When Crocodilian gets an okay from both parties, we send you the Crocodilian Online Rental Agreement. In this document you can state everything clearly: including method of rental payments, rent per month, the due dates for rent, due date for deposit, etc. If the tenant has a foreign bank account and there are transfer fees, then they are to be paid by the tenant. In case the full amount is not transferred to your account, please inform your tenant about it.
The Rental Agreement should also state the date by when the tenant will get the security deposit back, assuming no damage has been found. But the most important thing is to state the date by which the rent should arrive in the owner’s account. Any charges for late payments may also need to be taken into consideration. You can also state whether or not the tenant is allowed to make payments through money transfer (only possible for tenants with a German bank account).
Please make sure that you enter your correct bank details in the Rental Agreement. If the tenant is from abroad, then make sure you also enter the IBAN and BIC/Swift codes (these codes can be found on your bank statements). Unfortunately, sometimes the rent transfer is sent back because the owner gave wrong bank info. And the owner holds the tenant responsible for late payments. But of course it is not the tenant's fault but rather the owner's fault for providing the incorrect information. That is why it is very important to go through all the numbers (even the long ones such as the IBAN code) twice or three times in the Rental Agreement before completing it.
If the rental period is short, 2-3 months for example, the tenant can pay the entire rental amount in advance, after negotiating with the owner. Especially, when the tenant is from abroad and does not want to transfer money every month and pay the bank fees or does not receive the amount in Berlin every month on time.
But, if the tenant signs the contract without viewing the apartment and is still abroad, they might not want to pay the full amount in advance. It is better in that case to negotiate that the tenant pays the rent in two instalments. The second one is due when the tenant arrives in Berlin – or in the first week of arrival.
We recommend that before the tenant arrives, the method of payment should already be agreed upon to avoid payment in cash when the tenant is in Berlin. In any case, it is safer for you if you get the first month’s rent and the deposit, before the tenant arrives in Berlin – via bank transfer. It might also be the case, that after the arrival of the tenant in Berlin, he or she wants to pay in cash but the bank has a limit and the tenant cannot pay you the full amount. So it is important to let the tenant know about this in advance and discuss all the details about payment of the first rent and deposit in depth and extensively.
You should never allow the tenant to move in to your apartment without a proper Rental Agreement (with move in and move out dates) and advanced payments of the deposit and rent.