No Hot Water - New Rental Agreement


I signed a rental agreement with a property management company and upon first day, I found that there is no hot water and air conditioning. There are a few minor defects as well but not worth mentioning. After reporting this, someone came in to repair the water boiler and concluded that it is not repairable and it was put together incorrectly to begin with.


I do not have hot water or air conditioning for five days now. I have not heard back from the property manager since day three after the repair attempt was a failure. I have been emailed about five people at the property management company daily about this to track it. I am paying 2900 Euro for this unit. My rental agreement has a ordinary termination condition for the first 14 days. This is in Germany, Berlin.


I think this is ridiculous, the unit is not livable and the property management seems to be not responsive since day three which is a Friday. I want to exit this agreement without notice because this is simply a robbery, I paid for a premium unit and they handed me a unit that does not have hot water and air conditioning.

Can someone please help me with advice on the best course of action from here? Do I have the right to exit given tbis faulty unit from day 1 without giving notice?
@Banjo Lucario

Ohh nooo I'm so sorry to hear.

Ok so my friend rent his apartment unit out and I just asked him. So this is not professional legal advice but information from a German who rents ( is a landlord) out to renters

Answer : air conditioning is unfortunately  NOT A MUST HAVE have in a appartment unit. Unless your apartment  CONTRACT (Vertrag) specifically mentions that air conditioning is provided in the unit.

Hot water is a must have and is typically NOT MENTIONED IN THE CONTRACT. So because IT IS A MUST HAVE, your Landlord needs to address the issue in a timely fashion. You need to email and call and also make sure you document all your correspondence with him/her and the rental agency. A landlord is responsible for the repair and his rental agency , which you probably used to find the unit, is responsible also for helping you contact the landlord . Email both parties.

In an E-Mail to both parties, if you want to exit the contract you need to write an email. Nothing verbal is acceptable in courts which means it's not legally accepted. Say that you will only pay for the days which you occupied the unit at a reduced price since the date you notified them of the hot water and or Airconditioning. 

If you don't want to exit the contract so long that the hot water is fixed and also air conditioning then say that ! But I would also request a reduced rate for the first month.

Good luck !!!!!!!
Air conditioning is uncommon in Germany and you are not entitled to it - unless this was specifically stated in the rental contract.
But hot water is a must. You should reduce the rent by an appropriate amount for the days without hot water (I suggest 20%, but I am not a legal expert) and write a letter - if you must, also an email, but letter by registered post has higher weight in legal terms - asking them to repair it within a reasonable time (I suggest a week, but again I am no legal expert - consult a lawyer if you want!) and notifying them that otherwise you consider them in breach of contract and will thus look for alternative accommodation on their cost.

For your information: Termination notices for residential property are a minimum of 3 months (by law, no matter what your contract says!), so I suppose you are interested in them fulfilling the contract!
Thanks for the feedback, I am looking to exit the contract because this is basically a robbery. The repairman who visited said this is not fixable and needs a complete overhaul because they installed it incorrectly.

I don't think they need any notice, the simply did not fulfill their side of the agreement from day one.

Correct me if I am wrong, but there is no argument there on their end. They simply failed to hand over a livable unit with an essential hot water service that is not repairable.

They are also not responsive, they have work hours of 3 days a week and for like half of a day, which is ridiculous.
Like others have mentioned air-conditioning  is not standard in Germany but hot water is. When a repair man says its not fixable that means an easy fix. If something has to be re-installed or completely changed then it is of course expensive for the owner but they are obliged to find a solution.

I'll state here that I am not a lawyer so this should not be seen as legitimate legal advice but from experience in Germany. While you have a logical argument, its not really up to you to decide what is fair or not and expect that to be legal or that it would be upheld by a court. I'm doubtful that just cancelling the contract is possible; it could be that they should be given notice of the problem, be given a reasonable time to fix it and you be given a rebate for the inconvenience. The question then what is reasonable? A major job like replacing the whole water heating system might take much longer to arrange.

But I'm not sure who has the burden of proof that a contract is not being legitimately fulfilled to the point it can be cancelled. Maybe a lawyer can help but courts take forever. Expect to wait 6 to 12 months for an initial hearing in civil court and that one might have to go another time or two with another 6+ months wait each time. For one only temporarily here it is out of the question and often cost more than it is worth. But that is how it is. The German court system is almost dysfunctional in many ways. Small claims court that gets done promptly? Doesn't exist.
@TominStuttgart  Thank you for the feedback, my contract states the below posted in two languages. There seems to be a two week period for termination, can you help me with your opinion on intepreting this? Does this mean a two week period to cancel without notice?

In English:

The lease begins on June 16, 2022.  The lease runs for an indefinite period.  However, ordinary termination is only permissible for the first time on June 30, 2022.  The termination must be in writing.  The timeliness of the termination does not depend on the dispatch.  but on receipt of the letter of termination.

In German:

Das Mietverhältnis beginnt am 16.06.2022 . Der Mietvertrag läuft auf unbestimmte Zeit . Die ordentliche Kündigung ist jedoch erstmals zum 30.06.2022 zulässig . Die Kündigung muss schriftlich erfolgen . Für die Rechtzeitigkeit der Kündigung kommt es nicht auf die Absendung . sondern auf den Zugang des Kündigungsschreibens an.
The German version is of course the legally binding one - the English one is only illustrative. But both basically say the same:
30. June is the earliest date you can SUBMIT a termination - with the standard notice period of (minimum by law) three months, if you did not agree on a longer one elsewhere in the contract.
No-notice terminations are possible at any time, but to get one through will almost certainly require court proceedings, as Tom described above. Also, no-notice is normally only possible in case there is no other option (and even then in most cases only after giving a written warning with due date to correct the issue, which is what I mentioned above). You have other options!
For your own sanity: Either do as we suggested, or consult a lawyer, or negotiate with the landlord for a mutually agreeable solution. Due to the difficulty of terminating a contract, many rentals end by mutual consent - e.g. if you offer to move out immediately and pay part of the rent due during the notice period, he/she might agree. If you already paid a deposit, you may also offer that they keep that - in case of acrimonial termination you might anyway have problems getting it back.

And one more note: Calling somebody a robber in public (apart from legally complete nonsense in this case) is defamation and can get you into more trouble than it's worth. Even though it might be difficult to trace the post to your and the landlord's real identity, I suggest you edit your statement above and in future calm down before making any public claims!
One more note: You took over the property on day 1, presumably by signing a statement that it was in contractual conditions (which is the standard here). So, from a legal standpoint, the hot water problem must have started afterwards (that you might not have checked and realized it, is seen as your own fault). Then, the landlord has the right to a reasonable period for repairing it (I suggested a week) and you to a reduced rent for this period (I suggested 20%).
I think you better forget about trying to proof anything else, especially bad intentions!