WG tenancy: caution regarding sharing a rental contract?

7 posts in this topic

Sooo during my current WG housing search I came across a particular situation of a 4-er WG (four equal renters) - two of them are leaving on short notice, and the remaining two are apparently desperate to find new replacements, apparently because otherwise they'll have to take over the rent for the empty two rooms. Normally I'd be gleefully accepting and signing the contract for one of the rooms, but then I had the thought that the same thing could happen to me - the remaining two renters could move out, and if I can't find anyone (this is in a pretty small east german town) I'll be possibly stuck paying rent for four rooms. Alone.

Because my prior experience was renting from a typical apartment complex in the US, where you could pretty much leave any time (with notice) and the administration would just post a listing, is this something I should watch out for? If I'm a standard renting tenant, and a fellow tenant moves out, am I (or the actual owner) responsible for what happens after?

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6 hours ago, Pandekage said:

apparently because otherwise they'll have to take over the rent for the empty two rooms.

 

Apparently, this will be your situation too if your flatmates leave. However, depending on your location, it would be easy and fast to find new renters so finding replacements would not be hard. 

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On 4/30/2019, 1:57:33, thegreatdivide said:

 

Apparently, this will be your situation too if your flatmates leave. However, depending on your location, it would be easy and fast to find new renters so finding replacements would not be hard. 

Unfortunately this will be in Cottbus, so quite a different story. I did ask this in another forum, and the answers there were of another opinion.. that I'm only beholden to my own rent and contract. Is this really the case, that fellow tenants (and NOT the owner of the flat itself) is responsible for finding replacement tenants if someone else leaves? If so what specifically should I look for in the contract to ensure I don't get trapped in this situation?

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The question is, who are you making a contract with and for what.  If you are all on the lease with the landlord, with one apartment and one apartment rent, you would be equally responsible as them in order to pay the rent but if you move out, it could be difficult for you to get the landlord to take you off the lease.  It would also be difficult for you to get one flatmate kicked out if he's not behaving.  Any changes in names on the lease would have to go through the landlord which is a pain.

 

Because of that, in most cases, one flatmate is the main tenant and he is the one on the lease with the landlord and is responsible to the landlord but is subletting and is the acting landlord for everyone else.  It is also possible that these two flatmates are friends and signed the contract with the landlord together.  If you make a contract with them as a sub tenant for one room and one room rent, you can't be made responsible for any more than that.  You can give your notice to leave and they can give you notice if you give them reason.  Their apartment, their problem.

 

If however they want you to take over the apartment alone as the main tenant and they will be your sub tenants, I would run away fast because that means the whole apartment is your problem and remains your problem if they leave or stop paying.

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12 minutes ago, LeonG said:

The question is, who are you making a contract with and for what.  If you are all on the lease with the landlord, with one apartment and one apartment rent, you would be equally responsible as them in order to pay the rent but if you move out, it could be difficult for you to get the landlord to take you off the lease.  It would also be difficult for you to get one flatmate kicked out if he's not behaving.  Any changes in names on the lease would have to go through the landlord which is a pain.

 

Because of that, in most cases, one flatmate is the main tenant and he is the one on the lease with the landlord and is responsible to the landlord but is subletting and is the acting landlord for everyone else.  It is also possible that these two flatmates are friends and signed the contract with the landlord together.  If you make a contract with them as a sub tenant for one room and one room rent, you can't be made responsible for any more than that.  You can give your notice to leave and they can give you notice if you give them reason.  Their apartment, their problem.

 

If however they want you to take over the apartment alone as the main tenant and they will be your sub tenants, I would run away fast because that means the whole apartment is your problem and remains your problem if they leave or stop paying.

From what I recall during our meeting all residents are equally main tenants (Hauptmieter) with contracts with the owner. No Untermieter. Could you clarify the difficulties in getting my name off the lease, assuming all formalities and niceties are followed, i.e. giving one months' notice (Ankündigungszeit)?

 

Or is it just a matter of stuff getting done slower, due to everything going through the landlord? Would you say that as long as I follow the Ankündigungszeit as outlined in the contract I should be okay when leaving the WG arrangement?

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17 minutes ago, Pandekage said:

From what I recall during our meeting all residents are equally main tenants (Hauptmieter) with contracts with the owner. No Untermieter. Could you clarify the difficulties in getting my name off the lease, assuming all formalities and niceties are followed, i.e. giving one months' notice (Ankündigungszeit)?

 

Or is it just a matter of stuff getting done slower, due to everything going through the landlord? Would you say that as long as I follow the Ankündigungszeit as outlined in the contract I should be okay when leaving the WG arrangement?

 

I've heard of couples splitting up having problems getting the one name off the lease.  I would assume it's due to the fact that it leaves less people holding the bag in case they end up owing rent.  If there's absolutely no problem getting your name off the lease, what's stopping the two remaining flatmates from talking to the landlord as soon as you sign up and get both their names taken off?  That would leave you holding the bag.  Or lets say I'm a landlord.  Would it make sense for me to rent to 3 people, knowing each of them can not afford the place on his own and then without a problem I should allow 2 of them to take their names off leaving the burden on one person who will then default on payment if they can't find new roomies?  If I as a landlord want that responsibility, I might just as well rent out single rooms myself and probably make more profit.  So if this is the set up, I would be very suspicious of doing it.

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