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On 12.7.2018, 18:07:02, jeremytwo said:

 

Because if you are the landlord, owner of that property, you have every right to do what you wish with it. Empty or full is the decision of the owner. Perhaps you want the place for your kid at college in a year? Very Marxist law if you ask me.

 

Much of Berlin is Marxist, of course.   That's hardly an insult, more a badge of honour for a lot of us.   The districts of our family properties certainly mainly are, that's why we chose them :lol:.    Anyone setting up in Berlin can hardly be surprised at Marxist values :rolleyes:.   Moving to Berlin and then complaining about the application of socialist values is strange and / or naive.

 

That's just one premise - ownership trumps everything.      However, we don't have "the right" to do what we wish.    Other values come into play. as a post above notes    A city may decide there are other strategic priorities - housing people living there who are delivering the economy etc - and that is fair enough.   Investment 101 - Government intervention is an obvious investment risk with property. 

 

If landlords or owners don't like a city's policies, they (we) can go somewhere else. (Noticable that's what everyone else gets told if they complain about their locale...but seemingly not we property owners, we're entitled :wub:).

 

I think it is important not to terrify yourself with "Whataboutery", and also unlikely scenarios.   If demand for property is so high this can be enforced, you won't have voids when away etc.  And even if something unusual happened, authorities would likely accept it.   They know people go on foreign work assignments etc.

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Red Midge and Swimmer are correct.

It is ignorant, not to say moronic, to call this tax on unused accommodation "Marxist".

As we all know, Germany is currently suffering particularly serious housing problems, so obviously the federal and state governments have to help those who are permanently resident in Germany first of all, rather than short-term tourists, which is fair enough.

In other words, the radical nature of this solution properly reflects (and must reflect) the serious nature of this problem.

And let's not forget, Article 20, Paragraph 1, of the German Constitution says that Germany is a "... democratic and socially responsible federal  state." So this solution, while somewhat radical, is entirely democratic and socially responsible.

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On 7/12/2018, 9:06:21, 2B_orNot2B said:

 

 

PS: If you go to your TT profile and look at the top for the settings symbol you can set your own Ignore Username list up.

 

 

 

Thank you :D

 

6 hours ago, swimmer said:

 

  And even if something unusual happened, authorities would likely accept it.   They know people go on foreign work assignments etc.

 

Exactly, that's what I meant.

How stringently is this law applied -if it is applied at all-.

 

Because slapping someone who's unwittingly left (or had to leave) the country for four months with a 500k fine if he had no time to find (or couldn't find) a suitable tenant is not about Marxism, it's about bad policy.

And if we're entering Marxism, redistribution and public welfare discussion, the real wealthy have people to check rules for them and lawyers to defend them. The only ones who'd end up victimized by an unscrupulous application of this law are the middle class.

 

Anyway, it looks like nobody has had any experience with this law so far.

And I know quite a few people who left the city for a few months with no tenants, which would leave me wondering how really enforced it is, if at all.

 

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I think it's more of a danger if the place is being used, but not housing normal tenants.  eg air bnb or another commercial purpose (eg I know a guy who rents his apartment to a doctor who uses it as his office - no one has lived there for years).

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