The tenancy agreement: What landlords must know

The tenancy agreement concluded between you as landlord and the tenant will sometimes serve you for many years as a written obligation and obligatory link to each other.

This makes it all the more important to take a closer look before actively looking for a tenant. In this post we will show you what matters and what is important for you.

Information that must be included

In order for the tenancy agreement to be legally valid at all, it must contain this basic information:

  • Name and address of landlord and tenant
  • Personal information on the tenant, for example identity card number, place, and day of birth
  • Details of the rental property, including address, location of the flat, and additional usable space
  • Agreed rent exclusive of heating and service charges, plus breakdown of ancillary costs and total/rent inclusive of charges
  • Information on the duration of the tenancy (whether for a limited or unlimited period)

The amount of the deposit is also set out in the tenancy agreement. According to the law, this is a maximum of three times the net monthly rent exclusive of heating and service charges, although you are permitted to require a lower deposit. 

A tenancy agreement provides for the future

Paar auf Sofa

From the landlord's point of view, the word future refers to an important factor: a potential adjustment of the rent. Several options exist. Graduated rental agreements and index-linked rents are options for landlords to be able to increase the rent continuously - while complying with the legal requirements, maximum amounts and deadlines. Consequently, they are unpopular with tenants and can lead to reduced demand. Without these clauses for index-linked or graduated rents, increases are also possible, but must be justified in a plausible manner.

Many landlords also believe that a clause for minor repairs should be included in the tenancy agreement. If they are, costs up to 100 euros are to be borne by the tenant, but only if this clause is included in the rental contract. Note that numerous typical rental contract clauses in the past have now been declared null and void, for example those with rigid renovation intervals over the years or those on the general prohibition of keeping pets.

Rental agreements must provide as much clarity as possible in advance

This clarity applies to the entire rental property. For example, is there an attic the tenant may or may not use? This should be stated in the tenancy agreement. Does the ground floor flat have an attached garden? If so, the tenancy agreement must stipulate whether and to what extent it may be (co-)used by the tenant. Does the apartment come with a parking space? The tenancy agreement must document in writing exactly which parking space it is - and whether it has to be paid for separately or whether it is included in the rent.

As you can see, tenancy agreements are always individual and must be tailored to the property and to your wishes as a landlord as to how that property is to be used. We are happy to help: Contact us!

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