How do you pay the apartment rent

Rent & rent payment: you need to know that

The rent payment is the main obligation of the tenant

Many Germans do not have their own property, but live instead in a house or apartment for rent.

This means that the owner lets them use the apartment. In return, they commit to pay a fee: the rent.

This is between the tenant and the landlord agreed in the lease. The amount of rent for an apartment often decides whether a prospective tenant moves in there or not.

A few questions arise: What are the costs of the rent? Can the rent amount be changed? And what happens if the tenant is in arrears with the rental payment? This guide will give you the answers.

The most important thing about rent

What is included in the rent for living space?

The basic rent must always be paid with the rent for an apartment. The payment of operating costs and surcharges, on the other hand, are only due if this is stated in the rental agreement.

What is important with regard to the amount of the rent?

Landlords can only set the amount of rent in the lease in theory at will. In practice, they have to adhere to some restrictions which, if ignored, may lead to an administrative offense or even a criminal offense.

What are the consequences of late payment of the rent?

If the rent is increasingly being paid late, this can justify an ordinary or immediate termination of the rental agreement.

Important topics relating to rent

Risk of loss of rentRent increaseRental reductionRenter's associationCalculate building interestShadow rentStaggered rent

Rent amount: How can the rent be calculated?

The amount of the rent is agreed in the rental agreement. If the tenant signs this, he agrees also the rent payment to. But how does the amount even come about?

The rent that the tenant pays each month is usually a total rent that is increased from different proportions can put together:

  • the net cold rent (also known as the basic rent)
  • the gross rent (payment for cold operating costs such as property tax, garbage collection, etc.)
  • the gross heating rent (payment for heating and hot water costs)
  • Surcharges

The net cold rent is the payment for the provision of use of the apartment, i.e. the rent in the narrower sense, and thus always to pay. The tenant only undertakes to pay the other shares if this is the case expressly in the rental agreement was agreed.

It is therefore widespread that ancillary costs are also paid with the rent, but that is not a matter of course.

If your rental agreement does not explicitly state “The tenant undertakes to assume the heating and operating costs” or something comparable, your landlord can do so don't ask of you.

Surcharges on the rent can be charged if the tenant is in the context of the apartment use additional benefits be granted. These include B .:

  • Furnishing surcharge: The apartment is for rent equipped with furniturethat the tenant may use.
  • Surcharge for sub-letting: The tenant is allowed to add one or more Subtenant to record.
  • Commercial surcharge: The apartment for rent or individual rooms are also allowed for commercial purposes be used.
  • Parking space or garage surcharge: With the surcharge on the rent a garage or a parking space can also be used for a car or a motorcycle.

These restrictions apply when determining the rent

In theory the landlord can determine the amount of the rent at his own discretion. However, he should do this carefully and not simply set an amount on his own. Because he sets the rental price too low at, he loses potential income from renting, while at the same time he is still working for the maintenance of the rented apartment must come up.

If he puts the rent, however too high found it can be difficult to find a suitable tenant. Then it can happen that the apartment is empty for a longer period of time and he at all no rental income receives.

And even if the landlord can theoretically set the rent freely, they are in reality Imposed limits - at least upwards.

This is z. B. the case if Rent exuberance is present. Lawyers speak of usury when the landlord exploits a tenant's predicament and sets an excessive rent. This must the local comparative rent by more than 50 percent, so that the offense of usury is fulfilled.

According to Section 291 of the Criminal Code (StGB) with a fine or a prison sentence punished for up to three years.

The extent to which the landlord takes advantage of a tenant's predicament always has to be in individual cases be examined by the courts. Rent usury can only be used if this is proven. Excessive rent alone represents no crime yet represent.

However, the landlord may commit an administrative offenseif he sets a rent that is too high. In places where there is little supply of comparable living space, the fixed rent may be the local comparative rent not by more than 20 percent exceed. This is laid down in Section 5 of the Economic Criminal Law (WiStG).

When determining the rent, landlords should avoid both the criminal offense of usury and an administrative offense under the WiStG. In 2015 there was a third restriction: the rent brake.

