Serious concern with the current tenancy situation in my apartment

30 posts in this topic

Hi all

 

I am the landlord of an apartment in Berlin. It's a 4 room apartment in West Berlin. Unfortunately, we currently have a situation developing where I may never gain access to this apartment. I have owned this apartment since 2008. The apartment was already occupied by an older couple. At the time, I was unaware of the tenancy laws in Berlin and how it could impact my future. I would love to hear some advice from you if any of you have any experience in this regard. For the record, there was a couple living there since 1995 I think. 

 

I went to visit Berlin last year and went to check the apartment block. When I arrived, I noticed that there was a new name stickered below the current tenant's name on the doorbell. I was concerned as I thought the apartment was being sublet. I was angry and spoke to my property manager. She informed me that the wife has died last year and the husband has a new girlfriend living there. 

 

I immediately hired a lawyer to investigate the legalities of this. It turns out that its legal and they are entitled to do this. My lawyer then mentioned that if this new girlfriend marries the widowed husband, she will be entitled to live there with strict laws after he dies. This is very frustrating to me as I had hoped to let my children live here soon as they'll be finishing their studies. 

 

Is there any way to reduce the possibility of my fears occurring? If I wanted to get these people to move out how would you suggest going about it? I have waited a long time now and would really like to gain access to my property.

 

Thanks

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately your sentence “At the time, I was unaware of the tenancy laws in Berlin and how it could impact my future” probably tells you all you need to know.

7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so you went into this blind - you really should have informed yourself of the legal situation before purchasing an apartment.

 

That said, you might be able to give these people notice to move out if you have to use the property yourself, or a close family member needs to use it, which I would assume to include your children.

 

I would suggest getting legal advice on this, and reporting back here for the next person who has similar problems.

 

Some info here, assuming you understand German:

 

https://ratgeber.immowelt.de/a/kuendigung-wegen-eigenbedarf-so-sollten-vermieter-vorgehen.html

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, shapebuster said:

She informed me that the wife has died last year and the husband has a new girlfriend Iiving there.


Well dang, dude wasted no time moving on 😳

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see lots of mights and coulds. When you want the apartment send them a legal letter saying you need it for your own use. As you appear to live in Australia the situation is a bit unclear and you will under normal circumstances be able to sell the apartment and give the money to your kids.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Auntie Helen said:

Unfortunately your sentence “At the time, I was unaware of the tenancy laws in Berlin and how it could impact my future” probably tells you all you need to know.

 

How insightful.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, shapebuster said:

 

How insightful.

 

Yes, the "You should have known better" class of response to a genuine request for help does annoy me. Along with the knee jerk "lawyer up" when often a lawyer would bring nothing.

 

In this case he does need to claim "eigennutzung" for his children through a lawyer. It will take 1 year and his kids must live there for a few years but he will get the apartment back.

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

 

Yes, the "You should have known better" class of response to a genuine request for help does annoy me. Along with the knee jerk "lawyer up" when often a lawyer would bring nothing.

 

 

Whilst regular TTers will be aware that MAM owns properties, for an absolute outsider, I still consider my advice to be totally appropriate - the OP hasn`t got a clue who knows what on this forum, so I would still advise him to get some legal advice on this issue, rather than relying upon the opinion of various potential clowns.

 

(no offence mean to you, MAM!)

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

In this case he does need to claim "eigennutzung" for his children through a lawyer. It will take 1 year and his kids must live there for a few years but he will get the apartment bac

Not necessariy. I remember court rulings where the judge said the size of the flat was more than a student needed and the rights of the tenants were ranking higher. I´d try to offer the current tenants a good deal. Like offering to pay for moving costs, paying for estate agent fees and maybe a chunk of cash.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can give the tenants notice based on your own need (eigenbedarf).  If someone has rented an apartment for more than 8 years, they have a 9 month notice period.  According to  https://www.berlin.de/special/immobilien-und-wohnen/mietrecht/2116775-739654-kuendigungsfristen-was-gilt-fuer-mieter-.html  there is even a clause in some older rental agreements that after 10 years they have a 12 month notice period.  If it's in this one, it would still be valid.

