Practice of modernization consulting

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Dear Mr. Scheidacker,

I have a tenancy question for you. In a rented apartment managed by us, water damage was caused by a cracked bathtub and leaky silicone joints at the connection between the edge of the bathtub and the wall. The owner must now decide whether

  • the tub should only be carefully removed and the floor and wall tiles there should be newly insulated in the splash water area in order to then install a new tub there, or
  • whether the entire bathroom from the construction period will be demolished and replaced by a modern bathroom with more modern tiles, a modern shower, etc.

When making a decision, it is important to ask whether the costs of modernization can be passed on in part or not, and if so, to what extent. Can you give me an opinion on this?

Sincerely yours,


Dear sir …,

I can't tell you whether you can pass on the costs of a bathroom modernization and to what extent. That Law allowed 8% annually, but the BGH restricts this to "pure modernization costs" and demands a deduction of fictitious maintenance costs. These should be estimated based on the age of the building and the condition of the modernized component. The estimate is naturally made before the courts in a way that cannot be predicted in advance, ie at the planning stage.

In addition, the component must of course represent a modernization as such. Why a shower increases the value of living compared to a bathtub needs to be explained and is ultimately subject to judicial assessment. If tiles were in there and are going to be put in again in the future, you would also have to explain why the new tiles protect against splashing water better than the old ones, etc.

As a result, you will not be able to allocate a part of the bathroom modernization that cannot be determined in advance, which can be between 0 and 100%.

Sincerely yours,

Yours, Tobias Scheidacker