Internet in Furnished Flats
Tenants always expect to move into a fully connected and furnished flat. They do not want to move in and then wait for facilities to be installed. This is especially the case with internet. Most tenants need to use it as soon as they move in. So it is very important that the internet is properly installed in the apartment before you hand over the keys. An apartment without a proper internet connection is very hard to rent on the market. Even with internet, tenants want a DSL connection. This should be taken care of properly, especially if you are renting out for a longer period of time. Surf sticks nowadays are considered outdated and it is harder to find tenants for apartments with only these sticks. The tenants want a proper DSL internet connection, especially if they are paying a higher price for a good-quality apartment.
Risks for owners of furnished flats for rent
Recently there have been a lot of warnings from media corporations regarding illegal file-sharing. This is why in the Crocodilian rental agreement it is clearly stated that downloading copyrighted material illegally is forbidden in Germany. It is also stated that the tenant is responsible for the consequences and all fines that occur. Even if it is written in the contract, it is still better to remind them of this again yourself, because a lot of tenants who come from abroad are not familiar with German laws. Still, if anything happens, you do not have to worry. You can easily explain this and show the fact that you were not living in the apartment and had not been using the internet. Also the fact that you clearly informed the tenant of the problem and they are responsible for it. As long as you have clearly written this in the rental agreement as well, you can rest assured that you do not have to face the consequences.
What you should be careful of when you order DSL in the apartment for rent
Think about whether a DSL connection is enough for your apartment or if you also want a telephone subscription. Remember to unsubscribe from any billable phone services.
If you are not living in the apartment yourself, discuss with the service provider where the equipment (such as routers) should be sent to. Not all service providers can send the equipment to an address other than the one being connected. We have had good experiences with Alice and the worst with Telekom. The advantage is that the handyman does not need to reinstall the distribution box in the basement and the apartment.
If you have bought the apartment, please ask about any subscription in the name of the previous owner or tenant. If the previous occupant of the apartment had a connection and moved out less than 2 years after the installation, then your information is still traceable.
In case you need a new connection and the previous occupant of the apartment is unknown, then you will get an appointment for an installation. Make sure that either you, or someone responsible for the property is 'at home' when the engineers come by (usually between 8:00 till 16:00, and more often than not, handymen come early i.e. before noon). Most importantly, you need to make sure that the handyman knows which bell to ring and that your name is written on it clearly. Also remember to ensure that the handyman can get access to the right room in the basement.
Wireless LAN and password for the tenant
A W-LAN connection should be properly installed without any exception. Make sure that the router is able to provide this. Sometimes old routers do not have a WLAN antenna. It is important that the tenant has access to the internet in the entire apartment. The tenant may even have a laptop (like some Macs) that does not allow internet connections via a cable and absolutely needs a W-LAN connection. Remember to make sure that your WLAN is secured with a password, so that nobody else has access to it. Also of course remember to give the password to the tenant.
Problems with the internet
For almost all tenants, a properly working internet connection is of great importance. Sometimes the connection becomes intermittant, or stops completely. If this happens, the tenant should contact the owner.
If the internet does not work
A network problem with the provider (Telekom, etc.) is very rare. The problem is usually with the router and can easily be fixed. The tenant just needs to restart the router and the computer. Sometimes it works if the power cable is taken out and then put in again. Then the tenant just needs to see if the DSL, W-LAN and internet lights are (correctly) blinking on the router or not.
If the lights are blinking, that means that the internet is working again. If not, then there is indeed a problem. In this case there is nothing that you, the owner, can do to fix the problem. First of all the tenant should wait at least 3-4 days, constantly trying to restart the router. If the problem still persists, then the service provider needs to be contacted. For this, the tenant should provide you with the exact details of the problem before you contact the service provider. There is a specific field for the internet in the 'Crocodilian Online Rental Agreement'.
Problems with Macs
Some Mac users might experience problems connecting to your WLAN. This is mostly the result of the way the Mac is configured and not the fault of the router. But this problem can also be easily taken care of.