Help! My landlord wants to renovate my house

Do I have to give my consent?

Help! My landlord wants to renovate my house

Renovations or urgent repairs?

To answer the question whether you as a tenant have to consent to renovations, we first have to find out if the works that the landlord wishes to carry out are renovations or urgent repairs. If these are urgent repairs, then tenant shall give his/her permission to the landlord to do such repairs. In the case of renovations, then, in principle, it depends on whether the proposal on renovations made by the landlord is reasonable.

Urgent repairs

Urgent repairs are the works that can not be postponed until the end of the rental agreement, without causing any damage to the rented property. Major repairs are included in these works.

Renovation

We speak of renovation or improvements if such works made by the landlord increase the quality of the apartment, while the location, the functions and the size of the leased property remain the same. The rules regarding renovation apply to activities which improve and renew the rented property. Renovation means both demolition of a house and building a completely new object as well as partial renewal of the house (in form of modification or addition of e.g. a room).

If a landlord is willing to renovate, this can be done in two different ways. The landlord can either make a reasonable proposal to the tenant with prolongation of the lease agreement or terminate it on the grounds that he urgently needs the property for his own use (in the form of renovation). Termination of the lease is very far-reaching and is only permitted under certain conditions.

Renovation with prolongation of lease agreement – A reasonable proposal?

The starting point of the legal rules regarding renovation is that the landlord must make a reasonable proposal to the tenant. This proposal must be made to tenant in writing. In addition, the proposal must reflect the landlord’s intentions. Anyways the proposal must be clear enough and consider the interests of the tenant and the landlord. You only have to agree to the proposal if it’s considered to be reasonable.

Whether a proposal is reasonable depends on the following:

  • the nature of the work that has to be done;
  • necessity of the tenant’s participation/involvement;
  • financial consequences for the landlord;
  • rent increase;
  • possibility of a replacement residential premises for the tenant and;
  • other circumstances of the case.

If the tenant does not accept a renovation proposal, the landlord must submit this proposal to the court. The judge will then assess the proposal. During such court procedure landlord must prove why his proposal is reasonable.

Renovation with termination of lease agreement – Valid termination ground?

Landlord may terminate a lease only on the basis of a number of reasons specified by the law. One of these termination grounds is termination due to the need of leased property for landlord’s own use. Renovation sometimes can be scaled under this termination ground. However, not every renovation justifies a termination of the lease.

Moving costs allowance

You have a right for a moving allowance if you have to move because your house is being demolished or renovated. The relocation allowance is a compensation for the moving and furnishing costs. The minimum relocation allowance is determined by law and amounts to € 5.892,= for apartments. There is no minimum amount for rooms because the moving costs and refurnishing costs of rooms are generally lower.

Is your landlord planning to renovate you house, but you don’t agree with this?
Feel free to contact Frently for an appointment.

Translation done by Altana Norboeva in August 2018

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