Useful information

Good to know: The handover of a rented apartment

The handover of the apartment to the landlord is an important date, because the landlord can assert claims for damages up to six months after the end of the contract. Therefore, when returning it, it is important to precisely record the condition of the apartment and to clarify who will be responsible for what damage.

At the end of the rental period, the tenant must clear and clean the apartment and all adjoining rooms. He has to remove his own fixtures such as laminate or built-in cupboards. Whether the tenant is also responsible for renovation work can be found in the section on cosmetic repairs of the lease contract. It is worth taking a closer look here, because many rental contracts contain invalid clauses.

It is advisable to create a handover report that clearly shows the condition in which the tenant returned the apartment. This also includes making a note of all deficiencies. The tour with the landlord should also lead to storage rooms, the cellar, the terrace or the balcony. In addition to defects such as calcified fittings or holes in the floor, the meter readings for water, electricity and gas also belong in the protocol. Another important point on the list are all keys that have been handed in. With the date and the signatures of the tenant and landlord, the handover protocol becomes legally effective as evidence of the condition of the apartment. The landlord can no longer hold the tenant responsible for damage that is not included in it. If the landlord is not interested in handing over the apartment in person, the tenant should still draw up a handover protocol. With photos of all rooms and the signature of a witness, he can protect himself against nasty surprises.

The tenant has to repair the damage that he caused himself. The tenant does not need to repair what was broken before moving in; provided he can prove it. The tenant is also not responsible for structural defects such as cracks in the wall and the usual signs of wear and tear. However, there are many disputes here. Normal signs of use in the parquet are, for example, the responsibility of the landlord. On the other hand, the tenant must repair deep scratch marks or prints from stiletto heels at his own expense.

Handover protocol forms are available in our download area.