When moving out, the two different types of landlords have two different deadlines for notifying of damages, unless it is a hidden damage or defect. Find out which deadlines applies when and to who below.
The deadline for an amateur landlord
A landlord, who is only renting out one tenancy, is defined as an amateur landlord. No later than two weeks after the tenant has handed over the keys to the tenancy, the amateur landlord has to conduct an inspection of the tenancy. Within this two-week deadline, the landlord has to draw up a report on what needs to be refurbished, and send this report to the tenant.
This is done in order to notify the tenant of any damages, defects or repairs that the needs to be paid for by the tenant. The report merely has to inform of the extend of the refurbishment, and it does not need to include the price of any repairs.
The deadline for a professional landlord
If the landlord is renting out more than one apartment, the landlord is defined as a professional landlord. No later than 2 weeks after a professional landlord has become aware of the tenant moving out, the landlord must call the tenant in and conduct an inspection of the tenancy with the tenant.
At this inspection, the landlord must draw up a report, stating any refurbishment, damages or repairs that the tenant has to pay for – but not the price of these repairs. If the tenant does not agree with the content of this report and therefore refuses to sign it at the inspection, the landlord is required to send the report to the tenant within 2 weeks after the inspection. The landlord also has a window of two weeks to send the report to the tenant after the inspection, if the tenant was somehow prevented from participating in the inspection.
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Consequences of missing deadlines to notify of damages – main rule
As a main rule, the consequence of an amateur landlord not sending the report no later than two weeks after the tenant handing over the keys is, that the landlord loses his right to charge the tenant for normal refurbishment of the tenancy.
The consequence of a professional landlord not performing an inspection no later than two weeks after moving out is that the landlord will lose his right to charge the tenant for normal refurbishment of the tenancy. The same applies if the landlord does not send the report notifying of damages or defects no later than two weeks after the inspection in case the tenant was prevented from participating in the inspection, or did not agree with or signed the report.
Hidden damages or defects – exception
An exception to the rules regarding the deadlines for notifying mentioned above is hidden damages or defects. Normally, the landlord is not entitled to claim payment for any refurbishment, damage, defect or repair, which was not listed on the report made when moving out. Therefore, the landlord has to point out and note all visible damages or defects on the report and notify the tenant of these within the deadline.
However, if the landlord discovers a damage or defect, that was hidden by the tenant, the landlord has the right to claim payment for the repairs of such. This rule applies in spite of the landlord only discovering this damage or defect several weeks or months after the tenant moving out, in order to make sure that the tenant will be held liable to damages or defects done to the tenancy.
Deadlines to notify of hidden damages or defects
The landlord has to notify of hidden damages or defects as quickly as possible after they are discovered – this by the landlord himself or by a potential new tenant. In this case, the landlord’s previous mentioned deadlines to notify are suspended until the landlord has discovered the damage or would have discovered it under normal circumstances.
The tenant also has to pay for any damages or defects inflicted by the tenant on the landlord’s tenancy despite that the cost of the repair (at a fair price) exceeds the amount of the security deposit. The tenant also has to pay despite that the security deposit may already have been released to the tenant.
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To sum up the deadlines:
- Tenant hands over key
- 2 weeks
- Tenant moves out
- 2 weeks to call tenant in and perform the inspection
- If the tenant does not agree with the report or
- If the tenant is prevented to participate in the inspection
- 2 additional weeks to send the report to the tenant = 4 weeks in total
- Until the damage is discovered, or
- Until the landlord under normal circumstances would have discovered it.