Wohngeld and a Guarantor

13 posts in this topic

Good morning folks, a question - I am about to sign a lease on a small flat, but because my State Pension is not great, this is being done with the help of a guarantor. Would I be able to claim Wohngeld or Grundsicherung im Alter further down the road even though Ive signed the lease and somebody else has signed as my guarantor? Any genuine responses would be highly appreciated.

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Thanks very much @PandaMunich.for your reply and link.... so does this mean if I go sign the lease with my Guarantor also signing and claim Wohngeld or Grundsicherung in the future it won't be refused on the grounds that I have a guarantor? In other words can they can't say to me " No you cant get Wohngeld because your Guarantor can pay the rent then" Sorry for sounding so dumb but I never ever thought I'd find myself in this type of situation.

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11 minutes ago, Yellowsnow said:

so does this mean if I go sign the lease with my Guarantor also signing and claim Wohngeld or Grundsicherung in the future it won't be refused on the grounds that I have a guarantor? 

Yes, it won't be refused, see here for a social court ruling (Sozialgericht) on this topic, explained by the lawyer Thorsten Blaufelder: https://www.thorsten-blaufelder.de/2013/08/mietburgschaft-entbindet-jobcenter-nicht-von-unterkunftsleistungen-sozialrecht-mediation-ludwigsburg/

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Once again you are my 'Good News Guru' @PandaMunich ! My guarantor is a real good bloke and the last thing I want to happen is for him to get into any trouble legally because of me.

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Hi @PandaMunich it's me again! So after reading the links have I got this right, even these links show parents as guarantor for their child? -  My guarantor guarantees my monthly payments to the housing Genossenschaft only, ... but the Wohngeld and Grunsicherung im Alter are benefits paid by the State or government and these benefits get paid by the said governmental departments. I presume I am  entitled to these 2 benefits being a German citizen? The reason I'm asking is that my guarantor is a fantastic guy whon is prepared to help me get long term accommodation and I don't want the Dresden officials approaching him and demanding money from him when I apply for Wohngeld etc. I would be very embarrassed if this was to happen. Just to recap, I'm in receipt of UK state pension of 700 euros and have about 50k in savings. I'd appreciate your comments.

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1 hour ago, Yellowsnow said:

So after reading the links have I got this right, even these links show parents as guarantor for their child?

A Bürgschaft is a Bürgschaft, no matter who is the person that guarantees for you is.

Them being the parents doesn't change anything in that.

It's just that nearly the only people who act as Bürgen are the parents, so these were the only case examples I could find to link to.

 

1 hour ago, Yellowsnow said:

My guarantor guarantees my monthly payments to the housing Genossenschaft only, ...
The reason I'm asking is that my guarantor is a fantastic guy who is prepared to help me get long term accommodation and I don't want the Dresden officials approaching him and demanding money from him when I apply for Wohngeld etc. I would be very embarrassed if this was to happen. 

A Bürgschaft bears no relationship to "Wohngeld" or "Grundsicherung im Alter".

--> the state would never contact your Bürge.

 

The Bürgschaft is just peace of mind for the landlord, since he knows that he will get his rent, no matter what.

Should you not pay your rent in a month, the landlord would ask the Bürge to pay your rent for that month, that's all it is.

 

1 hour ago, Yellowsnow said:

but the Wohngeld and Grundsicherung im Alter are benefits paid by the State or government and these benefits get paid by the said governmental departments. I presume I am  entitled to these 2 benefits being a German citizen?  Just to recap, I'm in receipt of UK state pension of 700 euros and have about 50k in savings.

Yes, as a German citizen you are eligible to get them.

But you will never get both Wohngeld and "Grundsicherung im Alter" at the same time, it's either one or the other.

 

I don't really see your income falling to a level at which you need to switch from "Wohngeld" to "Grundsicherung im Alter".

