We all have horror stories as a Renter in Germany. From Horrendous living conditions to Safetey hazards and Outright unlawful behaviour. That is why I want to share 9 Rights as a Renter in Germany that you must know. As a Student my Landlord asked to see my passport and when I showed it to him, he snatched it away from me just because my friend in the appartement was a bit late on his rent.
That was a horrifing experience and I did not know what I could do. That is why in this video I share things that Your German Landlord Cannot Get Away With. I will also share why you are not responsible to clean mold in your rental apartment. Ive learnt most of these the hard way but I do not want you to suffer like I did.
Renters Rights in Germany
Germany is quite friendly for Renters compared to other countries, but there are cases where landlords try to take advantage of their Tenants. Specially if the tenant is an Expat and they do not know their rights.
This article helps you know 9 Rights as a Renter in Germany that you might not be aware of
Landlords are obliged to maintain or repair a property . This means that the landlord has to bear the costs for necessary repairs to water, electricity and gas pipes. The landlord may only ask the tenant to pay for small repairs to objects in the apartment . For example, the tenant has to pay for the replacement of light switches, door handles or damaged pull cords on blinds. According to law, the upper limit for such repairs is between 75 to 100 euros.
But: The individual limit or the maximum limit must be specified in the rental agreement . If such regulations are missing in the rental agreement, you as a tenant are released from this payment.
Who pays for repairs? Renter or Landlord?
If there are some small repairs needed to make the apartment look better, the landlord is responsible for fixing them IF the rental agreement doesn’t say otherwise or if it’s written incorrectly. The most important thing is how the apartment looked when the tenant moved in. If the apartment was not in good condition when the tenant moved in and there was no agreement about fixing it, then the landlord and the tenant will have to share the costs of fixing it.
Removal of defects and damage
In principle, landlords are obliged to hand over an apartment to tenants in a faultless and proper condition and to maintain it during the rental period. If things get damaged from normal use, like floors that get worn out, pipes with leaks or window frames that are broken, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to fix them.
Elimination of mold as a Renter in Germany
When there is mold in an apartment, it’s important to figure out who is responsible for getting rid of it.
According to a court ruling ” if there is mold in the apartment, the landlord has to prove that it’s not because of things like leaks in the building. If the landlord can’t prove that, then they have to pay for getting rid of the mold and any other problems that come with it.
But if the landlord can prove that the mold is not their fault, then the tenant has to prove that they didn’t cause the mold by doing things like not ventilating or heating the apartment enough. If the renter can’t prove that, then they have to pay for getting rid of the mold.
Sometimes tenants try to fix mold problems themselves by just painting over it or using anti-mold sprays. This is not a good idea because it doesn’t get rid of the real problem and the mold can still be there. The mold can also be deeper than what’s visible on the surface.
It’s common for people to wait too long before telling the landlord about the mold. But Legally , if there is mold in the apartment, the tenant HAS to tell the landlord about it.
Sometimes both the building and the tenant’s behavior can cause mold, which is quite common. In this case, an expert would need to come in and look at the situation to figure out who is responsible.
Even if both the landlord and the tenant did something wrong, there is a court ruling that says the landlord still has to get rid of the mold.
Landlords have to give tenants a bill for utilities every year if the tenant pays for utilities in advance every month. like most people do in their NEBENKOSTEN. A period of one year must be observed to give the bill. This means that the utility bill for 2022 must be prepared by December 31, 2023. If the landlord doesn’t do it by then, they can’t charge the tenant any extra money. But the tenant still gets any money back that they overpaid.
Providing the heating
The landlord has to make sure that the apartment can be heated to at least 20 degrees Celsius during the heating season, which is from October 1st to April 30th. If the landlord can’t do this, the tenant can lower the rent, but only by a reasonable amount.
Announcement of House Rules
The landlord must inform the tenant of the house rules . This means they have to show the rules to the tenant. In order for it to have legal validity, it must be part of the rental agreement. If this is the case, the tenant also documents their acknowledgment of the house rules with their signature.
Garden maintenance for Renters in Germany
Who is responsible for garden maintenance depends on the content of the rental agreement . Property managers regularly delegate gardening work to the appropriate service providers, with the costs being passed on to the tenants . For example, if the lease contains the wording that the tenant takes care of the garden, this refers to minor work. Time-consuming work, for example laying a new lawn, removing a dead tree and pruning a tall tree are all part of the landlord’s area of responsibility.
Accountability for Renters in Germany
The landlord has to make sure that the costs for things like utilities and maintenance are reasonable and normal. They have to show the tenant receipts and invoices if the tenant asks for them. This is so the landlord can explain why the costs went up and prove that they are reasonable. However, the landlord doesn’t have to choose the cheapest option for things.
The things I have mentioned in this video are protected by law and you should not be afraid to assert them if necessary. What my landlord did at the time was Totally Illegal and I could have taken him to court and would have easily won. So If you have any questions or concerns about your rights as a tenant, seek legal advice , In this article I share some of the best legal Insurances in Germany.
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Disclaimer: None of the content in this article is meant to be considered as investment advice, as I am not a financial expert and am only sharing my experience with stock investing. The information is based on my own research and is only accurate at the time of posting this article but may not be accurate at the time you are reading it.