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Here's the situation. We are looking to rent a flat in Munich, where the market is not exactly favorable for the tenants. We received a positive answer today from an agency, for flat A, but the flat is... not very good. Long commute, expensive, and we are quite sure that they lied to us about its size. We are waiting for an answer from a landlord, for flat B, which is really good.

We don't want to wait too much to answer for flat A, fearing that we might lose our chance. On the other hand, we should receive the answer from flat B very soon (tomorrow ?)

I hate even thinking about that because I'm not usually an asshole, but long story short our situation is close to desperate, so what happens if we answer yes by email to the agency for flat A, but if we get flat B before actually signing the contract we ditch the agency ? Could we get into trouble doing that ?

Google has not been too helpful, closest I could find was that, but it's not a transfer of real estate I guess.

Any advice or pointers welcome.

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  • Not sure about Germany, but in many places, what happens in practice is that you would have to put up a deposit for A. Until they've received it, they are free to rent it to someone else instead. And once you pay the deposit, if you decide not to rent it after all, at a minimum they keep your deposit. Nov 12 '18 at 23:10
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If you accept their offer of the apartment then you have a binding contract.

So don't.

Instead say something like "Thanks, we would like to go ahead with the rental, please forward a copy of the contract for us to review." Now you have accepted conditionally - the condition being that the contract is acceptable to you. I'm sure there are many valid reasons why it won't be.

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    Germany is a civil law country, so this matter would be regulated. Are you sure the "offer + acceptance = contract" principle applies here no matter of the form?
    – Greendrake
    Nov 13 '18 at 7:08
  • I can only speak from my experience in Switzerland, but here, in some cantons, it is mandatory to sign a "Mietvertrag", to make sure everything is written on paper. I assume there is something similar in Germany, but it could be that it isn't mandatory. This answer is definitely the right way to go forward in my opinion, whatever the exact laws on the mandatoryness of the these contracts are.
    – Mafii
    Nov 13 '18 at 8:13

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