If utility costs increase, I see the state increasing the Wohngeld, since that affects everybody, they already started doing that in 2021, with the additional part to Wohngeld called "Heizkostenzuschuss" (heating allowance): https://www.finanztip.de/wohngeld/

 

Only if your personal income situation worsens, e.g. if the UK decides to cut the UK state pensions of people living outside the UK or if the GBP/€ exchange rate takes a serious dive, do I see you ever needing the "Grundsicherung im Alter".

Otherwise, I only ever see you getting Wohngeld.

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Wohngeld:

You will get Wohngeld if you still have enough to live on and just need some extra money to help pay the rent, which is the situation you are in now.

 

You are allowed to own up to 60,000€ in assets (this is where they draw the limit, anything above that counts as "erhebliches Vermögen" = "substantial assets") and still get Wohngeld.
So there is no problem, you only have 50,000€ in savings - I assume you don't also own precious antiques or other assets of value?

https://www.finanztip.de/blog/schon-wohngeld-beantragt-zehn-dinge-die-sie-ueber-ihr-recht-auf-hilfe-wissen-sollten/

 

5. Ihr Vermögen wird nicht angetastet

Wohnen Sie alleine, bleiben bei der Wohngeldberechnung 60.000 Euro Vermögen unberücksichtigt. Pro weiteres Haushaltsmitglied sind es weitere 30.000 Euro, so regelt es die Verwaltungsvorschrift zum Wohngeld. Bei einer vierköpfigen Familie werden also 150.000 Euro Vermögen nicht angetastet.


5. your assets will remain untouched
If you live alone, 60,000 euros in assets are not taken into account when calculating housing benefit. For each additional member of the household, a further 30,000 euros are not taken into account, according to the administrative regulations on housing benefit. In the case of a family of four, 150,000 euros in assets are not taken into account.

 

 

These 60,000€ limit for assets is listed in Nr. 21.37 WoGVwV: https://www.verwaltungsvorschriften-im-internet.de/bsvwvbund_28062017_SWII4.htm

  • 21.37
    Erhebliches Vermögen


    (1) Erhebliches Vermögen im Sinne des § 21 Nummer 3 WoGG ist in der Regel vorhanden, wenn die Summe des verwertbaren Vermögens der zu berücksichtigenden Haushaltsmitglieder folgende Beträge übersteigt:


    1. 60 000 Euro für das erste zu berücksichtigende Haushaltsmitglied

 

**************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Grundsicherung im Alter:

If your income should fall below present levels, i.e. if you could no longer live on pension+Wohngeld, you would have to apply for "Grundsicherung im Alter", which is more money than Wohngeld.

 

They didn't - as they had initially planned - also replace the "Grundsicherung im Alter" with the new Bürgergeld.

If they had, they would have applied the same "erhebliches Vermögen" rule as for Wohngeld, so you could have kept up to 60,000€ in assets for the first 2 years of getting ithttps://www.iwkoeln.de/studien/holger-schaefer-buergergeld-statt-hartz-iv.html

 

However, Bürgergeld has just been passed in parliament, so it could also be that they will apply the same 2 year moratorium on you having to use up your savings to "Grundsicherung im Alter".

But they could also stay at the present rules for "Grundsicherung im Alter", which mean that you would need to use up your savings first and they would only allow you to keep 5,000€: https://www.vdk.de/rheinland-pfalz/pages/74365/schonvermoegen_und_vermoegensfreibetraege_bei_der_grundsicherung_im_alter_und_bei_erwerbsminderung

We need to wait and see.

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Thank you so very much for your detailed reply @PandaMunich. You have done so much for me. I am truly grateful for your help and advice. Your replies and help means so much to me and I presume to all the other Toytowners also. Have a wonderful day.

