Some time ago, you acquired a private apartment as an investment property. For several years, it has been home to reliable tenants with whom you have established a good relationship. But now your daughter urgently needs an apartment. She spent some time studying abroad but is now returning to Germany and wants to start a family. At first glance, nothing could seem more obvious than giving notice to your tenants and registering your apartment for personal use. However, this won’t always be the best solution.
You can apply for personal-use status for yourself, family members or members of your household. But here too, the general conditions of German tenant protection law must be taken into account.
Legal uncertainties when giving tenants notice for reasons of personal use
When terminating tenancies so that you can make personal use of your property, notice periods of between three and nine months apply, depending on how long your tenants have been living there. To ensure a legally compliant termination of the tenancy, the landlord must also describe in the termination notice exactly why they require the apartment themselves. So, there are some legal uncertainties when terminating a tenancy for reasons of personal use. In your case, your now-terminated tenants might, for example, suspect that you are only feigning personal use. Perhaps for whatever reason, your daughter will end up not moving into the apartment after all. Now you risk being taken to court for compensation claims due to feigned personal use.
Consider and compare alternatives
Just to be clear: none of this fundamentally speaks against tenancy termination for reasons of personal use. However, it is worth exploring alternatives. Why not consult an estate agent regarding the specifics of your situation? They will be able to provide you with faster, simpler or even more financially advantageous solutions. It is definitely worth using the market knowledge and expertise of a professional estate agent to gain a clear picture of your various options – and determine exactly which solution is best for you.
Choose the best solution, not the path of least resistance!
One solution might be to sell your tenanted apartment while simultaneously buying a different, vacant apartment. Perhaps this new apartment is even more suited to your daughter’s needs. At the same time, your tenants don’t have to move out if a buyer willing to continue the tenancy can be found. Depending on the circumstances and your financial situation, however, another option might be to retain the tenanted apartment as a financial investment for the future and to additionally buy or rent another apartment for your daughter.
Are you thinking about registering your apartment for personal use? Are you uncertain whether or not this step is sensible or useful; do you wish to avoid any mistakes in the process, and would you like to be advised on possible alternatives? Get in touch with us! We are happy to advise you.
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In this text, the generic masculine is used for better readability. Feminine and other gender identities are explicitly included to the extent necessary for the statement.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute tax or legal advice in individual cases. Please consult a solicitor and/or accountant to clarify the circumstances of your specific case.
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