The lease is a consensual contract under the law of obligations by which the landlord is obliged to provide the leased property for an indefinite period of time, while the tenant remunerates the performance by paying a fixed rent. Thus, the tenant is the immediate owner of the rented property without ever becoming the owner of the thing. The landlord shall ensure that the leased property is in a condition in accordance with the contract during the entire lease term. The lessee, on the other hand, must return the leased property to the lessor at the end of the agreement. During the lease term, he shall immediately notify the lessor of all hazards working from or against the property. As a rule, landlords secure the contract by means of an additional deposit, which is payable by the tenant at the beginning. Often, however, the move to the new apartment already causes high costs, so that many tenants find it difficult to raise the often relatively high deposit (3 net cold rents).
Reasons for the rental deposit
Tenant and landlord will conclude the end of the contract period with the handover of the apartment. The landlord usually has a legitimate interest in being able to rent the apartment to a new party as soon as possible. On the one hand, it is necessary that the apartment is handed over to the owner in the contractual condition. On the other hand, the tenant will often be required by the lease agreement to renovate the apartment before moving out. In individual cases, the assessment of cosmetic repairs is legally controversial, but it is generally accepted that the signs of use must be removed by renovation measures. In addition, the tenant is obliged to transfer the agreed rent until the last month of the contract. If, however, he does not fulfill his obligations, the landlord sometimes has to bear a financial loss. The deposit is to secure him against such cases of damage. The tenant only has a legal claim to the return of the deposit once the apartment has been returned to the landlord and any outstanding, justified claims of the landlord have been settled.
Rental deposit – The end of all rental rooms?
In general, the move to the new apartment is not a cheap affair. The move itself (moving company, rental truck o.ä.), but also if necessary. Newly acquired furniture and household goods burden the wallet before moving into the new environment. Especially young people or families who are looking at so many costs at once u.U. cannot afford, sometimes quickly feel financially overburdened.
However, special financial service providers offer so-called rental deposit guarantees. One provider here is the bail bond company with its "Moneyfix" product. When using such a service, the tenant does not have to deposit a cash deposit or a pledged savings book with the landlord. Instead, the tenant submits a deed to the landlord (guarantee deed). The issuer of this certificate, here z.B. Deutsche Kautionskasse (or another service provider or insurer like Kautionsfrei.de / R+V Versicherung), vouches to the landlord for the provision of the rental deposit. If the landlord has a legitimate reason to actually claim the deposit, the deposit office will pay the money to the landlord.
Prerequisite: The landlord must accept the contract between tenant and insurance company. A legal claim to approval does not necessarily exist here. However, the client may entrust the bail bond fund with the clarification. This is especially useful if the landlord is not familiar with the company and the way it works, and his first refusal of the guarantee as a deposit replacement is rather out of ignorance.
The business model of Moneyfix
In the meantime, the Deutsche Kautionskasse with Moneyfix already counts two million customers who have replaced their rental deposit, which is actually payable to the landlord, with the rental deposit guarantee. But what does the service cost? For providing the guarantee and related services Moneyfix charges some flat fees, which are to be paid by the client:
- On the one hand, a premium in the amount of 50€ is due with the conclusion of the contract.
- On the other hand, the policyholder must pay 5% of the rental deposit amount annually.
- As of the 2. Contract year, the company also requires a service fee of € 10.
The insured event and its consequences
The insured event always occurs when the landlord claims the deposit amount for himself after moving out. In this case, the owner turns to Moneyfix and explains his reasons. In the following, the insurance company clarifies the facts of the case to the customer, so that the customer may comment on it within 14 days. In some cases, it is also possible to stop the liquidation by means of a judicial summary proceeding. Court evidence is sufficient to ultimately deny the insurer from handing over money to the landlord. If the policyholder does not report within this obligation, Moneyfix satisfies the payment claim of the landlord. The company then invoices the tenant for the service. D.h. In plain English, the bail bond company does not cover the loss (the bond), but only advances you to the landlord at the landlord's beck and call. D.h. again: with the deposit guarantee the tenant has only a liquidity advantage during his rent; he does not have to deposit the sum of the required 3 months rent "unused" with the landlord over years. But if the landlord (can) make an actual claim to use the deposit, then the tenant must effectively already raise the deposit amount itself, just not in advance, but only in case of emergency.
Advantage over some other providers at Moneyfix is that the deposit fund has no maximum limit in terms of deposit amount. If the deposit exceeds the amount of 10.000 €, the company does carry out a case-by-case review before informing the applicant of the result. But it can also save the tenant from having to front the rental deposit for unusually expensive rental properties.
In addition, the customer takes little risk because the contract can be canceled at any time. The cancellation takes place with the return of the guarantee certificate, which the policyholder received with the contract documents. For the final settlement, the notice of termination is recorded to the day.
Bottom line: bail bonds instead of rent deposits
Overall, the concept of the bail bond company with its product Moneyfix offers a lot of security and transparency. As a tenant, you can save yourself the trouble of having to pay an already substantial rent deposit in advance. On the other hand, using such a service provider can already add significant costs over the years. This is especially the case if the lease continues for many years to decades, since the customer must finance the annual commission plus service fee during the entire contract period. On the other hand, the monthly charge is relatively low, and you can use the cash you don't have to spend on the deposit after you move in z.B. rather put it into new furniture or similar.