As the owner of a property that you would like to rent out, you – like many other future landlords – may face some technical, economic and legal questions or challenges. All the better that you inform yourself here, because being a landlord comes with all rights and obligations!
Follow our guide to make the leasing process easier for you. As Berlin real estate managers and brokers, we are of course particularly familiar with Berlin and the regulations of the capital. However, in general, you can also use this list if you are considering renting elsewhere.
Managing a property can be challenging.
The most important administrative tasks include preparing the annual service charge statement, reliable document management (rental agreements, invoices from tradesmen, etc.), preparing profitability and payment overviews, and care and maintenance of the building. But let’s start from the beginning:
Advertise your apartment with an exposé
The exposé of an apartment contains basic information, but at the same time makes the advantages of the apartment palatable to the viewer. Do not forget the mandatory information about the energy certificate. To speed up the process, you can directly indicate which application documents you would like to see from potential tenants. Also specify a rental price here. To do this, you should ask yourself:
- What rents are common on the market?
- Is there a rent index and, consequently, a rent cap in your region?
- How busy is the housing market?
- How long does it take to find a new tenant?
- Does my property additionally convince with attractive amenities or location?
Choose reliable tenants
Berlin in particular is an international city where people from many different countries and cultures come together. Newcomers, business people, artists, travelers and all-rounders move in and out. Many owners therefore have to keep looking for new tenants. Therefore, approach the leasing process with care and, if possible, find out about the plans of the tenants, their professional set-up and the approximate duration of the lease. A self-disclosure as well as a Schufa query and proof of income are useful for this purpose.
Consider legal basics
As a landlord, you have to deal with numerous legal regulations in Germany. Consider consulting a lawyer to help you keep everything in mind.
To ensure that both owner and tenant are well protected, their rights and obligations should be precisely regulated in the rental agreement. For example, you should note:
- Do you want to allow pets in the apartment? If so, which ones?
- What cleaning obligations do tenants have (this includes, for example, cleaning the staircase)?
- What renovation work should be carried out by tenants when they move out?
- Who is responsible for minor repairs?
- Do you require consent for subletting?
Optimize the handover of the apartment
You should receive the tenant’s rent deposit and first month’s rent before the lease begins. This will ensure that your tenant is financially solvent.
It is important to have a proper handover protocol. This will help you easily avoid possible later disputes, This will help you avoid possible later disputes in advance. The handover also includes noting the meter readings for electricity, gas and water.
Tax your rental income correctly
Your rental income is reported in the tax return’s annex and thus counts towards income tax. Only if your taxable income does not exceed the general tax limit, you are exempt from taxation of rental income.
Your obligations as a landlord
When renting out a property, you as the owner must calculate the operating costs correctly. Operating costs that can be passed on to tenants include, for example, property tax, sewage and garbage collection fees. They are regulated in the Operating Costs Ordinance. It should be noted that you may only allocate ancillary costs to tenants if this has been contractually agreed. As a landlord, you are also obligated to provide reliable document management (rental agreements, invoices from tradesmen, etc.), to prepare profitability and payment overviews for tax authorities, owners’ meetings, and to care for and maintain the building or apartment. In addition, you will have owners’ meetings in an apartment building. You should also be prepared for – in the worst case – potential litigation with tenants and co-owners.
What simple solutions are there for managing your property?
Many landlords still manage their property in the traditional way with pen and paper. However, this brings with it a flood of documents, confusing calculation tables and, in the worst case, incorrect billing. However, there are many digital management solutions that you can use to make things easier. The most convenient and stress-free option is, of course, to use a property management company. This takes care of your property and, depending on the contract, also takes care of utility billing, rental income control, subsidy management and new rentals.
Renting out furnished apartments and what you need to consider in the process
Furnished apartments are typically rented on a temporary basis only. Often the length of stay is between 3 months to 2 years. Precisely because the rental period here is shorter, this type of rental is more profitable, but also involves more work. Due to the frequent change of tenants and the higher demands on a temporary apartment, both the marketing effort and the cleaning and maintenance effort should not be underestimated. In addition, there is the tenant search and screening as well as the handover and support effort. Here, professional property management companies for furnished apartments such as Hope Apartments are recommended, which take care of everything from tenant search and support to final cleaning. In case something breaks, your management ideally has an inventory list and will take care of repairs and replacements.
With us, your furnished apartment is in good hands! We guarantee an occupancy rate of at least 90%, maintenance and price development of your property. We treat your property as if it were our own.