Are you looking for a new apartment in Germany and are you going to be viewing your apartment for the first time? Then start thinking about a tenant self-assessment
A tenant self-assessment and disclosure means a lot of paperwork. Landlords in Germany expect significant documents from interested parties before signing a new apartment rental agreement. This also includes the tenant self-assessment. These are available in a wide variety of variants. You can find out here which version of a self-assessment is permissible, what is allowed in it and how the interested party has to answer the questions.
What to remember about tenant self-assessments in Germany
- There is no obligation for tenant self-assessment.
- Admissible questions must be answered truthfully by the interested party .
- In the event of inadmissible questions , the tenant has the right to lie .
What is a tenant self-assessment?
Most landlords ask for a tenant self-assessment at the first viewing appointment for an apartment. In it, questions are asked about the personal and economic situation of the prospective tenant, e.g. name, address, occupation and net income. Landlords use the document to clear up uncertainties in advance and to protect themselves from potential tenants or tenants unwilling to pay. This enables them to choose the best possible tenant for themselves.
From a legal point of view, there is no obligation for tenant self-assessment. Potential tenants are therefore not forced to hand in the document. Most landlords, however, only consider self-disclosure. So if you want a chance at an apartment, you should fill out the document.
It is best to bring a copy with you to the viewing appointment without being asked. On the one hand, you avoid unwanted questions. Because not all questions in a self-assessment are permissible. On the other hand, you make a particularly good impression. This increases your chances of getting the apartment.
Once you have completed the tenant self-assessment, the first step has been taken. In addition, landlords often ask for additional documents. This includes, for example, the last 3 pay slips , a guarantee or a Schufa information.
What is the difference between tenant self-disclosure and SCHUFA information?
The tenant self-assessment contains individual information about himself and is filled in by the tenant. A Schufa information gives an insight into the solvency of the prospective tenant and is created by the SCHUFA.
If you want to prepare as well as possible for a viewing appointment, it is helpful to fill out a tenant self-assessment in advance and bring it with you.
So the landlord has all the information he needs from you and you appear structured and well prepared.
This creates trust with the landlord and he has no work to look for and / or print out a template.
Which questions belong in a tenant self-assessment?
Many landlords have their self-designed tenant self-assessment for interested parties. This is how you decide which questions are listed in the document. However, caution is advised here: some questions are inadmissible and, from a legal perspective, may not be asked at all.
- Questions about the identity of the prospective tenant (name, address, telephone, etc.). You can also ask about other people who will move into the apartment
- Questions about the employment relationship and the employer
- Questions about the financial situation. This includes monthly net income, rental debts, affidavits, garnishments, and bankruptcy proceedings
- Questions about the further use of the apartment (e.g. commercial use or keeping pets)
Important to know about tenant self-assessment in Germany:
The landlord is only entitled to ask questions related to the tenancy. Private landlords face a fine of around 100 euros for inadmissible questions.
- Questions about nationality, ethnic and religious affiliation
- Questions about sexual orientation and gender identity
- Questions about party, trade union and club membership
- Questions about family planning, pregnancy and the current health situation
- Questions about criminal records and preliminary investigations
- Questions about the existence of legal protection insurance
- Questions about the previous tenancy
- Questions about hobbies and musical tastes
Can the prospective tenant lie in a self-disclosure?
That depends on the admissibility of the question. If you have a legitimate question, you must answer truthfully. If you have lied about such questions about the tenancy, you have to expect consequences such as termination without notice . This includes, for example, cheating on income levels.
If the questions in the self-disclosure are inadmissible, the interested party has the right to lie . He does not have to fear any legal consequences and cannot be terminated retrospectively.
The general duty to provide information
The prospective tenant also has a general duty to inform the landlord. This applies in the following cases:
- When the rent is 75% or more of the net income
- If insolvency proceedings have been opened against the property of the interested party
- If the tenant has made an affidavit
Is a tenant self-assessment in Germany legal?
The initial legal situation sounds simple at first:
the landlord may only ask the prospective tenant questions that are relevant to the tenancy.
According to German law, all questions are permissible which, according to the principle of good faith § 242 BGB, do not violate the tenant’s rights.
In addition, the legends of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, also abbreviated to GDPR, also apply here. Accordingly, data may be collected for two purposes:
- Art. 5 (1): Information may only be collected for “specified, clear and legitimate purposes”
- Art 5 (1 c): Information must be limited to what is necessary for the purposes of processing the data.
If you as a tenant answer these legally permissible questions incorrectly, the landlord may even terminate you without notice.
However, if you as a tenant do not answer legally inadmissible questions truthfully, the landlord may not terminate you afterwards.
Of course, it also depends on when the landlord asks you which questions. At the first viewing appointment, other questions are allowed than when signing the contract.
Which documents are required with the tenant self-assessment?
In addition to the classic questions, the tenant self-assessment is often peppered with affidavits and obligations via attachments.
1. Rental debt clearance certificate
Rental debt clearance certificate from the previous tenant A rental debt clearance certificate from the previous tenant is nothing more than a confirmation that you have no rental debts with the previous tenant and that you have always paid your rent on time.
As already explained, it is formally not permissible as a landlord to receive information about previous tenants, including no certificate of freedom from rental debts.
Another problem is that the previous landlord is not obliged to issue them to you. So even if you want to submit it anyway, you may not get it.
SCHUFA-Auskunft – Almost all landlords today require the so-called SCHUFA information. This is a proof of creditworthiness for the landlord.
In principle, the landlord may ask questions after this, but not as detailed information, but only as basic official information about positive contractual information.
For this reason, the SCHUFA always provides detailed information that is only intended for your hands and significantly more coarse information for the landlord.
You can apply for your SCHUFA information online for around € 30
3. Proof of income
Proof of your income your landlord may demand. As a rule, landlords are satisfied with your current employer’s payslip for the last 1 to 3 months.
Get your FREE Tenant Self-Assessment Form here
Get your complete and sufficient Tenant Self-Assessment form below
When looking for an apartment, tenant self-assessment has become indispensable. Landlords use the document to protect themselves and to find the most suitable tenant. Potential tenants bring the information with them to the first viewing appointment in order to make a good impression. Always pay attention to what questions are being asked. Because if you lie about admissible questions, in the worst case scenario, your tenancy can be terminated.