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Hello. I would be grateful for some advice about the following situation. About 5 years ago, I bought a one-bedroom apartment (with tenant) in Berlin. I had no problem with him until this August when I discovered that he had vacated the apartment and sub-let it (without my permission) to a couple with a young child. I understand that he plans to sub-let the apartment until October next year when his daughter, who is going to university, will occupy the apartment. I am angry about this and want to cancel his contract. However, as far as evicting the sub-tenants is concerned, the situation is tricky because of the young child.  If I had to go to court to evict the sub-tenants I do not think that a judge will agree to an eviction where a young child is concerned. So, I am wondering if it would be possible to cancel the tenant's contract and at the same time renegotiate a new rental contract with the sub-tenants? Does anybody know is this would be permissible (and legal)?  


Percival-10044606 1444177295

Interesting situation. This would be my uninformed opinion for what it's worth.

First and foremost do you have a contract with the original tenant?

If no, then boot him out (perhaps with a month's notice for good grace to get his stuff) and approach the sub-let tenants directly before changing the locks and giving them the new keys if they want it together with a contract.

If you do have a contract, is your contract through an agency? If so contact them to find out where you stand. If the contract is dierctly between you and the owner it should say on there what the notice period is. Same thing, approch the young couple first with the offer of a direct contract with you, the owner, and serve the guy his notice.

Or you could perhaps suck up the anger, write him a letter telling him you are very unhappy about what he is doing and that you do not expect him to do it again.

Might be worth noting that in other countries (I'm thinking Gibraltar actually where sub-letting is common) it's practice to pass on a portion (I think 10% is reasonable) of the sub-let rental income to the landlord too. Perhaps there might be some leverage to work with there and you might end up a bit better off, especially if he really doesn't want to lose the flat if his daughter needs it.

Miriam-10044607 1444221097

Oh I sympathise, tenants are sometimes terrible.

We let in the UK via an agency that helped find housing for people on housing benefit. The tenant knew the system so well that she knew exactly when to pay the absolute minimum amount possible so that we couldn't have her legally evicted. When she finally did leave, she emptied the house - the front door was left open and flapping in the wind! It's a shame that people abuse the trust and goodwill of others.

I would be tempted to get really angry and exact revenge too, but if the guy has been alright up until recently and paid his rent then I wouldn't be too hasty to seek new tenants. Better the devil you know is the phrase that springs to mind.


Berlina1 1444731384

Does the rental agreement mention sub-letting?

If you haven't given written permission and it's not in the rental agreement then I'm pretty sure you can terminate the contract without notice and heave everything out. Aftrall, there is no legal recourse if you did.

The onus would be on the guy and the family to sort themselves out. If they have a contract between them and you evict them (as you are entitled to, I believe) then he would have to take responsibility for that having broken his end of the bargain with them.

You have no obligation to the people in there yourself.

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