Buying out furniture as a Nachmieter

20 posts in this topic

So I've come across a few flat listings where the place and pricepoint seem to be good but the current tenant is demanding his old furniture be bought for some clearly excessive sums of up to 5000€ for some IKEA furniture and a prehistorical kitchen.

 

Can anyone give detail on how the process is organized?

 

Do the parties sign a contract which states that the candidate is obliged to buy the furniture but only in the case that he is approved as the Nachmieter by the owner? Should such contract be signed before the current tenant suggests the Nachmieter to the owner?

 

What happens in three months if no such contract has been signed? Does the old tenant just automatically lose the flat or he can reclaim it if the Nachmieter refuses to buy the furniture?

 

If any part of the contract changes, does it make the tenant a new tenant instead of a Nachmieter? How is making the new person buy furniture handled then?

 

In case the kitchen is being sold how to figure out it's not the one that came with the flat?

 

Lastly, is it considered the norm to ask for price justification e.g. receipts and items' age/origin or it is considered offensive and you can forget about getting the flat? Is it ok to bargain?

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To be honest, this sounds way to complicated and it would be better to just get your own place instead of subletting. I've never heard of a subletter having to pay for the flat contents as it is usually not a long term situation.

 

In any case, make sure the owner approves of the sublet.

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4 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

it would be better to just get your own place instead of subletting..

Doesn't the Nachmieter become the main tenant after he signs the contract with the owner? Or do you mean it would be better to just buy my own flat? Sorry, can't afford that.

I wasn't asking about sublet, which I guess would be called Untermiete instead of Nachmiete.

Selling the kitchen at least seems to be quite common, that's why I am asking for advice from people who got some knowledge on how it is done.

 

 

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Oh now I understand. The current renter is asking for too much Ablöse. Sorry, I misunderstood.

 

No, I meant renting your own flat, not buying one. Most of us can't afford that.

 

If you think the prices are too high, you can negotiate with the current renter. You can also ask her/him to remove what you don't wait. Typically, the owner wants to rent the place ASAP and can tell the current renter to move out and clear the flat if it is apparent nobody wants his stuff. You are also free to ask your future landlord if the kitchen was already there before the current tenant came. I doubt it, though. You can't sell something that isn't yours.

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3 hours ago, HerrRing said:

Do the parties sign a contract which states that the candidate is obliged to buy the furniture but only in the case that he is approved as the Nachmieter by the owner? Should such contract be signed before the current tenant suggests the Nachmieter to the owner?

 

exactly that and nothing more afaik

 

usually the point for the vormieter is that they are basically extorting you to buy their shit furniture in exchange for getting an "in" with the landlord.  it's of course not guaranteed that you'd get it, but that's why the furniture contract should make it clear the deal is off if you don't get the apartment

 

@fraufruit, a subletter is an untermieter - a nachmieter is a new tenant.

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2 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

You can't sell something that isn't yours.

 

oh! my vormieters did :)

 

I think they thought they were really slick.  it was almost laughable.  I didn't get into it with them as I wanted/needed the apartment and the price for all their crap was not so bad.

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my vormieters "sold on" the bathroom fixtures - mirror, rods, shelf, etc - but they were obviously stock to the apartment.  I confirmed that shortly after I moved in and found the same stuff in my neighbor's place.

 

they could not sell the kitchen as it was included in the rental contract.  I guess they could try but that could get sticky fast. 

 

in any and all cases, no cash should change hands before the contract is signed so it would not be rocket science to find out what's what before it's too late.

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The question is whether such a contract (buying under the condition of becoming next tenant) will have any legal power. For instance one can write in the contract that the tenant is obliged to paint the walls after X years and that would be useless (afaik).

1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

I'd like to see our renter try to sell on the kitchen that we installed

Call me paranoid, but after some tricks that owners tried to pull on me (almost laughable as well), it occured to me that someone could try this one out of pure hope that if the sum is not too big no one will bother to go to court over it despite even having a legal insurance.

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perhaps.

 

In tight rental markets things like this tend to slide right by.  You NEED the apartment.

 

honestly I do think 5k is REALLY steep.  I paid about 1k and it was ok as I didn't have much furniture of my own yet, which allowed me to bide my time til I found things I really wanted.  Then again it's only a single room apartment so...

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You are not under any obligation to buy their crap but if the current tenant wants to sell it, he will probably look for another nachmieter who is willing to buy.  If you do decide to buy their stuff, make a detailed list of everything they are selling and put it in the contract.  Otherwise, you might find out when you move in, that half the stuff you thought you bought they have taken during their move and could later say that those items were never a part of the deal.  Also, if this is IKEA, it's very easy to look up on the website what they paid for it new.  You will know that way if they are trying to take you to the cleaners.  Once the contract is made and signed, you can not back out based on that you think you are paying too much.  You should definitely put a clause in there stating that the contract is null and void if you don't end up renting the apartment.

