BGH relieves tenants from renovations
The Federal Court of Justice has ruled that tenants who have already moved into an apartment in need of renovation are not obliged to return the renovated apartment to the landlord upon moving out.
The background to this was the customary practice in Berlin to contractually impose an obligation on tenants to carry out cosmetic repairs and thus to renovate the apartment at their expense without having provided a renovated apartment themselves as landlord.
The BGH decided now: This practice disadvantages the tenant inappropriately and appropriate shifting of the obligation to accomplish beauty repairs is invalid, as far as the dwelling was already with move in need of renovation.
In the meantime, this judgment is again restricted by the Regional Courts. For example, the Berlin Regional Court ruled that if the tenant was compensated (e.g. waiver of the first month’s rent due to lack of renovation), the clause-based passing on of the cosmetic repairs to the tenant remains effective.
These rulings follow a series of recent rulings by the highest courts, which continue to restrict tenants’ obligation to carry out cosmetic repairs.
Tenants whose leases have been in effect for several years can therefore be advised to take a close look at whether or not their renovation clause is effective on moving out. Everyone wants to save time and money, especially those who are planning a move. Legal advice can provide clarity in matters of tenancy law in Lüneburg.