Information to be included in the handover record

The handover record, an official inventory and statement of state of repair/inventory of fixtures, is not a mere formality, but an important security for tenant, landlord, buyer and seller. In simple terms, it records the condition of the flat or house - including all defects, damage and special features that pass to the new owner or tenant. For tenants, the handover record is valuable security in order not to be held responsible later for damages already existing when moving in. It is equally important in a change of ownership.

Legal situation

The law does not require a handover record. Consequently, there are no legal requirements regarding the information contained in it. This makes it all the more important that all parties involved take a close look and mutually agree on the information that is recorded in writing in the handover record.

Basic information in the handover record

First of all, all basic information should be included in the handover record, especially in the case of a rental:

  • Name and address of tenant and landlord
  • Information on the property
  • Date of handover 
  • Date of creation of the handover record
  • Inventory

Especially important: Defects present at the time of moving in (or purchase) should be fully documented in the handover record. If, for example, a door is damaged and this damage is not recorded, a tenant could be held responsible for this damage when moving out at a later date - along with the financial obligations that go with it. The same applies in the event of a change of ownership: If some roof tiles on the house are loose when the property is handed over, this should be recorded in the handover record. Otherwise, the buyer could later demand the repair from the seller and claim that the damage had been concealed.

Other typical defects that should be recorded in a handover record:

Makler übergibt Schlüssel an Paar

  • Cracked tiles
  • Scratches and damage to hard floors
  • Defects in a fitted kitchen
  • Broken or missing skirting boards
  • Significant damage to wallpaper
  • Damaged doors, door frames, windows, or window frames
  • Broken equipment that belongs to the property, for example non-functioning ventilation systems or radiators

Information required for settlement and subsequent handover

There is more to a flat or a house than just a roof and a few walls. The handover record must reflect this, so do not forget information such as:

  • Number and type of keys issued
  • Condition of the cellar
  • Meter readings for gas, water and electricity or the filling level of the heating oil tank

Use of the handover record when changing tenants again

Tenants are obliged to hand over the flat in the condition agreed in the tenancy agreement when they move out - this usually means generally clean, having removed all major dirt, food spills and limescale. They must repair any damage they caused during their tenancy. The often rigid renovation clauses in tenancy agreements, on the other hand, are ineffective and tenants do not have to comply with them.

This is where the handover record drawn up at the time comes into play: Any damage recorded there does not have to be repaired. This is precisely why it is so important to generate it thoroughly and completely.

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