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Hi @PandaMunich , I got this off the Dresden Wohngeld website where they explain the do's and dont's of the application -

Quote :   Erlaeterungen zu ausgewawaehlten Fragen im Wohngeldantrag:

" Berechtigt zum Stellen eines Wohngeldantrages (Wohngeldberechtige/r) ist in der Regel derjenige, der den Mietvertrag/ die Nutzungsvereinbarung abgeschlossen hat sowie der Eigentuemer von Wohnraum. Das gilt auch dann, wenn diese Person wegen Bezug einer Transferleistung selbst von Wohngeld ausgeschlossen ist, aber den Antrag fuer nicht vom Wohngeld ausgeschlossene Haushaltsmitglieder stellt. Haben mehrere Haushaltsmitglieder den Mietvertrag unterschrieben oder sind mehrere Haushaltmitglieder Eigentuemer, ist der Antragsberechtige von allen Haushaltsmitgliedern zu bestimmen" Unquote.

From my bad German and Google Translate It says "As a rule the person who has concluded the user aggreement is entitled to Wohngeld. Because I have zero knowledege of German contracts, especially when a Guarantor is involved, my question is thus - Does ONLY my details appear on the user agreement or does it include BOTH mine and the Guarantor's details? If it is both, then it would seem that I have a problem!

Any help or advice would be highy appreciated.

 

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17 minutes ago, Yellowsnow said:

Hi @PandaMunich , I got this off the Dresden Wohngeld website where they explain the do's and dont's of the application -

Quote :   Erlaeterungen zu ausgewawaehlten Fragen im Wohngeldantrag:

" Berechtigt zum Stellen eines Wohngeldantrages (Wohngeldberechtige/r) ist in der Regel derjenige, der den Mietvertrag/ die Nutzungsvereinbarung abgeschlossen hat sowie der Eigentuemer von Wohnraum. Das gilt auch dann, wenn diese Person wegen Bezug einer Transferleistung selbst von Wohngeld ausgeschlossen ist, aber den Antrag fuer nicht vom Wohngeld ausgeschlossene Haushaltsmitglieder stellt. Haben mehrere Haushaltsmitglieder den Mietvertrag unterschrieben oder sind mehrere Haushaltmitglieder Eigentuemer, ist der Antragsberechtige von allen Haushaltsmitgliedern zu bestimmen" Unquote.

From my bad German and Google Translate It says "As a rule the person who has concluded the user aggreement is entitled to Wohngeld. Because I have zero knowledege of German contracts, especially when a Guarantor is involved, my question is thus - Does ONLY my details appear on the user agreement or does it include BOTH mine and the Guarantor's details? If it is both, then it would seem that I have a problem!

Any help or advice would be highy appreciated.

 

Here's what DeepL made of this text:

  • As a rule, the person entitled to apply for housing benefit (person entitled to housing benefit) is the person who has concluded the tenancy agreement/user agreement as well as the owner of the living space. This also applies if this person is excluded from housing benefit himself/herself because of receiving a transfer benefit (e.g. ALG II = Hartz IV, or Sozialhilfe, or Grundsicherung im Alter), but submits the application for household members not excluded from housing benefit. If several household members have signed the tenancy agreement or if several household members are owners, the person entitled to apply must be determined by all household members.

    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

The Bürge is not a party to your rental contract, he will have to sign a separate Bürgschaftserklärung, see here for Bürgschaftserklärung formulated by lawyers: https://www.etl-rechtsanwaelte.de/zeigedoc/muster/Buergschaftserklaerung

--> is not a "person who has concluded the tenancy agreement", he doesn't live there, you are that person.

--> you have to sign the application for Wohngeld.

 

And even if he did also live in the flat, there is that other sentence from the Dresden Wohngeld website text, which states that he could still nominate you to apply for Wohngeld:

  • "If several household members have signed the tenancy agreement or if several household members are owners, the person entitled to apply must be determined by all household members."

****************************************************************

 

Normally, the landlord is not allowed to ask for a "Bürgschaft" on top of you paying the 3 months of Kaution.

--> the Bürge has to give that Bürgschaft "voluntarily", only then it is allowed on top of the Kaution.

