Taking over a rental contract with a termination waver

2 posts in this topic



Would love some advice on a slightly unusual situation.

Some friends (a couple) are splitting up six months into their year-long termination waver on an apartment. We are desperately trying to find an apartment (Berlin's rental market is a disaster at the moment) so it would be mutually beneficial if we move in to their apartment. They have found their own places to live. 


Because of the termination waver lasting until October, we are trying to do this in two stages. Stage 1: it seems it's quite straightforward to change one name on the contract now (the landlord has agreed in principle), so we are looking at keeping one of them on the contract until October, and adding me by addendum. This suits us because my partner will be working away a lot until then, so won't ever be more than a visitor for this period so we won't be doing anything untoward in terms of un-contracted people living in the apartment. Stage 2: in October, we want to become the main renters of this apartment.


My questions are:

1) what is my status on this contract until October. Am I an equal Hauptmieter? 

2) is there anything stopping the second name being changed by addendum in October to add my partner to the contract? Or will it need to be a whole new contract between the landlord and me and my partner?

3) what is the risk that the landlord will refuse to swap out the second original tenant/start a new contract with us? On what grounds could they refuse, and how can we best avoid this situation? We have told him that I would like to stay on beyond October. 

4) we need to come up with an agreement between the original tenants and us about how the deposit is handled. Does anyone have any experience regarding transferring deposits as a nachmieter?

4) any other big risks we are walking into? 

Given how terrible the rental situation in Berlin is, with the Mietendeckel and covid, I don't think there are any rental situations that are entirely risk free, especially for relatively recent arrivals in Berlin. As freelance artists, we are unlikely to win a flat on the open market (even though we have steady incomes, and own a flat in London which is rented out), so finding a solution like this through friends and acquaintances is really our only option. So a little risk is fine. I just don't want to do anything illegal, or anything that might prejudice the landlord against us and damage our future relationship with them. We love the apartment, can see ourselves staying there for a good period of time, and can easily afford it, and I wish we could just declare this to the landlord and take the whole rental contract over now, but lots of people have told us they are very unlikely to accept this, and so this two-step approach seems preferable. 

Any thoughts greatly appreciated!!


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I don't think you can "take over" a rental contract but the owner could make a new one just for you. Have you asked? 


Don't be surprised if she/he wants to raise the rent for the next tenant. That is usual.


Mind you, I've never heard of a "termination waver" - only giving the 3 months notice when you want to move out.


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