How to terminate the lease in Germany

Since in many large cities in Germany there is a shortage of housing, and the demand for the purchase and especially for rental housing exceeds supply, according to the laws of a market economy, rental prices are constantly increasing, to the joy of the owners. In addition, the owners may be tempted to often change not liked tenants, even if they do not violate anything, because you can quickly find those who are willing to pay more. In this regard, the German government has developed measures to limit the growth of prices for rental property and protect the rights of tenants.

Of course, in Germany you can terminate the lease, but this is not an easy process, and it takes a lot of time. This is due to the fact that the termination of the lease must be carried out strictly according to the law, and the legality of the procedure must be justified. There are a number of reasons (we will discuss them below), on which you can terminate the contract, as well as a number of rules according to which the termination is carried out. For example, the owner must notify the tenant in advance of the termination of the contract.

If the lease term is more than 5 years, the notice period is 6 months, and if the tenant lives in the apartment for more than 8 years, the notice period is 9 months. Old lease agreements signed before autumn 2001 often state that after 10 years of rent, the landlord must comply with the 12-month notice period. This regulation is still valid today. The landlord must comply with this contractual provision, after which he can terminate it only with a notice within 12 months, that is, even if he made a decision on termination, the tenant can rent housing for another year.

There are several reasons stated in the regulatory documents that are sufficiently weighty to terminate the lease agreement. They fall into three main categories:

1. Owner's own needs.

There are situations when the owner of the property is forced to move into rented housing and use it for himself. If the regulators or the court consider such a need truly insurmountable, the lease agreement can be terminated. However, this is not so easy. For example, if the owner is already renting another property in the same city or federal land, this greatly reduces the chances of termination of the lease agreement.

When the owner’s own needs are substantial enough?
- Housing is necessary in connection with the work. For example, the place of work is close to the apartment, and a daily return to the former place of residence is too expensive and expensive.
- The owner is forced to move to a rented apartment for health reasons. For example, if there are indications of noise, or the apartment is located on the "zero" floor (at ground level), and the former place of residence does not allow you to comfortably move in a wheelchair.
- There is a need to expand the living space, for example, at birth or adoption of children, the owner has to move from a former two-room apartment to a three-room apartment.
- There is a need for a separate housing for adult children.
- There is a need for housing for hired staff, for example, for a nanny or a nurse.

2. Economic expediency.

The lease agreement can be terminated if the rental housing not only does not generate income, but also turns out to be unprofitable for the owner. For example, an apartment or a house requires major repairs, and the owner begins to spend 1,000 euros per month for their maintenance and maintenance in a liveable condition at a rental price of 500 euros. In this case, the court may decide in favor of the owner.

3. Violation of the terms of the contract by the tenant.

Perhaps the most common reason for eviction. The most significant reasons for the termination of the contract:
- The tenant repeatedly violates the rules of conduct in a house or apartment (Hausordnung).
- The tenant does not pay rent for more than 3 months.

These grounds allow you to go to court, which after some time makes a decision. Of course, in situations of obvious and gross violation of the terms of the contract, the court will be on the side of the owner, but not always the situation is so unequivocal.

First, the courts often take the side of tenants, and there are a number of criteria for their protection, it can be the age of residents, their social insecurity, state of health or difficult life situation.

All this forces owners to be very careful in choosing tenants and drawing up a lease agreement. Unfortunately, sometimes measures to protect tenants play against them when the owner refuses elderly or low-income applicants to rent an apartment, even if they are able to pay right now. The owner does not want to take a small risk and chooses in favor of a young working couple, a much more reliable tenant in his eyes. Of course, this does not always happen. This largely depends on a competent assessment of all risks and a reasonable approach to drawing up a lease agreement. For this reason, property owners often turn to management companies.

Dominart Invest has been managing commercial and residential real estate in Germany for over 10 years. We take a responsible approach to the choice of tenants, drawing up lease agreements, real estate maintenance and full information to the owner about the rental process, about the need for additional maintenance or repair, about the state of housing.

Do you need more information about renting accommodation in Germany? Contact us, we are always available and happy to help. Just leave a request on the website or just in our chat, and we will answer you within a minute, with pleasure providing any necessary information. You can also email us at or call + 49 (30) 516 417 63.

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