This is especially true in the metropolitan areas with tight housing markets. In these locations, the stipulated rent may be the local comparative rent by a maximum of 10 percent exceed. This is what Section 556d of the German Civil Code (BGB) stipulates.

Decide for which city or municipality a rental price brake is prescribed the state governments.

Can the landlord increase the rent?

The rent stipulated in the contract is not always unchangeable. Under certain circumstances, landlords have the right a rent increase perform. This must either already be specified in the rental agreement - in the form of a graduated or index rent - or according to the legal regulations in tenancy law be allowed.

This is the case, though

  • the rent increase serves to reduce the rent to the local rent index adapt, or
  • Modernization measures and a related improvement in the apartment justify an increase in rent.

However, the rent can also be used here not increased arbitrarily rent brakes, the rules on usury and the local comparative rents must be observed.

Can the tenant reduce the rent?

If the contractual use of the apartment is restricted due to a defect or a missing property, tenants have Right to rent reduction.

Here are some examples of reasons that can justify a reduction in rent:

  • Noise pollution (from neighbors, construction noise, etc.)
  • Moisture and mold growth in the home
  • Failure of electricity, hot water or heating
  • Missing apartment properties that were guaranteed in the contract (insufficient living space, missing built-in kitchen, etc.)
The landlord must ensure that the rental apartment is in the condition which the rental agreement specifies. If he does not comply, the tenant can reduce the payment of the rent until the contractual condition is (re) established.

Do landlords have to pay tax on the rent?

Taxes must be paid for income from rent, as this is generally the case in Germany any income is taxable. The amount of taxes depends on the landlord's income tax rate.

The rental income is taxable in the year in which the rental is received by the landlord and must be paid separately in the Appendix V of the tax return Pop up.

The legal regulation for the taxation of rent can be found in Section 21 of the Income Tax Act (EStG).

Late rental payments: These consequences are possible

Usually it is for the monthly rent payment a deadline in the lease set. According to § 556b BGB, tenancy law states that the rent by the third working day of the month is payable.

It is sufficient if the rent is on that day transferred it does not have to be received by the landlord. That was a decision of the Federal Court of Justice from October 2016 because of the risk of a transfer delay by the bank not imposed solely on the tenant (Az: VIII ZR 222/15).

But what happens if the tenant actually pays the rent too late? If the late payment of the rent is a one-off thing, the tenant must no consequences yet to fear. However, if this happens more frequently and the tenant is more than a month behind schedule with more than one monthly rent, the landlord has the right to grant him cancel. This also applies if the rent is on time but incomplete is paid.

Termination due to unpunctual rent: does the statutory notice period apply?

A ordinary Termination due to late payment of the rent is generally permissible. The landlord must comply with the contractual notice period. This in turn is allowed not be shorter than the statutory notice period, which is calculated for landlords based on the duration of the tenancy:

Duration of the tenancyNotice period for the landlord
less than 5 years3 months
between 5 and 8 years6 months
longer than 8 years9 months

But also one extraordinary Cancellation is possible in the event of late rental. With this form of termination, no notice period has to be observed and the tenancy can be practically ended immediately become.

This is only allowed if important reasons exist, according to which the terminating tenant cannot be expected to continue the tenancy until the end of the notice period.

The late payment the rent can be such a reason according to § 543 BGB, if the tenant

  • is in arrears with the payment of the rent or a not insignificant part of the rent for two consecutive dates or
  • is in arrears with the payment of the rent in a period that extends over more than two dates, which corresponds to the rent for two months.

However, before an extraordinary termination can take place, the landlord must give the defaulting tenant a warning due to late payment of the rent. If he does not react and continues to pay his rent late, he can be terminated without notice.

Note: If you want to move into a rented apartment, the new landlord can ask you to give him a Rental payment confirmation (also known as a "rental debt clearance confirmation"). This must be completed by your old landlord, who confirms that you have always paid the rent due to him in full and on time.

The landlord is, however not obliged to issue and can refuse to confirm the rental payment - especially if you have been in arrears with the rental in the past.

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Rent & rent payment: you need to know that
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