If the landlord was the one who suggested the Bürgschaft, it would probably be classified as not having been "voluntary" and be thrown out if it ever came to a court case, see here: https://www.haufe.de/recht/deutsches-anwalt-office-premium/mietsicherheit-3-monatsmieten-plus-buergschaft_idesk_PI17574_HI11372188.html

  • Rental security: 3 months' rent plus guarantee?
     Article from Deutsches Anwalt Office Premium

    Rudolf Stürzer (he's the boss of the local landlord association here in Munich)

    Principle
    In residential tenancies, the amount of rent security that the landlord can require from the tenant is limited by law to 3 months' rent. This means that the landlord may not demand an additional security deposit from a tenant who has already paid a cash deposit amounting to 3 months' rent (§ 551 BGB). The tenant may reclaim securities exceeding this amount despite the existence of a corresponding agreement, as he has provided them "without legal grounds" in the sense of §§ 812 ff. BGB.
     

    Exceptions
    According to case law, there are only a few exceptions to this principle: According to an older judgement of the Federal Court of Justice (judgement of 7 June 1990, NJW 1990 p. 2380), the agreement of an additional guarantee can be effective if the guarantor - in the present case the father of the student seeking accommodation - voluntarily and without being asked promises the landlord a guarantee in the event of the conclusion of the contract after the latter has already refused to conclude it once. If a third party thus gives the landlord an unsolicited guarantee under the condition that a residential tenancy agreement is concluded and the tenant is not recognisably burdened by this, the guarantee is effective after the condition has occurred. The landlord can then claim payment from the guarantor if the tenant does not fulfil his contractual obligations.
     

    Strict requirements
    Accordingly, according to a new ruling of the Berlin Regional Court, even if a security deposit amounting to three times the net cold rent has already been agreed, there is no inadmissible overcollateralisation (within the meaning of Section 551 (4) of the German Civil Code) if a third party, out of friendly attachment to the tenant, voluntarily provides the landlord with a surety so that a tenant who is a friend and has no assets can obtain the flat. However, in the event of a dispute, the landlord bears the burden of proof that the guarantee was actually voluntarily offered and provided, even a suggestion by the landlord to provide the additional guarantee can call into question whether the guarantee into question.
     

    (Landgericht Berlin, ruling of 1.9.2016, 6 O 70/16, ZMR 2017 p. 562)
     

    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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Thanks very much once again @PandaMunich...I will be renting the flat from 14 June 2022 from a large Wohnungsbaugenossenschaft/ housing association. I will be the only one living there. The chap at the Genossenschaft was the one that suggested a Buerge after seeing my monthly UK pension of 700 euros pm. So I gave them 3 months Kaution and a Buerge.I sign the contract next week. I had a look at the court case link and I saw that the father also had to sign the agreement!...or am I misreading? So are you saying even if my Buerge signs the contract it won't affect my entitlement to Wohngeld?. Ever since Brexit I have become a nervous wreck.

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1 hour ago, Yellowsnow said:

I had a look at the court case link and I saw that the father also had to sign the agreement!...or am I misreading? So are you saying even if my Buerge signs the contract it won't affect my entitlement to Wohngeld?. Ever since Brexit I have become a nervous wreck.

Yes, that's what I am saying, even if 10 people signed the rental contract and lived in that flat, they want only one of them to apply for Wohngeld for the lot of them.

 

And no, again: you having a Bürge does not mean that you have extra income.

The Wohngeld people only care about the income you have, which will be your UK state pension plus whatever capital income (interest, dividends?) you earn from your 50,000€ of savings.

 

Anyway, that court case with the father also having signed on the rental contract was about a case in 1985: https://www.haufe.de/recht/deutsches-anwalt-office-premium/bgh-urteil-vom-07061990-ix-zr-1690_idesk_PI17574_HI537938.html

The next court case is about a rental in 2015, i.e. 30 years later and there it was done as it is usually done now, with the Bürge having signed a separate Bürgschaftsurkunde: https://openjur.de/u/2254662.html

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