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Questions which are frequently asked with reference to landlord and tenant law issues

What is covered by the term and concept of „interior decorative repairs“ („Schoenheitsreparaturen“)?

The painting of walls or the application of pattern wall-paper and/or oatmeal wallpaper with subsequent paint-cover, the painting of ceilings, the painting of heating radiators and heating pipes, the painting of inside doors, the painting of windows on inside, the painting of outside doors on their inside.

Which dates and deadlines must be respected in tenancy relations?

If it is the tenant who gives notice of termination of the tenancy: it is at the latest on the 3rd work day of a calendar month for the end of the month after the next month (Section 573c sub-section 1 clause 1 of the German Civil Code).

 

If it is the landlord who gives notice of termination of the tenancy: it is at the latest on the 3rd work day of a calendar month for the end of the month after the next month. Once 5 and 8 years have passed since the letting of the home this term is extended for the landlord by respectively 3 months (Section 573c sub-section 2 clause 2 of the German Civil Code).

 

How much time can the landlord take for submitting an account for incidental costs („Nebenkosten“).

How much time can the landlord take for submitting a statement of account for incidental costs (Nebenkosten)?

An annual statement of account must be given for every year for the advance payments which are to be made for the operating costs. 

 

This account must be submitted to the tenant at the latest within 12 months following the end of the accounting period. Otherwise the claiming of a subsequent payment by the landlord would be precluded unless it was not the landlord’s fault that the claim was asserted too late (Section 556 sub-section 3 of the German Civil Code).

When is it allowed for the landlord to increase the rent?

An increase of the rent of up to the local comparative rent is possible if:

 

► the rent so far paid has remained unchanged for at least 15 months,

   

 

► at least 1 year has passed since the last demand for an increased rent 

     was made

 

► the rent was not increased by more than 20% within a 3 year term,  

     and

 

► reference is had to a rent index, a rent database, an expert opinion or   

    three reference homes to justify the increase of the rent

 

 

When does the landlord have to pay the guarantee deposit (Kaution) back?

There is no statutory date or deadline by which a statement of account must be given for the guarantee deposit.

 

Such a statement of account for the guarantee deposit must be given by the landlord as soon as the landlord can estimate whether recourse to the guarantee deposit  will be required in order to satisfy his claims. A verification period of up to 6 months is considered as being reasonably acceptable for the tenant.