Warning ! "Nomad Tenants"

What to do with nomads of real-estate? Those are the ones, who pull into an apartment and few months later leave behind a dump and pay no rent.


It is happening ever more often that courts have to work with cases of nomad renters. The courts are receiving even more cases nowadays, where the tenant signs a contract, moves in, does not pay the deposit, does not pay the rent, the landlord gives notice, sues the tenant to move out and pay, and the tenant does neither. In the meantime, after about a half year demanding payment for almost a half-year outside of court, first alone then with the  help of an attorney, and about another year in court, the proprietor is totally shocked. The once freshly-renovated apartment is now a wreck. The apartment is full of junk and the tenant has made off. He is not traceable. If he should be traceable, then you will find out he is on welfare or has no income. But he was so elegantly dressed! He spoke so eloquently! The best is that the tenant did not pull out with his furniture, leftovers are going to seed on the floor and the whole apartment stinks. Due to a defect in the washing machine, the floor has water damage. Often the apartment is recklessly damaged – for no good reason whatsoever. Pipe leakages were either caused by the tenant or not reported by him.

1.)  How do you protect your property against these nomads of real-estate?

Even if you are so lucky to find out where this person has now moved, in most cases, the accounts of your ex-tenant will be seized up to the brim. Your position in the line of creditors will be way back there… There you end with a mess in the apartment, your accounts, finances, etc. And on top of that, you have to pay the fees for your attorney (well, at least he fought for your interests), the court, court bailiff. How can you prevent this financial catastrophe? A few easy tricks will save you of a lot of new grey hair:

Obtain a copy of his ID and compare the copy with the original,

  • Get a proof of income, like a pay slip or “Lohnzettel” or “Gehaltsstreifen” or from a business person, a certificate from his tax consultant that the candidate is earning,
  • Have the candidate prove he has paid the last three payments or at least something if he claiming to be leaving due to incorrect settling or so,
  • Demand the deposit to be paid upfront – at least one installment, and do not hand out the keys after at least the first installment has been paid. N.B. the law entitles the private tenant to pay at most three installments.
  • If possible, and it makes sense, get in contact with the previous proprietor and find out if all has been paid, who terminated the contract, etc.
  • You can ask for a SCHUFA report. This is a private organization monitoring your payment behaviors relating to banks, telephone companies, major real-estate companies to give you a credit ranking. However, if the candidate really brings a report, this will give him a negative momentum for two weeks and then “SCHUFA” should be cleared.

2.) Penal Consequences

Crooks? Yes, they are crooks, really! To prevent their continuous wandering, these nomads have to be stopped. File a complaint to the police. The more cases the police know of the more likely they will be phased out. Such a nomad is risking a prosecution for deceit. The AG Berlin-Tiergarten was: This woman signed a rental contract knowing that she would never be able to pay with her scarce income. As payments did not arrive, the landlord extraordinarily terminated the contract, and since he knew this person owed many more house-owners money, he filed a complaint to the police.

Keep in mind, even if the police do apprehend such a crook, they will never give or help you to collect your money. That is not their competence but that of civil court.

Published on the old CMS: 2006/12/21
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 317 reads

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