You like the apartment and both parties agree to the rental? Then the next step is drawing up the lease agreement for temporary living. We take care of that. You only need to sign it.
Our contracts offer legal certainty and are bilingual (German and English). Together with the lease agreement, you will receive an internet agreement, a prepared confirmation of rental for registering with the local authorities (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung) and an agreement regarding the prevention of mold and odors in the apartment.
What is the difference between the different types of rental contracts?
What many people do not know is that normal German tenancy law applies to temporary living (BGB). There are three types of rental agreements, each of which is tailored to a specific situation. Unlike with a vacation rental for which some kind of booking confirmation is generally sufficient, a legally secure rental contract is necessary when renting for a longer period. This protects both parties to the lease. We will clarify the last details with you, for example whether there should be options for giving notice or extending the lease. Then we will draw up the customized, legally compliant rental agreement that you just need to sign.
Here are the characteristics of the different types of rental agreements in brief:
Fixed period lease
Lease agreement for temporary use
Unlimited rental contract
Transparency for comparing rents
In order to compare the rents and price performance ratios of the furnished homes correctly, the apartment rents stated in the descriptions are warm rents, i.e. including all additional expenses (such as utilities).
It is stated in both the exposé and the lease agreement whether the additional costs are included as lump sums or prepayments. The big difference between a lump sum and a prepayment is the later settlement of the actual consumption costs.
What is an all-in rent with lump sums?
In the case of temporary accommodations, consumption costs such as electricity and water are usually included as a lump sum in the rent. This means that there is no separate billing based on actual consumption. This also makes sense for short-term rentals of a few months because otherwise lessees would have to wait for the annual statement to arrive before settling final costs. All costs are already covered by the rent. There is no additional payment or refund.
What is an all-in rent with prepayments?
For longer rental periods, consumption cannot be estimated as accurately, so the rent sometimes includes monthly prepayments for utilities. In the case of prepayments, utilities such as electricity, water and gas are charged according to consumption. The amounts for the prepayments must be stated in the lease. The lessee receives an invoice for the difference between the prepayment and the actual consumption costs. If the lessee paid too much, the difference must be paid back. If the lessee paid too little in prepayments, they must pay the difference. In the case of prepayments, the amounts for the prepayment should be estimated as realistically as possible.
Pay utility costs yourself?
Although this is seldom the case with furnished rentals, it does happen that lessees have to sign up directly for utilities such as electricity and water, therefore receiving utility bills directly. That happens occasionally if, for example, a readable electric meter is present. These costs are on top of the rent.
How much does the final cleaning cost?
In most cases, a final cleaning is agreed upon in the rental contract and can be deducted from the deposit. Usually a final cleaning is agreed upon according to the amount of time and work, so the final cost depends on how well you have treated the apartment. If the rental parties agree on a fixed amount, then this amount always applies to a normal cleaning. An additional expenditure can be charged, for example, if there are substantial lime and scale deposits in the bathroom. You can find information about cleaning here: cleaning interim apartments
Depending on the rental period, there is a security deposit of one or two months’ rent for furnished apartments. This deposit may generally not exceed three exclusive or “cold” rents (as per German law § 551 Abs.1 BGB). If everything was in order at the move-out apartment inspection and all outstanding invoices were paid, the deposit will be refunded in full. The deposit is returned after the end of the lease and may not be offset against the last monthly rent.
For apartments with the KOMFORT service package, the deposit can be held in the City-Wohnen escrow account. Alternatively, many lessors also accept bank or company guarantees.
Who receives the rent and deposit?
You will find the details and bank account information in the lease agreement. In some instances, the rent is transferred to City-Wohnen and the deposit must be paid into the lessor's account. In other cases it might be the other way round. No matter what, the first monthly rent and the deposit are due before move in and key hand over.
You may also pay the first rent and the deposit - by appointment only- directly at our office by credit card or apple pay. The processing fee of the credit company is added for this service so that we can transfer the full amount to the lessor.
For the repayment of the deposit, the legal regulations from German tenancy law apply.
Extending the lease
In many cases, extending the lease is no problem. If the lease includes an extension option, a lessee can extend the lease if desired. However, even without an extension option, it occasionally happens that the lease can be extended. This could be the case if the lessors do not need the apartment on the date initially planned.
Terminating a lease prematurely
A concluded lease agreement is binding for both parties. The contract specifies the term and usually also the period of notice, which is often shorter for temporary accommodation than for open-end contracts. Both parties must fulfill all obligations arising from the lease agreement. An exception can be made if lessees can show a legitimate interest in moving out early.
If lessees wish to move out of a furnished apartment prematurely, the question is how best to regulate this to the satisfaction of both parties to the lease. Naturally, the contracting parties should try to find a good solution, and City-Wohnen is happy to help. The following steps are necessary:
- The contracting parties come to an agreement and commission City-Wohnen
The contracting parties agree that City-Wohnen should broker the apartment to seek a new lessee.
- Finding a new lessee
City-Wohnen advertises the apartment. The search for suitable lessees starts immediately, all advertisements in the respective portals go online and all current customers are informed.
- Create new lease agreement
As soon as an agreement has been reached, City-Wohnen will draw up a new lease agreement.
- Lease termination agreement and apartment handover
Once the lease agreement has been signed and the new lease is definitively established, the original lessees can draw up a lease termination agreement and arrange the move-out handover. We will provide the form for termination agreement.
- Credit for City-Wohnen service fees
City-Wohnen will credit any service fees that may have been overpaid to the new rental.
This is a reliable arrangement for everyone This service from City-Wohnen is free of charge.
Is there a right of withdrawal of two weeks for the lease agreement?
If there is a right of withdrawal, we will send you the necessary documents for the revocation instruction as well as a form for the "request for immediate action." If the revocation instruction is missing, this can have serious consequences because the cancellation period is then automatically extended to one year and 14 days. Rent and deposit would have to be paid back. Under certain circumstances, however, the lessee must pay compensation for lost value.
There is no right of withdrawal in the following cases:
Who is not a commercial lessor?
Private small-scale lessors are not affected by the revocability of the lease. Even if a rental agreement is concluded by email, post or fax with no prior apartment viewing, these "means of remote communication" are not to be evaluated as "organized sales or service system." As of 01.01.2020, the small business limit was raised from € 17,000 gross turnover to € 22,000 gross turnover in the year prior.
Who is a commercial lessor?
This question is mainly answered by the courts and is assessed on a case-by-case basis. If the rental has a commercial character, a natural person can also be an entrepreneur in the sense of consumer law (§ 14 BGB). The assessment according to tax law/trade law is not relevant here. Relevant criteria are:
The revocation instruction took place duly
In this case, there is a withdrawal period of 2 weeks. If you cancel within the two-week withdrawal period, the rent must be paid back, even if the apartment has already been occupied. If the lessee has already moved in and revokes within the two weeks, but has expressly requested the start of the lease (request for immediate action) before the end of the revocation period, claims for damages may arise.
Contract changes during the rental period
In the event of significant changes, the same regulations also apply to lease extensions. Significant changes include rent increases, modernization measures, or termination agreements.