Immovest Immobilien GmbH

Real Estate Agency in Chiemsee

When does a tenant have to renovate his apartment? – Part I

Frequently in lease agreement it says that the tenant should regularly paint the apartment walls, ceilings and doors – so he is responsible for so-called aesthetic repairs. However, a tenant does not always have to renovate the apartment. The law closely restricts the renovation obligations.
Basically, the law stipulates that the landlord is responsible for all repairs in the apartment, including the aesthetic repairs. However, these are transferable to the tenant with a clause in the lease agreement. Usually, this means that walls, ceilings, radiators, windows and doors need to be painted at intervals, that the tenant needs to renovate the apartment, and that the cost of minor repairs must be covered – assuming the aesthetic repair and minor repair clauses are valid.
Although it is not regulated by law which work the landlord may transfer to the tenant, it is regulated which works belong to the so-called aesthetic repairs:

  • Wallpapering and painting the walls and ceilings
  • Painting radiators, heating pipes, floors, interior doors and windows
  • Painting exterior doors from the inside
  • Cleaning of carpets

All other work is to be done by the landlord, such as:

  • Sanding off and sealing parquet flooring
  • Replacement of tattered carpet
  • Painting the windows and exterior doors from the outside
  • Repairs of heating, sanitary ware and electrical installation

The small repair clause may only refer to items that are frequently used by the tenant, such as taps, light switches, roller blind belts, cooking and heating equipment, and door or window closures. In the amount of the cost limit, the judicature is not united. The upper limit is usually between € 75 and € 100, but in some cases higher amounts have been accepted by the courts. Furthermore, the maximum annual sum to be paid by the tenant is limited: Normally, 200 to 300 euros per annum or six to eight percent of the annual rent are considered as adequate.
In the case, that the invoice amount of a single invoice is higher than the fixed upper limit, the landlord must pay the entire amount, as it is no longer a minor repair.

To be continued…