The federal court of justice (BGH) strengthens the rights of tenants in the case of repairs for wear and tear. You do not have to paint an unrenovated apartment when you move out, even if you have agreed to do so with the previous tenant.
This is what the highest civil court judges in karlsruhe decided. Such an agreement has no influence on the obligations of tenant and landlord under the lease agreement (az. VIII ZR 277/16).
According to a basic ruling from 2015, the landlord may not oblige the tenant to make minor repairs without compensation if the tenant has moved into an unrenovated apartment. Otherwise he would have to leave the rooms in a better condition than he found them . Corresponding clauses in rental agreements are invalid. The new ruling in a dispute from celle (lower saxony) makes it clear that an agreement with the previous tenant does not change anything.
The tenant in the case had painted his apartment himself when he moved out. The renting housing cooperative found the walls and ceilings too streaky, they wanted a painter to come in. The bill of almost 800 euros should pay the tenant. He refused – because he had taken over the apartment unrenovated, so according to the current legal situation he did not have to paint at all.
The dispute has been before the courts up to the last instance because there was an agreement with the previous tenant in addition to the rental contract. Among other things, the man had bought the carpet from her and in this connection had agreed to take over the renovation work.
The court of appeal in luneburg had therefore ruled that the tenant was to be treated as if the landlord had handed over the apartment to him renovated. So the man had to pay the painter.
The BGH sees things differently. An agreement between the tenant and the previous tenant is limited in its effect to the two parties involved. However, presiding judge karin milger noted that the situation might be different if the landlord is involved in the agreement. But that was not the case here.
The german tenants association buried the decision. This means that in the future the tenant will only have to look at his contract, said legal counsel stefan bentrop when asked about the matter. The president of the association of owners of the house & grund, kai warnecke, on the other hand, spoke of a "ruling that helps no one". Agreements between old and new tenant were a wonderful solution for both of them. In the future, landlords can no longer be advised to get involved in something like this.