 

The tenant may want his security of having you sign the contract to buy before you sign the contract to rent the apartment.  Otherwise, you could just change your mind and not buy his stuff and he would then have to remove it when he moves.  However, you could ask if you can sign both at the same time to have more of a guarantee that the landlord has accepted you and that you will get the apartment.  This also means that the landlord sees the list of what you are buying and can protest if the tenant is wrongly selling you something that belongs to the landlord.

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I personally believe that the landlord should be present at any and all contract signing that has anything to do with her/his property and it's contents.

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The section 4a of the WoVermittG handles exactly this. Paragraph 2 states that if such a contract for purchase of furniture is signed, it is only valid if subsequently the applicant is able to sign a rent contract with the landlord, i.e. gets the apartment. The second sentence sets a reasonable limit to how much the person can demand for furniture and so on. It cannot exceed the time value of the items by more than a small amount. From past court precedents, this is about 50%. That is, if the kitchen was originally 10000 but after x years, is 5000, then the sale price cannot be more than 7500.

Having said that, you are under no obligation to buy the furniture. But if you think the kitchen and some stuff would be of use to you then make the current tenant an offer which you think is far. In my opinion, by going to ebay classifieds and such. This would most likely the easiest option. Also tell him that if agreeing to the purchase is a precondition to even being introduced to the landlord, that you will contact the landlord directly by checking with the city records office (don't know if it is called that or what the German equivalent is) and submit an application directly. This might at most make him reconsider strong arming you for the apartment. Have the landlord present at the handover. Make sure that he does not leave his junk in the apartment making you responsible of getting it to the Sperrmüll.

Good luck.

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9 hours ago, LeonG said:

Once the contract is made and signed, you can not back out based on that you think you are paying too much

You can. But then the burden of proof is on you and the court costs are so high since the appraisal costs could be indeterminate and hence the cost risk to you is too high. It depends on the items. If it is one single modular kitchen that is not measured and fitted to the apartment, or say a LED TV for which the cost of reacquiring it (Wiederbeschaffungswert) is easily determined, then this process becomes slightly easier.

7 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

The...

I forgot to add as is usually custom, that I am not a lawyer and this is all based on personal experience and my own research.

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all of this "you are under no obligation" is well and good, in theory.

 

in fact, if the landlord has not listed the place for rent themselves, in a case like this you simply won't/can't get the landlord's contact info without agreeing to buy the stuff.  The vormieter will not be bothering with people who want to negotiate or who call up legal precedents, you will not have the chance to sign the agreement to buy anything with the landlord's oversight, it's just not pertinent.

 

14 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

you will contact the landlord directly by checking with the city records office (don't know if it is called that or what the German equivalent is) and submit an application directly.

 

has anyone ever done that?  is it a slam dunk?

 

not sure about that.  this post seems to suggest it's not so easy:  https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/189915-verifying-the-ownership-of-an-apartment/?do=findComment&comment=2152886

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7 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

You can. But then the burden of proof is on you and the court costs are so high since the appraisal costs could be indeterminate and hence the cost risk to you is too high. It depends on the items. If it is one single modular kitchen that is not measured and fitted to the apartment, or say a LED TV for which the cost of reacquiring it (Wiederbeschaffungswert) is easily determined, then this process becomes slightly easier.

I forgot to add as is usually custom, that I am not a lawyer and this is all based on personal experience and my own research.

 

Ok, so if you refuse to pay and if the seller goes to court, you have seen the items in the apartment, you have agreed on the price and signed the contract, would they really throw the contract out if it turns out that you might be paying too much?  After all, you saw the items and agreed on the price.  Is there any law forbidding me to sell my used kitchen for a new price if somebody wants to buy it?  Not that I would, just curious.

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5 minutes ago, LeonG said:

Ok, so if..

It says Die Vereinbarung über das Entgelt ist unwirksam, soweit dieses in einem auffälligen Mißverhältnis zum Wert der Einrichtung oder des Inventarstücks steht. So yeah, you can sell your kitchen to the next tenant, when you move out for a price you both agree on. But if the tenant then later wants to dispute this before the statute of limitations on that contract has run out, this law would permit them to. It only applies in the context of a rental agreement. I do not think it applies to, say, if you sold your bike to someone over ebay classifieds.

Again, not a lawyer. I was in a civil dispute with my Vormieter and hence went through this stuff.

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6 minutes ago, LeonG said:

would they really throw the contract

In my experience the Landsgericht referenced two precedents. One was the BGH and another was Oberlandsgericht Hamburg. BGH said throw the contract out i.e. Rückabwicklung, i.e. contract nullified and money and items returned to each party. OLG Hamburg said only the part over the Objektive Wert plus 50% is invalid. Our judge was inclined to go with the BGH decision. Didn't come to that, however since we reached a settlement.

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