You must clean your apartment before handing it over. At the handover, it usually has to be completely empty and clean. In addition, all damage that has occurred during the rental period must be repaired when the flat is handed over. Anything that falls into the category of “minor maintenance” must be repaired at your own expense by the date of the handover. This includes things like changing light bulbs, buying a new toilet seat and filling in any holes in the walls.
As soon as a specialist is needed to carry out the repair, it is no longer classed as minor maintenance. Then you have to inform the property management agency so that they can contact a tradesperson for you. You should definitely do this at an early stage. If damage is discovered during the apartment handover that must be repaired before the next tenants move in, you will be liable for the lost rent.
Your personal liability insurance generally pays for sudden damage to the rental apartment that happens by accident, such as when a bottle of perfume falls into the sink and leaves a crack. However, damage that has occurred gradually is not insured – for example mould that has formed over time because you have not ventilated enough. You usually have to pay for this kind of damage yourself.
More detailed information on this is provided in our guide to tenant damage.
You should only sign the handover protocol if the damage really exists and you agree that you must pay for the repairs.
If you object to any element of the protocol, do not sign it. Alternatively, you could have a proviso included in the protocol about the points you do not agree with and photograph the damage in question before the handover. If you sign without raising any objections, you will have to pay for all damage recorded in the protocol.