German property owners are complaining that current rental laws make it very difficult to evict non-paying tenants, even scammers known as “nomad tenants”.

These are tenants who skip out on rent payments by going from one apartment to another, having had no intention to pay any rent in the first place. Many of them even vandalize the apartments before they leave.

What makes it harder for landlords to weed out nomad tenants is that it is impossible to profile them. Nomads could be well-dressed young people or even whole families. “It’s hard to say, ‘This is the typical nomad,’” says Gerold Happ of the landlords’ association Haus und Grund.

The current process of terminating a lease can be a lengthy court process, with the landlord paying for initial court costs unless the tenant is found guilty and made to pay them himself.

A proposal has been put forward to change legislation to make it easier for landlords to get rid of deadbeat tenants, part of a larger reform of German rental laws. But not everyone wants it to be pushed through. Some tenant groups say that the problem has been sensationalized in the media. “These rental nomads represent a tiny fraction of landlord-tenants relationships,” says Michael Roggenbrodt of the Berliner Mieterverein.

Even Haus und Grund does not support the proposal, because it might not be enough to solve the problem. “What’s been proposed are new lease termination clauses,” says Happ. “But the problem is not that we need new reasons for lease termination; the problem is that the whole process of eviction needs to be accelerated.”

Source: Deutsche Welle