"We only fear that which we do not fully understand." An incredibly apt assessment of investing in tenanted apartments. Let us try to dispell some of the most common myths and misinformations that circulate this investment space.
This is simply not true. If the tenant does not fulfil part of the rental contract, you can cancel the contract with the tenant. If they do not pay rent or if they damage the apartment significantly, then these are the two clear-cut ways to get an eviction. It is also not true that tenants stay forever if they can. Life is dynamic, situations change, families form, grow and shrink – housing needs change accordingly. Today's population is far more transient and are far more likely to move around for jobs, too. By analysing tenant profiles we can tailor a portfolio of apartments with the most likelihood of apartments becoming available within the 10-year investment period.
There is also a rule called eigenbedarf which enables the property owner to give notice to the tenant if they plan to use the apartment for their own use. For properties being sold for the first time after being split into individual titles – this is a 10 year notice period. For apartments being sold again for the second or third time, the tenants notice period is the remaining length of the original 10 year notice period. After 10 years has elapsed, the notice period is on a sliding scale, based on their length of tenancy.
“I can't ever get the tenant out.”
“Tenants in Germany have very strong rights protecting them.”
It is true that tenants are well protected in Germany and more so in Berlin, specifically. However, the rights of a property owner can be considered equally important to the rights of a tenant.
If you are looking for a purely yield based investment, then of course this is not the route for you. However, this is not why you would buy a rented apartment. You buy a rented apartment for the huge capital growth you will receive on exit. Even if the investment is initially negatively geared – meaning the NET rental income does not cover the mortgage – the investment still makes complete sense.
The best way to think of an investment of this type when taking finance is this:
The tenant is paying all of the interest off the loan, plus a contribution to paying off the loan itself. Even if you personally have to subsidize the rental income each month to repay the loan, every € you invest comes off the loan amount itself. It is essentially putting it straight into a bank account, which you get back when you exit the investment! This is of course in addition to the tenants contribution, the organic capital growth, plus the 25-50% you bought below the market value – all realised on exit in one large chunk.
“The rent is so low, the investment doesn’t make sense when financing.”
“You cannot increase the rent in any way.”
This is absolutely not true! You can legally increase the rent 15% every 3 years until you have reached the rental index for the area, which is itself reviewed and increased every 2 years in line with rising average rents. You are also allowed to, where possible, make improvements to the apartments in order to increase the rental price, in line with legislation.
As an owner, Accentro has the right to visit the apartment up to 5 times a month, if we want to sell it to a customer. If you can not come to Germany to have a look for yourself, we can visit the apartment on your behalf and provide you with a condition report/assessment.
“I will never get to know the condition of the apartment if there is a tenant living in it.”
“I don’t speak German, this will all be too complicated.”
That is what we are here for! From the very beginning, communication will be in English. From brochures, sales and property documentation & sales contracts - all in English. Even when receiving German documentation, which is unavoidable, your lawyer will advise any necessary actions. A common misconception about buying a rented apartment is that it will be too complicated – but the opposite is in fact true! You are buying a turnkey apartment with an existing tenant and management structure in place! Unlike vacant apartments, all the hard work is already done. You just buy and then receive your rent!
We would be delighted to assist you in your property search, and to answer any questions you might have. For a quick chat or a full consulation, please get in contact using the links & information below. We look forward to speaking with you!
Michael Totman Director International Sales Advisory office ACCENTRO Berlin Phone: +49 (0)30 / 887 181-41 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our hotline is available Mo to Fr, 9am to 6pm (CET)