Apartment handover

What should landlords and tenants pay attention to when handing over the apartment?

Feb. 26, 2023 Documents

Apartment handover

What should landlords and tenants pay attention to when handing over the apartment?


Mistakes or inattention during the handover of the apartment can cost both the landlord and the tenant a lot of money. With a few important pieces of information and a little preparation, you can easily avoid the biggest mistakes:


1. For landlords

Landlords should definitely bring a professional apartment handover protocol in duplicate to the handover appointment. This protocol should record the condition of the apartment, in particular that the apartment has no defects. If the apartment has any defects or signs of use, these should be recorded as specifically as possible in the protocol, so that when the tenants move out, it can be easily determined which defects have been newly added.

Scratches on the laminate floor, for example, could be recorded in the protocol as follows: "In the middle of the living room there is a deeper scratch on the laminate floor about ten centimeters long."

In addition, the handover protocol should also record how many keys (front door key, apartment key, cellar key and mailbox key) have been handed over to the tenant. In most cases, it also makes sense to note the electricity, gas and water meter readings in the protocol. If the apartment is equipped with very valuable inventory, it is advisable to have the tenant sign an inventory list.

The landlord should always bring another witness to the handover of the apartment. The landlord and the witness can then sign the record, testifying to the condition of the apartment in a possible later lawsuit.

Because mold problems are one of the biggest and most expensive nuisances for landlords, I recommend that every landlord again explicitly point out the need for ventilation with the windows fully open during the handover.


2. For tenants

For the tenant, there are also a few things to consider when handing over the property - especially when renting furnished. As a first step, the tenant should thoroughly check all rooms. This inspection is not only a visual inspection of the floor and walls. The tenant should open and close each window of the apartment once, but also check the "tilt" function of the window. All keys handed over should be tested.

All interior doors should be opened and closed once. If there are lights in the apartment, the associated light switches should be checked. The tenant should switch on all electrical appliances once and test their function. In the kitchen, this is especially the extractor hood, so that the tenant does not cause soiling of the walls and ceiling by his cooking. If the apartment is rented with Internet access, this should also be checked.

In a second step, the tenant must then insist that every defect, no matter how small, be recorded in the handover protocol. Otherwise, he runs the risk of having to pay for the damage when he moves out. It would also be an advantage for the tenant to take a witness to the inspection, who would then also sign the protocol.



Attorney for tenancy law Daniel Heinrich Pesch, LL.M.