The tenant is entitled to reduced rent or be fully exempted from their obligation to pay rent for the time the apartment was not available or not in a legally required condition. The reduction should be reasonable and in relation to the actual disruption.
Any exemptions or reductions are always subject to an agreement with the landlord. The tenant may not reduce the rent or exempt themselves on their own even though they may think the reduction is justified. It is recommended that any agreements concerning reductions, exemptions and their duration are always recorded in writing, e.g. in e-mails.
When considering an exemption or a reduction in rent, both parties should take the duration and its significance into account. The purpose of use of the space is essential when assessing this. Bathroom and kitchen deficiencies are considerably more relevant to living than deficiencies in bedrooms or closets. The tenant is not entitled to a reduction in rent, if the deficient condition of the apartment is due to negligence or carelessness by the tenant. The right to reduction in rent begins only after the landlord has been informed of the deficiency.
For plumbing renovations, the common recommendation of a reduction in rent is 30% to 50%, and for facade renovations, the recommendation is 15% to 30%. These reductions are valid for the time the apartment has been in a deficient condition or partially unavailable to the tenant. For elevator renovations, the recommended reduction in rent is approximately 10% if the elevator is essential for the use of the apartment. If required, a daily reduction in rent can be calculated by splitting the monthly rent into a daily rent. Using a percentage calculation, this daily rent can then be used to define the part of the rent the tenant is not liable for.
If the apartment cannot be used at all during the renovation or other repair work, the tenant must be exempted from any obligation to pay rent for the duration of the repairs. However, you might be entitled to a rent equal to an amount of a storage space rental if the tenant stores their personal property and other assets in the apartment during the renovation.
For instance, a bathroom renovation requires you to take the following issues into account:
- Has the use of the apartment been prohibited by authorities for the duration of the renovation?
- Do the walls and the floors need to be machine-dried?
- Does the tenant have access to the housing company’s shower rooms?
- Is the toilet in the apartment in use or does the tenant have access to the housing company’s toilets?
- Will the apartment have water supply?