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I recently moved to Germany (I’m non-EU and non German speaking). I was looking for an apartment. In this process, I come across an apartment which is managed by a real estate agent on behalf of a landlord. I told the agent that I’m interested in the apartment after a tour to it. Consequently, they sent me some documents, known as self disclosure. However, I also received a very uncommon document. As shown below enter image description here My question is, is it normal? If not, then how should I respond to it. I have seen the apartment, it’s great.

If yes, I still need to sign the contract, I don’t know what is written in there, thus it could be a commission that is forbidden by law.

Please enlighten me. Many thanks!!

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    No, this is not common. It is a service contract with a 3rd party. You have agreed to take the flat and contract them to proceed in preparing the contract between you and the landlord. There is a fallback clause, should you withdraw your agreement after signing this, to pay the intailed costs. – Mark Johnson Sep 10 at 21:38
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The paper basically says that they will "prepare" the contract for you and if you won't sign it later, you need to reimburse them the time they spend for the "preparation".

Personally, I won't sign anything like this even if I'm in a desperate need of the flat.

My arguments are:

  1. "Preparing" a contract sounds ridiculous to me. Agents have a lot of detailed templates. Even a common person can for free download a quite good professional contract (which is neutral and follows the law) from let's say immobilienscout24 and adapt it within a very short time.

  2. The agent already has a contract with landlord. I.e., landlord hired him and pays him for his job. Why then you need to sign such things, to double-pay for an agent? "So if a landlord has hired a broker to show the flat, he/she must pay the fee. If you hire a broker to find a flat, you must pay the fee.'

  3. Relatively recently, the provision for renting out the flats was prohibited by law in Germany. Now, the agents (who were getting 2-3 monthly rent payments as a provision for doing almost nothing) try to survive and trick people for signing unnecessary contracts with them.

  4. I understand that the flat might look very attractive, but starting a long-term relation with landlord/agent from letting them to unlawfully trick you, is generally bad idea. Basically, now you have not sing any contracts yet, but they already try to cheat. What will happen after you sing the flat contract then? Usually, in such cases, the situation can only get worse. Simply do not do it.

  5. If nobody agrees on such a bad conditions, then such agents won't survive and the flat market will be better for both landlords and occupants.

So I would just apply for the flat and write in the letter that you decline to sign such a paper, but still are interested in the renting a flat.

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  • Many thanks @Andrey with such informative answer and with respective links! Reading the document, actually, I did what you said. I said that I’m not sure if I sign this document but I’m very much interested in the apartment, I sent my self disclosure. The agent said they can’t provide me the contract if I don’t sign it. Then they proposed to call me tomorrow which I accepted. In your opinion, should I say elaborate on the second point to them but politely? Or how else should I? I’m sorry I’m really ignorant but I won’t surely not gunna sign it after this. – Shamina Sep 10 at 22:35
  • Yes, I would just elaborate on the that point, and do not sign unlawful documents. I did it once and still got the flat:) In my situation, I was asked to give out my passport as pawn for the keys (they said I should check the flat alone). I declined and then wrote them an e-mail that they are breaking the Personalausweisgesetz which prohibits taking IDs as a pawn. Also I insisted that they should show me the flat. After some time, they came to show me the flat in person and after some more time I got a contract. So do not afraid of doing it, but do politely. – Andrey Sapegin Sep 11 at 8:29
  • I elaborated on the second point, they said they work for money. Additionally, said, they’re not doing anything unlawful. Again, I said your second point and the fourth point, that I don’t know what will be written in the contract. They said, it’s a usual contract (lawful) which they’ve handed over to people for last 30 years without problem (of course, I can’t verify that). That means, they want me to sign it. Surprisingly, they said, they only charge 75€ if I say no, not other amount written on the above document. – Shamina Sep 11 at 9:35
  • In your opinion, it’s time to say no? Or is it worth seeing the contract? Additionally, they said you can show it anyone you like to make sure things are fine (there way saying it’s lawful). Many many thanks to you :) – Shamina Sep 11 at 9:37
  • 75 Euro in the scanned document is not a full amount, it is a price per hour. If they claim 10 hours, it will be 750 Euro already. + the scan also states extra money for them to use their car (to drive to the flat) etc. What they said about 75 Euro - it will be impossible to prove from your side if later they charge you more. You should make a decision based on the document, and not on what they said. – Andrey Sapegin Sep 11 at 10:10

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