Legal insurance for landlords - recommendations?

35 posts in this topic

Hi All,

I have decided to buy a rented apartment in Berlin and made the reservation too. I currently live on rented apartment and the existing tenants live there for 4.5 yrs.The real estate agent says that Eigenbedarf can be invoked, if needed for personal use.

Though I do not intend to invoke Eigenbedarf immediately(not within 1 yr at least), I might do it in future. So could you please recommend a Rechtsschutz versicherung(landowner legal insurance) to buy?

I plan to be part of Vermieter verein in addition to the above insurance. Also suggest other insurances to be bought,if any.

Thanks.

Have a great week ahead!

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I would be very leery of any promises an agent makes regarding Eigenbedarf. Yes, you can invoke it - but there are myriad reasons why this can be refused, it can take years to get sitting tenants out, or you as landlord will end up paying to get them out (i.e. paying for their move etc.).

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2 hours ago, the.frollein said:

I would be very leery of any promises an agent makes regarding Eigenbedarf. Yes, you can invoke it - but there are myriad reasons why this can be refused, it can take years to get sitting tenants out, or you as landlord will end up paying to get them out (i.e. paying for their move etc.).

I don't know if it's simply refused as you say, but more just delayed in some cases for quite a long time? 

Invoke it straight after taking over and then let them look for something else in the meantime. ;)

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Useful to know if tenants are:

Elderly

Have Health Issues

Family with children

 

Maybe these can also delay  claim of Eigenbedarf.

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Eigenbedarf does not even have to be directly for yourself and immediate family.  It can be e.g. if any family e.g. parents, brothers, sisters, niece/nephew and even as far out as cousins need a home. It all depends on the type of contract used. Landlords are very creative to get tenants out when they want to. 

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5 minutes ago, smurf said:

 Landlords are very creative to get tenants out when they want to. 

 

Sure but tenants can get creative too if they want to dig their heels in. They could point to their own hardship like being disabled or having a disabled child or being penniless and unable to find a similar apartment they can afford. As for whoever is supposed to be moving, they can question whether the apartment would be suitable for those people.

 

On the other hand you could get lucky and have tenants who aren't opposed to moving. However it depends on the housing situation where they live. If it's hard to find affordable housing they will probably put up a fight

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I agree @LeonG. It's a fairly formal process though here to prove all that...so a landlord who is unsure what they want should normally fix the contract to a year or less with fixed move out date or 3 month notice period either way then there is more flexibility on both sides. I see the trend now that full-time landlords are tying in tenants up to 2-4 years with no break clause even for job move rather than the opposite...during these interesting times landlords want a steady income no matter what so tenants beware during such uncertain times 

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1 hour ago, LeonG said:

hardship like being disabled or having a disabled child

These cases will be few and far between though as a very small percentage of the population are disabled or have disabled children and an even smaller percentage at the same time are in rented housing.

1 hour ago, LeonG said:

penniless and unable to find a similar apartment they can afford

These cases generally drag on for less time than those involving frail, elderly or disabled persons since that 'reason' of having no money etc. can't be used ad Infinitum.

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I always recommend, if you don't speak good German, to get it from an English speaking agent so that you can ask for help when submitting a claim. For example I had a backpack stolen in Barcelona and I asked my agent about this and he explained what verbage I needed to use to explain in order to get it covered. 

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Thank you all for your valuable suggestions. I am planning to go ahead with ARAG Premium legal insurance for landloards.

 

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You will also need to really move in and stay there for years. New laws mean you can get slapped with a huge fine if they can prove you merely wanted them out, plus paying damages and moving costs and differences in rent betwee places. Insurance will not cover that 

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On 21/09/2020, 18:30:50, solomongrundy said:

You will also need to really move in and stay there for years. New laws mean you can get slapped with a huge fine if they can prove you merely wanted them out, plus paying damages and moving costs and differences in rent betwee places. Insurance will not cover that 

:huh: I don't think the law specifies that you have to stay in there for any length of time or have you come across something to the contrary?

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On 9/23/2020, 9:08:53, lunaCH said:

:huh: I don't think the law specifies that you have to stay in there for any length of time or have you come across something to the contrary?

Yes, several years. If the evicted tenant sues to say that you used the clause to just get him out you can be slapped with the fine. In addition to paying damages. The laws were tightened early this year.

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8 minutes ago, solomongrundy said:

Yes, several years. If the evicted tenant sues to say that you used the clause to just get him out you can be slapped with the fine. In addition to paying damages. The laws were tightened early this year.

Nationwide or only in a specific location?

If nationwide, could you (or anyone watching!) link to that new law please? We are in the process of taking over a flat which has recently also been rented out to someone and wish to know where we stand should we desire self-use of the dwelling any time soon. 

Also I'd be very interested to know if you actually have to take up legal residence in said dwelling or if you can leave it behind at another address (in our case also an owned dwelling) and that side of things is not looked at.

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https://www.thelocal.de/20181127/how-germany-is-reforming-its-rental-law-for

https://www.handelsblatt.com/english/finance/tenants-rights-germany-tightens-rent-controls-amid-housing-shortage/23583338.html?ticket=ST-702739-p6aSsrNooGBvTPgZfUVv-ap6

 

It s nationwide. Berlin has passed a law that puts a rent brake. All contracts that charge above that are now illegal. It is likely that the law will be extended all over the country. If you want to use the flat then you will have to really use the flat. The second article contains a link to a case in Hamburg where a long term tenant successfully sued her landlord who pushed her out claiming self use and then advertised it on AirBnB.

I really doubt that in case of a legal dispute the Ordungsamt will not check that you are actually resident at the address.

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6 minutes ago, solomongrundy said:

Thanks. That article along with the ones it links to, doesn't specify what you said though (or am I missing it?) i.e. that you have to move in yourself and stay there for several years after you turf someone out. 

For clarity we all really need to know the detailed law that was passed with the date it came/comes into force etc.

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I remember reading that it s yourself, or a direct relative that has to move it, and you can be sued if that is not really the case. And yes, you cannot move in for a few months.

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4 minutes ago, solomongrundy said:

I remember reading that it s yourself, or a direct relative that has to move it, and you can be sued if that is not really the case. And yes, you cannot move in for a few months.

I was under the impression that you could do precisely that, - move in for a few months and move out again. You're saying there is a new law that prevents this? How the heck do they keep track of these things? 

We are not planning on doing this. But I really want to know where we stand legally and I am sure if there is a new law then many others need to know about it too.

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Yes, there is a new law that prevents this. In addition, you have to really prove that you need the place and that you don t have any alternative. A lot of laws in favor of the tenant were also passed regarding the renovation loopholes.

 

They keep track because the Ordungsamt knocks on the door. I live in a shared WG and people come and go. They knocked twice looking for people who had long left. 

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