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Moving In or Moving Out for Apartment: 8 Important Tips and Checklist!

An apartment handover takes place both at the beginning and at the end of a rental period. The anticipation of the new apartment is of course great. But don’t lose sight of your old apartment between moving out and moving in. We have the most important facts, tips and steps for you, including a practical checklist for a smooth apartment handover. Have fun while reading!

When will the moving apartment take place?

You will have to hand over the apartment both when you move in and when you move out. In both cases, you should be well prepared and know your rights and obligations. That’s why we’re preparing you here. In both cases, all defects should be recorded in writing.

When does the deposit have to be paid and when will you get it back?

What must be done and what can no landlord demand from you according to tenancy law? We give you an overview so that you know exactly what to expect when the rental property is handed over.

Rights for tenantsObligations for tenants
You don’t have to undertake any renovation work as long as you haven’t caused any major damage, just signs of normal use.The rent and all additional costs must be paid until the end of the rental agreement.
Traces of use typical of living space only need to be removed as part of cosmetic repairs if this is specified in the rental agreement.Tenants are bound by the notice periods. The deadline can only be shortened if the landlord accepts a new tenant.
If the landlord stipulates that tenants always have to leave when they move out, this is usually ineffective. Especially in an unrenovated apartment.If the point is recorded in the rental agreement, you must remove the traces of use that you have caused.
Tenants must give their consent for each viewing, so they can decide when and how many interested parties view the apartment.The deposit can be used by the landlord to repair damage caused by the tenant. Just like for cosmetic repairs that were not carried out or for additional claims in the utility bill.
Both parties can be represented by an authorized person at the handover.The current tenants must make viewing appointments possible for potential new tenants.
After the handover, you no longer have any obligations. The landlord can only address defects in advance.The final handover takes place at the latest at the end of the notice period or at the end of the rental period, i.e. before a new tenant takes over.
You can sell built-in furniture, household appliances or furniture to the next tenant. This must be recorded in the handover protocol.All furniture not rented must be removed from the rental apartment until handover.
 All cosmetic repairs must be completed as agreed before handover.
 All keys belonging to the apartment must be handed over upon handover.

There are two things you should know. First: As a tenant, you are legally obliged to suggest the handover date. However, you can still accept your landlord’s proposed date. Secondly: You are only obliged to move out at midnight on the day your rental agreement ends. You don’t have to hand over the apartment beforehand. It is practical to hand over the apartment in daylight.

However, it can be advantageous to schedule the handover beforehand. If any damage or defects are noticed when inspecting the rooms, you have the option to postpone the handover again. If the landlord agrees, you will then have a little more time to complete or make improvements to all the work.

This is how you hand over step by step and are sure that you will get your deposit back in full after handover.

  1. Step: Preliminary acceptance: We recommend that you carry out a preliminary acceptance with a protocol. You go through room by room with the landlord or with the representative, the property management company, and note everything that needs to be done before handover. This includes cosmetic repairs and repairs of damage caused by the tenant.
  2. Step: Cosmetic repairs: You take care of all repair work as recorded in the pre-acceptance protocol. Take a look at your rental agreement beforehand. This must state whether you are responsible for this task of removing signs of wear. Such cosmetic repairs can include wallpapering, painting or whitewashing walls and ceilings, painting floors, radiators, interior doors, windows and exterior doors from the inside. If the landlord demands more, the clause in the contract is invalid.
  3. Step: New tenants: You must allow viewings by potential new tenants. However, you can limit yourself to a reasonable amount and do not have to agree to every appointment. If a new tenant is found, this can shorten the time it takes to move out. As soon as the new tenant has been determined, you can agree with them whether you will leave furniture, household appliances, garden furniture or the fitted kitchen in the apartment for a fee. You should record this in the apartment handover protocol. You can also pass on cosmetic repairs to the new tenant if they agree to this. For example, if the new tenant wants to paint according to his own color concept. But this must also be recorded in the apartment handover protocol.
  4. Step: Handing over the apartment: Again you go through all the rooms with the landlord or the representative and check whether all tasks have been completed as discussed in advance. This also includes ancillary rooms such as basements or attics and outdoor areas such as terraces and balconies. The apartment should now be swept clean. In concrete terms, this means: You should vacuum or sweep floors and carpets, remove coarse dirt, and remove garbage and cobwebs. Finally, all meter readings are read and recorded.

