You have a new apartment? The first moving boxes are ready to be packed and the clearing out can start. Sure, you want to move out and get ready to set up in the new apartment. But you shouldn’t just flee the old apartment. Instead plan the handover properly with our checklist. You can download the detailed PDF below.
Table of Content
In the following sections, we explain to you what you should consider if you move in and have to give up your apartment. To provide you with a quick overview of the various topics, you will find a table of contents below:
- Handover Preparation
- Apartment Handover
- Damages and Repair Work
- Cleaning Company or not?
- Acceptance Protocol
Preparing for the Handover – Not at the Last Second
According to the law, you as the tenant must return the apartment at the latest on the last day of the rental period. Often, however, you have the option of handing over the apartment a few days before the last possible date. If the last day falls on a Sunday or public holiday, the apartment can also be handed over on the next working day.
In any case, make sure that you consult the landlord or the property management in good time. In order to avoid stress, coordinate the time of moving into the new apartment and the availability of the person who will take over the apartment.
If you cannot coordinate moving out and moving in with each other, you should have an interim solution ready as an emergency plan. As a rule, there is no turning back once you have handed over your apartment.
Preparation of the apartment handover – the sooner the better
It is best to prepare the handover of the apartment a few weeks before moving out. You will most likely still have enough stress during the move and if you plan the handover early, it will be a less stressful factor for you.
Do you still have the handover protocol of your move, possibly even a copy of the list of possible damages? Then the fun can begin.
Take your time to walk through each room and try to answer the following questions:
- What has been damaged during the rental period and what can be repaired?
- Have you changed anything in the apartment that you need to undo?
- What about the cleaning? Do it yourself or leave it to a professional cleaning company?
Create a list of open points for each room. Make a note of those items for which it is unclear whether you are responsible.
What about damages and repair work?
Of course, the apartment is there for someone to live in and this leads to traces of usage. Nevertheless, you should check which tenancy damages have to be repaired by you and which have to be taken care of by the landlord.
For example, carpets and wallpapers turning yellow, traces of usage on the furniture, the walls, the bathroom or in the sink belong to the normal wear and tear category. The exception is when this wear is beyond the usual extent.
Extensive damage to the apartment
In the event of serious damages, such as smoking, pets or gross negligence, it is up to you to take care of them. You must pay for the repair and place the work in the hands of craftsmen. The best thing to do here is to discuss how you should proceed with your landlord and the insurance company.
As a rule of thumb: All repair work that does not require any handicraft qualifications and is low in cost must be carried out by yourself respectively broken parts must be replaced.
These include, for example, a damaged toilet seat, a broken shower hose or a baking tray with burnt-in dough or grease residues. Take care of this before the day you return the apartment. If the landlord commissions these small repairs, the costs can quickly get out of hand.
Change Things back: Yes or No?
In principle, all installations that you have made yourself or voluntarily taken over from the previous tenant must be removed. This includes, for instance, self-adhesive hooks, cupboard paper, your own wallpaper or carpets as well as painted walls.
If you are lucky, the new tenant will take over your installations. But that must have been expressly communicated by the new tenant.
Would you like to clean your apartment yourself or leave it to a cleaning company?
There are two ways to make your apartment sparkling clean. Either you hire a cleaning company or you take care of the cleaning yourself. Both have advantages and disadvantages, which we have gathered for you.
Contract a cleaning company
Hiring a professional cleaning company has the advantage that you can concentrate on the move and do not have to clean yourself. In addition, many cleaning companies offer a handover guarantee. With this guarantee, you have the security that the apartment will be accepted by the administration. If the apartment is not clean enough, the company will clean again at no extra cost.
You can find a professional cleaning company quickly and easily on MOVU. Choose the cleaning company carefully and do not decide only according to the price but also according to previous customers’ evaluations and gut feeling.
With the following questions you are optimally prepared for the conversation with the cleaning representative:
- When is the apartment handover?
- How large is the apartment (number of rooms and square meters)?
- What needs to be cleaned in the kitchen, bathroom, cellar, attic, garage, terrace, etc.?
- How dirty is the apartment?
- Which floor coverings are to be cleaned?
- Do windows and blinds have to be cleaned?
Furthermore, cleaning companies have a lot of experience with cleaning apartments and therefore know how thoroughly an apartment has to be cleaned for the handover.
The costs are the disadvantage of a professional cleaning company, because cleaning an apartment is of course more expensive than doing it yourself. Here you will find an overview of the average cost of cleaning a house.
Taking apartment cleaning into your own hands – What does it include?
If you decide to do the cleaning yourself, there are a number of things to consider. Here are a few basic recommendations for cleaning:
- Floors: Depending on the floor covering, cleaning can be very complicated. Carpeting often needs to be shampooed, wooden flooring needs to be cleaned differently depending on whether it is oiled, lacquered or sealed.
- Oven, stove and cooker hood: These areas are often very dirty and can be cleaned with baking powder and water.
- Blinds: Depending on the type and condition, a considerable amount of cleaning may be required. Here you will find further tips for cleaning blinds.
- Stains: Adhesive, chewing gum or wax stains – everything must be removed.
- Descaling: Lime is annoying because it is persistent. All water taps, wall tiles, plugs, drains, showers, shower hoses, etc. must be completely freed of limescale.
- Degreasing: The steam extractor hood is often forgotten during cleaning. But here, too, it’s time to clean that grease. Also make sure that you exchange the current filter pad with a new one and clean the filter housing thoroughly.
So that you don’t miss a single spot, it’s worth clarifying detailed questions with the property management or the landlord at an early stage. Our cleaning tips for the final cleaning will help you to avoid nasty surprises on the day of delivery.
Now it starts: The apartment handover and the acceptance protocol
Have you had your apartment cleaned by a cleaning company? If so, make sure that a company representative is present at the handover. For this purpose, you should coordinate the apartment handover well in advance with the cleaning company.
The heart of the housing handover is the acceptance protocol. You can find a form for the acceptance report online at the tenants’ association. Larger real estate companies often also have their own form, which the landlord brings along.
The acceptance protocol is then jointly drawn up in which the exact condition of the apartment is noted. Make sure that a check is made behind every position that is in good condition. If damages are found, they will be noted in the acceptance protocol.
Important: Only sign the protocol if you agree with everything that is noted on it. Even if you disagree on some things, make sure to record these discrepancies in the protocol. Keep a signed copy of the protocol for records and as security.
If no further damages need to be repaired, you can in good conscience request the release for the deposit immediately after signing.
Thought of everything?
It’s done. The apartment has been handed over and all keys have been handed over to the landlord. Don’t forget to cancel your electricity, gas and telephone agreements, change your address and reclaim the deposit. Off to your new four walls!
To make sure you don’t forget anything, we have compiled all the points for you in a checklist that you can download.