 

Giving a notice due to eigenbedarf, you or your family do need to move into the apartment or otherwise the former tenants can sue you for their moving costs and possibly more as their next apartment will probably be a lot more expensive.  There's also a law in Berlin that you can't let your apartment sit empty for too long.

 

So 9 months or a year before you need the apartment, you could give them proper notice and hope they leave.  If they decide to fight the notice, you could be in for a battle.  Like jeba says, the court could rule that you are not justified in your need and it's also possible that the tenant can apply for more time based on that he's unable to find another apartment of the same size at a reasonable price in today's market.  It can take years and cost you a bunch of money.  Or like jeba says, you can offer them money to leave but they'd probably want a substantial amount of money for it to be worth it for them.

 

Aside from getting a lawyer, you could join a homeowners association called haus & grund and they might be able to give you some advice.

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you appear to be in Berlin ( as you have seen the new GFs name on the letter box) why not make an appointment to check the condition of the apartment ?... It could be that she has moved in with 5 kids and you can then ask the HV to  apply an increase in NK etc... 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, shapebuster said:

 

Is there any way to reduce the possibility of my fears occurring? If I wanted to get these people to move out how would you suggest going about it? I have waited a long time now and would really like to gain access to my property.

 

Thanks

How did the GF register her new address with the Berlin authorities?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, RenegadeFurther said:

How did the GF register her new address with the Berlin authorities?

I would hazard a guess that the two of them went to the local Rathaus/Einwohnermeldungamt and said "I would like to register myself as living with my BF.. 

 

I dont think the landlord needs to be informed, just an agreement from the "Hauptmieter"...

 

 

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Meanwhile, raise the rent if you haven't done so in a while. (to a legal amount, of course.)

 

UFB

 

By the way, i have greened El Jeffo's post.   What is the world coming to?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/2/2020, 5:47:13, El Jeffo said:

 

He bought a flat on the cheap, because it was rented to an elderly couple on a fixed income who would have been impossible to turf out.

 

It was fairly clear from the previous thread that he was going to try to use his kids as an excuse to get the elderly couple out and, once that had been accomplished, resell it at the greatest possible profit. That limits my ability to sympathize with a poor (and predatory) investment decision.

 

If it's any consolation, the OP's children (if they do actually exist) or grandchildren will benefit from this investment, once everyone with extenuating circumstances to stay at the lower rent kicks the bucket and the rent can be raised to the local average. But the old feeble guy who has been living there for more than 15 years has just as much right to live there alone (with his new squeeze) as he did with his now-deceased wife.

 

And yes, his new wife will also have a claim to stay in the place for a longer period under the existing contract, as long as the guy doesn't croak tomorrow. Again, this is something that someone who had done their homework might have considered.

Well said, Jeffo. Empathy shines through there for the weaker in society. Great post!🙏🏻

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/2/2020, 7:57:45, shapebuster said:

Hi all

 

I am the landlord of an apartment in Berlin. It's a 4 room apartment in West Berlin. Unfortunately, we currently have a situation developing where I may never gain access to this apartment. I have owned this apartment since 2008. The apartment was already occupied by an older couple. At the time, I was unaware of the tenancy laws in Berlin and how it could impact my future. I would love to hear some advice from you if any of you have any experience in this regard. For the record, there was a couple living there since 1995 I think. 

 

I went to visit Berlin last year and went to check the apartment block. When I arrived, I noticed that there was a new name stickered below the current tenant's name on the doorbell. I was concerned as I thought the apartment was being sublet. I was angry and spoke to my property manager. She informed me that the wife has died last year and the husband has a new girlfriend living there. 

 

I immediately hired a lawyer to investigate the legalities of this. It turns out that its legal and they are entitled to do this. My lawyer then mentioned that if this new girlfriend marries the widowed husband, she will be entitled to live there with strict laws after he dies. This is very frustrating to me as I had hoped to let my children live here soon as they'll be finishing their studies. 

 

Is there any way to reduce the possibility of my fears occurring? If I wanted to get these people to move out how would you suggest going about it? I have waited a long time now and would really like to gain access to my property.

 

Thanks

 

@shapebuster 

Are you 100% sure that the new woman is the man's girlfriend? Is there a possibility that your property manager is jumping to conclusions? I say this because I was talking to my wife about your situation and she said it is quite common for single elders to have younger carers staying with them - especially in Berlin. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now