Changes of tenancy law in 2019

As of 1.1.2019, a change in tenancy law came into force.
Landlords can now transfer fewer modernization costs to tenants, and tenants can complain of violations of the rental price brake.

It is the “Law supplementing the regulations on the permissible rental amount at the beginning of the lease and for adapting the regulations on the modernization of the rental property (Mietrechtspensation Act – MietAnpG)” and these are the new regulations:

 only eight percent modernization allocation and a capping limit

The modernization costs can only be transferred to the tenants at an annual rate of 8 percent, instead of the previous 11 percent. this applies to modernizations announced from 1.1.2019.
In addition, a cap of 3 euros per square meter applies within 6 years. However, if the rent is less than € 7 per square meter, the rent may only increase by € 2 within 6 years as a result of modernization.

Calculation of the modernization allocation will be easier

The calculation of the modernization fee or modernization rent increase will be facilitated by a simplified procedure for landlords. At a cost of a maximum of 10,000 euros landlords can deduct 30 percent for maintenance costs and the remainder can be allocated as modernization costs.

Obligation to inform the landlord about the amount of the pre-rent

Landlords are obliged in the future to give their new tenants before the conclusion of the lease unsolicited information about the previously agreed rent, if they (under § 556e para. 1 BGB) with reference to the pre-rent a lease agree that above the permissible after the rental price brake Rent is. If the landlord relies on other exceptions to the rental price brake, such as a previous modernization (§ 556e para 2 BGB), a first letting after comprehensive modernization (§ 556f sentence 2 BGB) or a first-time use and leasing after the 1.10.2014 (§ 556f sentence 1 BGB) – he must in the future uninvited to inform the tenants about these circumstances.
If he does not, he can demand a maximum of ten percent above the local comparative rent, even if there are circumstances that would justify a higher rent. However, the defaulting landlord can catch up and appeal for the exemptions two years later.

Tenant can reprimand violations

For tenants, it is now easier to reprimand violations of the rent brake. So far, the complaint had to contain the facts of the complaint of the rent, now sufficient in the future a simple complaint. If landlord refers to one of the legal exceptions, the tenant can refer to this. If the landlord does not provide any information, the tenant needs no explanation. Furthermore, however, the renter can only reclaim rents that have become due after the lawful reprimand.

Outmodernizing makes it difficult

If, after the announcement of a refurbishment, work is not started or paused within twelve months, then a landlord’s breach of duty is presumed to be the result of a rent increase of 100 per cent or more or the tenants are significantly encumbered. The landlord can relieve itself with a comprehensible objective reason. The deliberate “outmodernization” can be punished as an administrative offense with a fine of up to 100,000 euros.

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