Administrator practice rent cover: Part 1 - direct debits

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Seminar on the rental cover on February 17.02.2020, XNUMX
Part 1 - Direct Debits
Part 2 - “Receiving” Payments
Part 3 - Everything not so hot because it's unconstitutional anyway?
Part 4 - Is only the landlord or the administrator liable?
Part 5 - Conclusion of new leases
Part 6 - Obligation to notify of key date rent immediately after entry into force without a period
Part 7 - Obligation to provide information about the circumstances of the calculation immediately after entry into force without a period
Part 8 - General information and submission obligation to the authorities immediately after entry into force without a period
Part 9 - Obligation to provide information about the circumstances of the calculation within 2 months of the entry into force
Part 10 - Notification of modernization prior to entry into force within 3 months after entry into force
Part 11 - What Happens After the Law Expires?
Part 12 - Rents cut in 9 months
Part 13 - What is a "Request" with fines?


At the moment, my work consists of little more than talking about and advising on the rental cover. The same practical questions arise again and again, both among owners and administrators. I will answer them in a blog series over the next few days, as I judge the current state of affairs.

There are things you should know immediately and those that have some time. I'm going to work this out in that order, which means the most urgent things now and the later things later.

After my Seminar on February 17.02.2020th, XNUMX I will also formulation aids set here. I don't want to do that before, because coordinating with colleagues and thinking about the right content etc. takes a little more time than we all had before.

Please refrain from telephone inquiries to understand my recommendations or tips; in the course of the series one or the other will explain itself. For the rest, I am happy to answer questions by email and will incorporate the answers here.

Recommendation: Stop rent collection by direct debit

Section 11 (1) no.4 of the Rent Act (here Page 20 below / 21 above) determines that it constitutes an administrative offense and is fined up to EUR 500.000 if you request an impermissibly high rent. Pursuant to Section 3 (1) Sentence 1 of the Renting Act (see above, page 13), rent is not permitted from the entry into force of the law above the effective rental date of June 18.06.2019, XNUMX for existing contracts.

On the one hand, this means that Rent increases with effect after June 18.06.2019, XNUMX, whether from a rent index increase, modernization, season or index adjustment, from the entry into force as inadmissible apply and it one penalty offense fulfilled if you request their payment. On the other hand, it means that demanding ineffectively agreed Rent is fined. Is ineffective after Section 556g (1) sentence 1 BGB rental fee, the above of the regulations for Rental price brake is, for example, when the contract was concluded after June 01.06.2015, 10, which exceeded XNUMX% of the local comparable rent without an exception. Literally:

"An agreement that deviates from the provisions of this sub-chapter to the detriment of the tenant is invalid."

The state of Berlin has created a penalty for violations of the rental price brake, and this immediately after the rental law comes into force.

Direct debit is such a "request". It is therefore advisable to refrain from doing this immediately.

From now, but at the latest from March

According to the press report, the MietWoG was decided today. It comes into force the day after its publication in the Berlin Law and Regulations Gazette. If this is before the third working day in February, the direct debit of rents that increased after 18.06.2019/XNUMX/XNUMX would already be in February improper, otherwise only in March.

Rent increases are not invalid.

We all assume that the law is unconstitutional. This means that the rent increases, which took effect after June 18.06.2019, 18.06.2019, are not remedied substantively. Your civil law entitlement will still exist in the future. However, you may no longer "demand" payment if you do not want to risk an (immediately enforceable) fine. In this respect, a rent arrears at the tenant in the amount of the rent increase difference after June XNUMX, XNUMX.

When communicating with the tenant, however, it is important that you avoid making a contract change that leads to a reduction. So you must not inform the tenant that his rent is now "reduced" or that you "waive" the difference or similar. Neither in the express nor in the tacit communication or your handling you may behave in a way that signals the tenant that his rent should now be contractually reduced. Otherwise you will lose the opportunity to request the missing amounts as soon as the law has been repealed by the BVerfG.

Notification to the tenant

Regarding the termination of the direct debit, I recommend a letter to all your tenants with the following, concise content:

"Dear tenant,

from now on we will no longer collect rents by direct debit. Please arrange to pay your monthly rent independently in the future. The rental account is: IBAN…

Sincerely yours,"

You do not need to tell here what amount you expect to pay in the future, nor should you. Because asking for a rent that is too high is fined, asking for a rent that is too low (reduced) could be understood as an offer of a contractual rent reduction, which you want to avoid.

Accepting excessive rental payments is also subject to a fine upon entry into force. I'll deal with that in the next post.

So that the rental cover is good for something:

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