How to raise my tenants rent

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I've owned an apartment for around 7 years now. When I bought it the tenants came with. I never once raised the rent. I asked every few years for them to accept a 10% raise, which they rejected. Now I'm paying real attention, I see that they paying 50% of the actual amount I could be receiving for the property. I don't want to make them homeless, but this is a tad silly. Any companies who consult on this?

 

 

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Haus und Grund  https://www.hausundgrund.de/ is an organisation for house owners - landlords. They should be able to give you advice about your rental situation. You join it and pay an annual fee, a bit like tenants joining the tenants association.

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You have made a mistake by just accepting their rejections because there are limits to how much you can raise the rent in one go.  Maximum in many regions is 20% every 3 years and in others it's limited to 15%.  Hence, you can not slap them with a 50% increase now just because you didn't raise it for so long.

 

You can join an organization called Haus and Grund which is for property owners or you can talk to a lawyer.  You should ask for an increase in writing.  Real paper, not email.  Send it registered mail or hand deliver with a witness.  Give them 3 months notice before the increase should take effect.  If they protest in writing, go to a lawyer to figure out the next step.  If they don't protest but simply don't pay it, go to a lawyer too.

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it's not that easy.  you have to also cite credible data to show the increase is justified because the current rent is below the prevailing rate for comparable properties.  Yes it sounds like it is, but you can't just say it. you have to show it, normally using the mietspiegel. 

 

If you do not follow proper procedure on an increase it is absolutely within the tenants' rights to refuse to agree.  If they don't agree because your increase was unwirksam, you can hire as many lawyers as you like, you're not going to succeed.

 

as already suggested, you should join your local haus und grund verein as they can help you draft a legal increase notification.  good luck.

 

eta:  tenants are not in any way required to protest or respond at all to an unwirksam rent increase notice.  No answer means no agreement.  If they have not agreed within the 60 day response window, it's up to the landlord to figure out what they screwed up and at that point you have to start over with a new notice, and that starts the clock over from zero.  Yes you can sue them to force the increase but you'd better be sure your increase notice was bulletproof first.

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@HIMA

 

A few points, first you don't ask them if you can raise the rent, you send them a letter informing them that as of this date the rent is being increased by this amount. Secondly when sending them the rent increase there are a few specifics you need to follow. You need to justify the rent increase and inform them that they can object to the increase. I think the time limit is 60 days from when the notice is sent. Also need to include a letter that they sign and return stating that they are agreeing to the rent increase.  On this last note they may or may not sign the letter, regardless if they don't object the rental increase is automatic.

 

A few points to keep in mind. 

 

Germans love to "tick boxes" so you need to be careful that you letter follows the proper format.

Secondly you could run into problems if you city doesn't have a qualified rent index ( Mietspiegel ) and most cities don't have one. I paid 9,90 to get a report from .Immobilien Scout24 but technically it's not the proper index and my tenant could have objected. As others have pointed out joining the Haus and Grund is good idea. Or if you have legal insurance talk to a lawyer specializing in rental law. And it's always a good 

 

I cover this and more in my book The Complete Guide to German Real Estate. It's only 25€ and includes a sample rent increase letter that you can use. 

 

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52 minutes ago, Tim Hortons Man said:

 On this last note they may or may not sign the letter, regardless if they don't object the rental increase is automatic.

 

that is 100% FALSE.  

 

I simply can't comprehend how you claim to be able to advise anyone on property issues.  I do not encourage anyone to buy your book

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36 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

 

that is 100% FALSE.  

 

Well both of us can't be right :D and I checked on that point before I raised the rent (long before I wrote the book). Anyways how can you say rent increase isn't automatic. if the tenant doesn't object than the rent goes up. Simple. 

 

36 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

 

I simply can't comprehend how you claim to be able to advise anyone on property issues.  I do not encourage anyone to buy your book

 

Well perhaps instead of giving 1 star unverified reviews (the worse kind) buy a copy of the book and then you can give an informed opinion. Before publishing I passed it on to people who worked in the industry for feedback and they all said it was a good book. I've had good sales and complaints. 

