Tenant subletting for profit

42 posts in this topic

Hi there,
trying to help out my brother who owns a flat which he bought already rented to a German girl for a very low sum. He's recently found out that her housemate, who's not in the contract, pays to her for his single room more than the whole rent. She pays to my brother 385 Euro Kalt + 50 Betriebskosten while charging this guy 500€. She's not allowed to sublet the whole flat but only one room.


Let me admit that my brother does not have a great relationship with this tenant and mostly has a strong feeling she doesn't even live in that flat anymore (she seems to be never there..) so we're trying to figure out if this could be enough to kick her out for breaching the contract.  

Thanks in advance for any advice

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markfusara,

 

Your brother should join Haus und Grund since he is a landlord.  They should be able to answer his questions on what he can legally do regarding his tenant.  

 

S.

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55 minutes ago, markfusara said:

pays to her for his single room more than the whole rent.

 

are you just jealous or regret you're not charging more?  what if you didn't know about this arrangement, how would you be affected?

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Did you specify in the contract how much she could charge for subletting the room?

You agreed she can sublet, and this usually includes use of kitchen , bathroom etc!  Or did you specify that sub-tenant had to stay in their room?!

Might be difficult to prove she is now longe there. 

When is her contract due to expire? You could raise the rent then?

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Does the contract say that she is allowed to sublet? She is only paying Nebenkosten for one person.

 

How did he find out? In particular what the subtenant is paying?

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He should join Haus & Grund and ask for help there.  They can tell him his options, clarify whether she's breached the contract or whether he can raise her rent right now and by how much.

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- Raise the Nebenkosten.

- And then raise the rent.

- Ask the Bürgerbüro exactly who is registered in your apartment (as the owner/landlord  you have a right to do so) - this will tell you if your tenant is still registered there. And who else.

If the tenant no longer is registered there, AFAIK you can terminate the contract.

Same is possible if too many other people are registered there.

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3 hours ago, RedMidge said:

You could raise the rent then?

 

3 hours ago, LeonG said:

raise her rent right now

 

54 minutes ago, Metall said:

- And then raise the rent

 

From what the OP said, it is the subletter who is paying a higher rent than what the tenant pays.  Nothing was said about whether the tenant is paying below, above or at market rates.  Encouraging the landlord to simply raise the rent may find himself without a tenant.

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28 minutes ago, catjones said:

Encouraging the landlord to simply raise the rent may find himself without a tenant.

 

Then maybe he can rent for full market price and not let the "trouser snake" determin the price...

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1 hour ago, catjones said:

From what the OP said, it is the subletter who is paying a higher rent than what the tenant pays.  Nothing was said about whether the tenant is paying below, above or at market rates.  Encouraging the landlord to simply raise the rent may find himself without a tenant.

 

You are quoting me out of context. I said he should join Haus & Grund and that they can help him figure out whether he can raise her rent. 

 

It does sound like her rent is low if her sub tenant is paying her more for a room than she is paying for the apartment. It is however possible that the area has a Mietpreis bremse, that she already got a max increase in the past 3 years or some other factors.

 

It doesn't sound like they'd be sorry if she decided to leave though but more likely if they try some unfounded raising of the rent she'll simply refute it. 

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On 1/31/2021, 5:53:26, catjones said:

 

are you just jealous or regret you're not charging more?  what if you didn't know about this arrangement, how would you be affected?

 

Nope. it's just that we don't even think she's living there so if she's breaching the contract we would like to rent the flat to someone we know.

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Thanks for everyone's reply, we're trying to find out if there's legal ground to have the contract declared void so that he can  just rent the flat to someone who will actually live in the flat and that he already knows.

 

I don't think she's allowed to sublet a room for a profit, and for more than the max rent allowed for the whole flat!

My brother is not looking to rent the flat out for more than what the laws in Berlin specifies.

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On 1/31/2021, 9:28:54, Metall said:

- Ask the Bürgerbüro exactly who is registered in your apartment (as the owner/landlord  you have a right to do so) - this will tell you if your tenant is still registered there. And who else.

If the tenant no longer is registered there, AFAIK you can terminate the contract.

