Duty of “Beauty Repairs” for not Renovated Apartment at Renting

Tenants of a flat have to typically perform so called “beauty repairs” while they live there. What if it was not renovated at renting it?


A couple moved into an undecorated apartment and after some time they rented more space. They signed a form contract stipulating that depending on usage, tenants are to generally paint the bath room, kitchen every three years and hall ways, sleeping and living rooms every five years and any other secondary rooms every seven years. As not unusual, the tenants did not take care of beauty repairs while dwelling in their apartment. Upon termination of the contract, the property owner insisted that the tenants perform the painting, as it was dearly necessary. They refused because they were not obligated to do final painting. Thus, the landlord demanded damages and filed a case in court.


The BGH settled this dispute (March 9, 2005, re VIII ZR 17/04) by dismissing the defense. This couple had agreed per rental contract to perform touch-up painting in the apartment. The questioned clause in the contract was valid as it is not generally forbidden to turn the “beauty repairs” over to the tenant. It is also generally permitted to turn over the beauty repairs if the apartment was not renovated at the beginning of renting. The clause did not demand “rigid periods” of performance. Understand “rigid periods” as a periods determined to renovate without relation of any necessity. The clausula in dispute contained the wording “im Allgemeinen” or generally. Such regulation is valid.

Very many standard contracts still contain invalid clauses like the one mentioned. If you are in doubt contact your attorney.

Published on the old CMS: 2006/12/21
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 470 reads

Additional information