Apartment hand-over protocol - What do you need to

How do I have to hand over my apartment? How thoroughly do I need to clean before the hand-over? What happens if the landlord finds damages during the apartment handover?

There are very simple answers to all of these questions. Approaching the apartment hand-over unprepared can really cost a lot of time and energy. In the worst case scenario, it can also cost you money. To avoid any disputes at the apartment hand-over, it is imperative to use an apartment hand-over protocol when moving in and out.

The more precise the protocol is, the better

When moving in and out, the tenant and landlord should reach an agreement in a hand-over protocol or a take-over protocol, respectively. The protocol serves to help parties reach an agreement on any damages to the rented property and, above all else, the repair of said damages. It is important that possible defects are noted precisely and extensively therein. Even minor details (such as scratches in the parquet floor or chipped corners) and disagreements between the tenant and the landlord should be stated. The damages can also be documented by means of photos.

When moving in, there should be a written agreement with the landlord regarding when the defects should be removed by.

Apartment hand-over protocol template download

What to do if the landlord does not fix defects

In the event that the landlord does not fulfill his/her commitments regarding the removal of moderate to serious defects, a grace period should be set for him/her in a written and registered form. At the same time, a rent reduction should be claimed, and the landlord should be informed that after the grace period has elapsed, he/she consigns the rent to the arbitration board.

Do not rush into moving in

When someone has found the perfect apartment, they want to move in as soon as possible, preferring to ignore all of the paperwork. But be careful - when moving in, the tenant shouldn't rush anything and should take the time for a thorough inspection of the apartment and a complete apartment hand-over protocol.

What is in the apartment hand-over protocol?​​​​​​​

In general, the hand-over protocol should include the following points:

  • All existing defects in the apartment
  • Any disagreements between the tenant and the landlord
  • Condition of the walls, windows and doors
  • Meter readings for gas, water and electricity
  • Number of keys handed over

Use our hand-over protocol to avoid uncertainty and stressful discussions with the landlord.

Defects found after the apartment hand-over​​​​​​​

What happens if the tenant doesn’t notice defects until after they’ve moved in? If, despite thorough inspection, defects don't emerge until after the beginning of the rent, the corresponding list is to be registered immediately with the administration. The customary local or contractual time period for lodging complaints is, to some extent, very short (as a rule, 10 to 30 days). 

In what condition should the old apartment be handed over?​​​​​​​

When you leave your old apartment, it's time for the day of the final hand-over. The very thought of the apartment hand-over is enough to make many tenants break out in a cold sweat. Before moving out, you must carry out minor repairs, such as replacing light bulbs, toothbrush holders or missing baking trays. In general: With the exception of normal wear and tear, the tenant must give the apartment back in the same condition in which he/she received it.

For what damages is the tenant liable in the apartment hand-over?​​​​​​​

It is logical that living also entails certain wear and tear of the property. When someone moves out, their apartment is never in the exact same condition as when they moved in.  Yellowed wallpaper, as well as signs of wear on walls and floors are hardly rare. This is taken into account in the rent - normal wear and tear is already calculated into the rent. 

The tenant is only liable in the case of excessive wear (e.g. smoke damage, cigarette burns, damage or cracks in the wash basin/toilet) The tenant is liable for damages that are not normal wear and tear according to the Service life table

Important - Make sure that only those defects for which you are liable are recorded in the apartment hand-over protocol. Whichever party recognizes responsibility for damages by signing must also pay for their removal - even if they had not been legally required to do so.

The big pre-move-out clean​​​​​​​

Often it isn't clear how thoroughly the apartment has to be cleaned before moving out. Provided nothing else is stipulated in the rent agreement, the apartment must be thoroughly cleaned and handed over in a clean condition. In addition to the thorough cleaning - including windows, window frames, blinds, etc - it is particularly important to ensure the kitchen and bathroom are pristinely cleaned. 

Many cleaning services want to free you from the hours of scrubbing, and offer end of tenancy cleaning. Make sure that the contract with the cleaning service includes an inspection guarantee. Otherwise, you run the risk of a doubly hefty bill if, during the apartment hand-over, the apartment is not found by the landlord to be sufficiently clean, and you have to employ another cleaning service.

A hand-over protocol is essential​​​​​​​

With a carefully drawn-up apartment hand-over protocol, you are, as a tenant, in a relatively secure position. When you move out, the landlord cannot hold you responsible for listed damages by claiming that the damages occurred during your rental period. So, by all means, take the time to record damages precisely in the protocol contract, and don't allow it to be used to put you under pressure.

Apartment hand-over protocol template download​​​​​​​