 

Edit: I mentioned this in another thread but when you call something a complete guide you open yourself up to criticism. The book was never meant to be an exhaustive guide to every single aspect of rental in Germany. It's much closer to Andrew Hallam's book Millionaire Teacher, that is a guide book for the layman. 

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@lisa13 can you clarify you point. In all my research on the rent brake I never came across anything that said that a tenant can avoid a rent increase by simply refusing to consent to it. It's possible I missed it but I don't think so.  If that's the case it would be amazing news for those living in Berlin!!!

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5 hours ago, Tim Hortons Man said:

In all my research on the rent brake I never came across anything that said that a tenant can avoid a rent increase by simply refusing to consent to it

 

maybe you didn't find it because the rent brake has nothing to do with rent increases on sitting tenants? 

 

as Panda so kindly linked, what I said is basically mieterhöhung 101.  Like you don't even have to dig for this info.  WTF man?

 

 

 

 

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OK I stand corrected. This is why I always tell people to get a second opinion. Even experts make a mistake Note: not calling myself an expert, simply wrote a laymen's guide.

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Here's the latest update

 

The paper which gives you the time (überlegungsfrist) to agree with the rental increase is correct. During this time if you don#t agree to it you can within the time allotted do a (SonderkKündigungs Recht) getting out of your rental agreement earlier. Instead of waiting the 3 months. If not the owner/landlord can take you to court which is a long process which in the end you could pay more. If you don't sign it and just pay the rental increase this is a silent agreement (Stillschweigende Zustimmung). The rent can be raised a maximum of 15 percent every 3 years in Frankfurt. If the owner decided 5 percent one year and 10 percent on the last of the 3 years, that is acceptable as well.
 
In other words
 
Send notice of rent increase => wait 3 months => tenant pays new amount
-or-
Send notice of rent increase => wait 3 months => tenant continues to pay old amount => contact lawyer on the next steps.
 
@lisa13 this is essence what I wrote in the book, there are so many variables and as a expat it's easy to get it wrong, that's why legal insurance is essential!  
 
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spidey I think it's clear that no, he has never had any real profi feedback on the content of his book, if his TT advice is any indicator.  The latest attempt to clarify is still inaccurate in several respects but the fail would fall on the landlord so I really don't care to correct it.  

 

my guess is the "people who worked in the industry" who gave him such great feedback are just Maklers.  That would explain a lot.

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On 10/31/2018, 10:01:58, PandaMunich said:

Lisa is right, you need the tenant to agree to the raise in rent by signing. If the tenant does not sign voluntarily, you have to take him to court to force him to give his agreement.

 

Details in: https://www.finanztip.de/mieterhoehung/

Just curious but if the tenant can "flip you the bird" over a rent increase than why things like rent brake, or what I keep seeing on FB ads for fighting rent increases. 

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because if the rent increase was done within legal guidelines the tenant will lose in court.  it's not wise to give the bird to a legal increase.

 

the point of the rent brake is to put legal restrictions on rent increases between tenants.

 

I have no idea what facebook ads are touting

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On 10/31/2018, 11:01:43, Tim Hortons Man said:

In all my research on the rent brake I never came across anything that said that a tenant can avoid a rent increase by simply refusing to consent to it.

The rent brake doesn´t apply to sitting tenants but only to new rentals where there is no tenant who could agree to an increase in the first place.

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14 hours ago, jeba said:

The rent brake doesn´t apply to sitting tenants but only to new rentals where there is no tenant who could agree to an increase in the first place.

 

19 hours ago, lisa13 said:

because if the rent increase was done within legal guidelines the tenant will lose in court.  it's not wise to give the bird to a legal increase.

 

the point of the rent brake is to put legal restrictions on rent increases between tenants.

 

I have no idea what facebook ads are touting

Thanks that's what I figured. I've seen ads in English for wenigermiete.de regarding the rent brake

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