Apartment and House Handover Checklist 2024

Post-Key Handover Checklist 2024

Moving can be quite stressful. However, relocation can be extremely stressful for expats living overseas. Particularly if you do not know how the German flat transfer process works and your German is not good enough to ask all the pertinent questions. But do not worry you have landed at the right place! This comprehensive expat guides will help you to know your expectations for your new flat in Germany once the rental contract is signed.

Activation Of Utilities, Inspection And Documentation Of The Property, Setting Up Essential Services

From signing up for a gas or electricity contract to getting the best van rental for moving furniture (Moovick) in Germany to the apartment handover and inspection procedure (also known as the “Ubergabeprotokoll” in German). Before you can receive your keys, there is still one more step that needs to be completed: a flat handover, or “Übergabe” in German.
What to look out for and what to anticipate from it is explained in this post.

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What use does a flat handover serve?

It serves as a record of the property’s current state before your move-in. The “Übergabeprotokoll” is a document that will help you and your landlord to document any damage that is currently there. Both written and visual materials can be used for this.

This exercise aims to ascertain the damages caused by previous tenants. When you leave, any new damage that was not recorded in the Übergabeprotokoll, will be assigned to you. In this case, it will probably impact the amount of security deposit you get back, at the end of your tenancy

For this reason, when taking a tour of the flat, you should take a lot of time and pictures. By doing this, future confrontations are avoided. A copy of the document is provided to each party.

What information needs to be recorded in the Übergabeprotokoll?

In addition to describing the overall condition of the flat and pointing out any obvious damage to the walls or flooring, it should contain information on the following:

  • The number of keys provided to the tenant and the functions of each key.
  • Wall colour or wallpaper condition.
  • If applicable, whether the appliances themselves are functional.
  • If the radiators, flushes, and water taps are operational.
  • If applicable, whether the furniture is in good condition.
  • State of tile work and floors.
  • State of windows and doors
  • If any mildew has been found.
  • Readings from gas, water, and electricity metres.

Tips for a Good Handover

  • Refuse to give in to peer pressure to move quickly. It is normal for this to take some time.
  • Agree to only complete it during the day. Keep in mind that in the winter, night falls early.
  • If possible take along a friend who speaks German to ensure that the information entered the Übergabeprotokoll accurately represents the situation.
  • Carry a golf ball or a comparable object to identify any uneven flooring. 

Older homes often have a slight elevation difference, but it should not be too noticeable. Simply release the ball to see if it rolls too quickly.
Signing up for Legal insurance would be another step that is highly recommended, to safeguard oneself from any future disputes with the landlord. This could be from claims of damages to the apartment, an increase in the rent to return of the security deposit, for example. Keep in mind that no insurance company will agree to the claims on an ongoing dispute, so ensure your peace of mind by taking this up front.

What occurs if damages are not discovered at the time of handover?

Even though you took the time to document everything thoroughly, some problems may not be apparent right away. It might not be possible to verify that heaters are operational if you move in during the summer. It is also possible for mildew to emerge earlier on chilly or wet days.
In this situation, please notify your landlord in writing as soon as possible about this problem. Your landlord will have to fix it, so you will not be in any trouble. Tenancy law in Germany gives you protection but also stipulates that you must give your landlord enough time to resolve the problem.

Setting Up Essential Services
  • Immediately, book an appointment at a local Bürgeramt to do your Anmeldung.
  • It is important to consider home contents insurance to cover your belongings in the flat and liability insurance to protect yourself from accidents related to the flat.
  • Be sure to sign an internet service provider contract as soon as possible. It takes weeks for a technician to answer a phone. You can also let your present ISP know that you have moved.
  • Enrol in a less expensive gas and/or electricity provider; the default provider is most likely overpriced .
  • Decorate and furnish your flat on a tight budget. (segmüller, otto, poco)

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Flat handover Übergabeprotokoll Frequently Asked Questions

No, it is not legally necessary, but signing the document still makes it enforceable. You should request it or handle it yourself if your landlord is not explaining the handover procedure at all or is not documenting anything in writing. It safeguards both parties and is best practice.

The template from the National German Tenancy Association is available for use. There is an annotation-friendly section for every room. Additionally, it features a section just for keys and metres.

At the latest, on the first day specified in your contract, you ought to get your keys. It usually happens a few days beforehand. Acting otherwise is prohibited by § 535 Absatz 1 BGB.

Tenants are not liable for damages resulting from normal wear and tear from just occupying the property, but will depend upon the exact terms you have signed on, with your landlord.

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This article might contain some affiliated links, where we earn anywhere from a few cents to a few Euros,and don’t cost you an extra cent. Our recommendations remain unbiased although, and are based on a combination of market research and own experience.

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