Same is possible if too many other people are registered there.

 

 

We thought about this but I actually don't think it's possible. I did try once myself for my own flat, just to make sure only the current tenants were registered there, and the Burgeramt guy said I could ask them a name and they could tell me if that person was registered in my flat, but they could not give me a list of all the people registered in that flat.

If you know of a way to actually do this, that would be quite helpful.

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31 minutes ago, markfusara said:

 

We thought about this but I actually don't think it's possible. I did try once myself for my own flat, just to make sure only the current tenants were registered there, and the Burgeramt guy said I could ask them a name and they could tell me if that person was registered in my flat, but they could not give me a list of all the people registered in that flat.

If you know of a way to actually do this, that would be quite helpful.

Just give them the name of the tenant and ask them to confirm that name. If they do not confirm it then that person is not registered there. You could also have a look on the letterbox or doorbell to see if there is a name there.

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On 1/31/2021, 6:45:09, fraufruit said:

Does the contract say that she is allowed to sublet? She is only paying Nebenkosten for one person.

 

How did he find out? In particular what the subtenant is paying?

 

The contract seems to say that she's not even entitled to sublet without prior consent and she never asked for authorization, she just communicated she had a roommate at some point.

 

He found out by going to the house and actually talking to the housemate, who told him how much he was being charged for the room.

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well - it is legal for the main tenant to rent out a room to the sub-tenant, even at a profit. 

But in this case the size of that sublet one room could mean, that the main tenant is overcharging his sub-tenant. That is called "Mietwucher" - a punishable crime: https://www.mietrecht.org/untervermietung/untervermietung-gewinn-wucher/

 

My advice: find out, what the maximum legal limit for rent of that one room would be. If that is less than the quoted 500,- € minus "Nebenkosten", you have a case.

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18 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

well - it is legal for the main tenant to rent out a room to the sub-tenant, even at a profit. 

But in this case the size of that sublet one room could mean, that the main tenant is overcharging his sub-tenant. That is called "Mietwucher" - a punishable crime: https://www.mietrecht.org/untervermietung/untervermietung-gewinn-wucher/

 

My advice: find out, what the maximum legal limit for rent of that one room would be. If that is less than the quoted 500,- € minus "Nebenkosten", you have a case.

 

Thanks, that's helpful!

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37 minutes ago, markfusara said:

 

The contract seems to say that she's not even entitled to sublet without prior consent and she never asked for authorization, she just communicated she had a roommate at some point.

 

That alone already is grounds for immediate termination of the contract.

Now, there are loopholes out of that again, e.g. if the main tenant is in financial trouble etc. - but still consent is required per your contract. And the main tenant still has to live there.

 

And again - confirm as suggested above if the main tenant is still registered there.

 

In any case, stop asking the Internet, and start talking to a lawyer for real estate law (Fachanwalt für Immobilienrecht). Initial consultations are about 200 Euros.

 

Please let us know how things go!

 

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On 1/31/2021, 5:56:36, markfusara said:

that her housemate, who's not in the contract, pays to her for his single room more than the whole rent.

 

On 1/31/2021, 5:56:36, markfusara said:

She's not allowed to sublet the whole flat but only one room.

From the above it seems she is renting out a room and has permission to do so. Given that I doubt the amount of rent she gets paid is reason for termination of her contract. I´d rather join Haus & Grund than spending money on a lawyer as the latter will cost more.

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1 hour ago, markfusara said:

 

The contract seems to say that she's not even entitled to sublet without prior consent and she never asked for authorization, she just communicated she had a roommate at some point.

 

He found out by going to the house and actually talking to the housemate, who told him how much he was being charged for the room.

 

I found something saying that it's legal to sublet a portion of the apartment but she should have notified the landlord and she needs to be living there herself as well.  

 

Join Haus & Grund and ask them what you can do. Find out if she's overcharged her tenant. Find out from Meldeamt if she's registered as living there. Find out if you can legally raise her rent. Plan before you do. Follow the law entirely. If you slap her with something that is legally not kosher at the start, you give her ammo to fight everything else you try after that.

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