You hand over all the keys belonging to the apartment. If you have lost a key, let the landlord know in good time so that they can decide whether they want to replace the lock. Whether you have to pay for it depends on how great the risk is that the key can be assigned to the house and how and where you lost it.

moving in moving out

After the keys are handed over, as soon as the protocol is signed, your rental agreement is also ended. You will then receive the deposit back from the landlord or directly from the new tenant. Your rental deposit can only be used for repairs and renovation work if defects are found on the handover date for which you as the tenant are responsible.

When you hand over your apartment, you should bring all keys, a camera and a list or piece of paper and pen for the meter readings! A witness who accompanies you is also recommended.

Be meticulous. A detailed, precise handover protocol is not only beneficial for the landlord, but also for you. Clarify in advance exactly what you are responsible for according to the rental agreement, what tasks the new tenant may take on, what the landlord is responsible for and what can remain in the apartment after agreement. This way you will ultimately know exactly where your duties lie and can complete them on time until they are handed in. In addition to the signatures of both parties, the handover protocol should always include the date, the address of the apartment and the name of the tenant.

Our checklist for moving in:

  • Windows and doors check
  • Floors, ceiling, walls check
  • Radiator and fittings check
  • Record damage and signs of wear
  • Note other defects/take photos
  • Condition of the fitted kitchen?
  • Bathroom equipment check
  • Hold on to heating and electrical equipment
  • Sanitary facilities check
  • Connections for cable and telephone/internet check
  • Number of keys?
  • Meter readings?
  • Protocol signed?
  • Does everything correspond to the information in the rental agreement?
  • Ejari Registration

The checklist for the handover protocol when moving out should contain:

  • Each room in detail with a field for defects and possible comments
  • A detailed description of the keys handed over (mailbox, apartment door, front door, etc.)
  • All meter readings and meter numbers (electricity, water, gas, heating)

It is best to print out a corresponding form in advance .

Both as a landlord and as a tenant, you can give a person you trust a power of attorney so that they can take over the handover for you.

For example, if at the time of handover you have already moved into a new apartment that is too far away, in another city or even abroad. Landlords are happy to leave the handover to the property management company or a caretaker if you can’t find the time to view the apartment yourself.

In any case, it is important to note exactly what rights the authorized representative has. For example, he should have the right to document the condition of the apartment, write a protocol and then sign it. Think about what decision-making power you want to give the authorized representative. Can the person decide whether and which cosmetic repairs you should carry out?

We have provided a template for a power of attorney here that you can quickly adapt and use if a trusted person needs to step in for you.

Cancel? This is one of the biggest questions when handing over an apartment.

In principle, tenants are only responsible for repairs, renovations and renewals in the event of so-called excessive wear and tear. If the condition of the walls can be assessed as normal wear and tear, the walls do not need to be painted or renovated. Now it is important to differentiate between extraordinary, excessive and normal wear and tear.

Extraordinary wear and tear means you need to paint the walls:

Damage such as stains, large holes in the walls, but also burn holes in the floor are considered extraordinary wear and tear. There are also unusual colors on the walls.

All other minor signs of use fall under normal wear and tear.

Added to this is how long it has been since the last coat of paint. Depending on when you last carried out the renovation, the landlord has to contribute an amount. Depending on the color, you can expect a lifespan of 8 to 15 years. If it has been a while since the last coat of paint, you are not responsible. You only need to paint if there is excessive wear and tear, regardless of the last renovation.

For example, in the case of smoking damage, which also counts as extraordinary wear and tear, the landlord can request a fresh coat of paint from you. This case will be particularly time-consuming and expensive, because if there is damage caused by smoking, you will also have to paint the doors, door frames, ceilings and window frames.

We have already explained the difference between proper or normal and extraordinary condition during the painting work.

You must remedy such excessive or extraordinary defects and damage if you caused them yourself. Stains, holes, broken tiles, a crack in the sink, traces of mold and even damage from smoking are all part of it. You then have to take on the repair or renovation, either do it yourself or pay for a professional.

When handing over, you will evaluate exactly these defects and whether they have been corrected correctly. If in doubt, it is worth hiring a professional.

If the new tenant subsequently discovers further defects, the landlord can no longer hold you responsible for them. Then the landlord is responsible and has to fix the defects himself.

Once the apartment handover has been completed, the fun part of the move is next. Namely, furnishing the new apartment – ​​our absolute specialty. Take a look at our interior design service TUKA. Here you will be looked after by professional interior design consultants to turn your new home into your dream home. You can find out everything about the new apartment in our article!

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