Tenant notice: these 6 things you need to keep in mind as a private landlord

There are various reasons why you may have to give notice to your tenant. It is important to know that special rules apply to landlords, which must be observed in order for the termination to be legally effective. Under which circumstances you may terminate your tenant and which violations can even lead to termination without notice, you will learn in the following article.

Ordinary termination

Under § 573 BGB are Own need, a significant Violation of the contractually agreed obligations by the tenant and the Preventing a substantially better economic use of the rental property held by continuation of the tenancy. An example of the latter is the demolition of a building in need of renovation in order to construct a new building instead. This does not include the possibility that the landlord could obtain a significantly higher rent by changing the tenant.

You, as the landlord, must clearly and comprehensibly state your interest regarding the cancellation of the rental agreement in the termination letter.

Termination due to own need

On the other hand, the notice is not effective if you do not intend to use the residential unit until the distant future or if only temporary use of a few months is planned.

What the notice must contain

  • Give concrete reasons why you need the living space
  • Show by which person the apartment will be used. If there is no direct relationship, it must also be explained in what form you are related to her
  • Advise the tenant of his right to object and the relevant deadline
  • If you have an alternative apartment that you can offer the tenant, include this in the termination letter as well. At the same time, you must explain conclusively why you need the tenant’s apartment and cannot use the alternative unit
Generally applies:


The Pretend of own need can cost you dearly. If there is evidence of deception by your tenant, he or she can give notice to you for Claims for damages in the amount of several thousand euros.

The tenant has a right of objection

If such a Hardship reason If the tenant has a significant reason for moving out of the apartment, the court will order that the tenant may remain in the apartment until this reason no longer applies. If a valid reason for termination continues to exist even after this period has expired, you as the landlord must give notice of termination again.

You are obliged to inform your tenant of the possibility of objection. If you fail to do so, your tenant’s objection period will be extended.

The utilization notice

Good to know

If you have inherited a property and would like to terminate the tenant’s lease, you do not have a special right of termination.

Breach of contract – warning as a precursor to termination

The deadlines can vary depending on the reason for the warning, but are generally between two and four weeks. If he does not comply with your request, you can then terminate the tenancy.

Depending on the severity of the breach of contract termination without notice justified. If the reason is less serious, a Ordinary termination be given in compliance with the legal deadlines.

The warning thus sets the course for the termination and gives the tenant the opportunity to adjust his behavior to the contractual conditions. It is also valid verbally, but it is always better to send it to the tenant in writing and by registered mail. If it should come to a court hearing, you can provide appropriate proof in this way.

If there are several registered tenants for the housing unit in question, all must be mentioned by name in the letter. It should also be made clear that failure to do so will result in termination of the lease.


If your tenant has sublet the apartment without permission, then you can terminate the lease without notice even without prior warning. You must give your consent for subletting – either this is already regulated in the rental agreement or the tenant must obtain your permission for this during the current rental relationship.

Especially in the case of tourist subletting, the written permission of the landlord is required, as it is not covered by a general subletting permit.

Facilitated termination

Seek dialogue with the tenant

There is also the option of issuing a notice of termination instead of a notice to quit Termination agreement to agree. This invalidates the terms specified in the lease agreement. However, both parties must agree to this agreement. As a landlord, you can also give your tenant a Pay severance, which, for example, covers part of the relocation costs. This is particularly useful if you need the property for your own use as soon as possible, as it allows you to avoid the statutory notice periods.

Even if the rent is not paid, a discussion can be the first step in an otherwise good relationship to find a solution for the continuation of the tenancy in the interest of both parties.

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Extension of the notice period

The legal periods of notice of termination by the landlord are based on the duration of the tenancy. From 5 years, this increases from 3 to 6 months. If the tenancy has existed for longer than 8 years, the notice period is 9 months. Individual deadlines can only be adjusted in the contract in favor of the tenant.

Extraordinary termination

If, for example, your tenant has put the property at considerable risk by grossly neglecting his duty of care or if a payment of at least two months’ rent is outstanding, you can give him extraordinary notice of termination without notice in accordance with Section 543 of the German Civil Code (BGB). In these cases, no prior warning is required, as the circumstances justify a special reason for termination (§ 543 BGB Abs. 3). Nevertheless, you have the option of issuing a warning in advance, on which you can base the notice of termination.

Make sure that the letter of notice regarding an outstanding payment specifies the exact amount, as this is the basis for the reason for termination.

A sustained, repeated disturbance of domestic peace despite a warning can also result in termination without notice. According to § 569 para. 2 BGB, this circumstance is given if, taking into account all circumstances, the continuation of the tenancy does not constitute a reasonable circumstance. For the effectiveness of the termination, you should describe the exact reasons in it and list the corresponding dates, since blanket justifications are not sufficient, especially in court.

To avoid getting into such a situation in the first place, this article will tell you how to find the right tenant for your property.

Cessation of the right to object

In the case of a justified extraordinary termination, your tenant cannot invoke a reason of hardship that delays the move-out or generally object to it.

Special case: Limited rental contract

If the tenancy is limited by a temporary tenancy agreement, the basis for ordinary notice of termination no longer applies. This also means that it is not possible to terminate the lease for personal use during this period, as this falls under the heading of ordinary termination. The tenancy ends on the date agreed in the contract. The right to extraordinary termination without notice still exists if the relevant reasons exist.

New leasing for private landlords

In our free e-book for private landlords, we have compiled extensive information about the New tenant of your property summarized. Here we also give valuable tips on how to find your desired tenant.

What to do if the tenant does not move out?

If your tenant has not moved out on time despite the notice of termination, you can, according to § 940a ZPO Eviction action raise. First, however, you must object in writing to any further use of the apartment and ask your tenant to leave the apartment. If the tenant does not comply with this request, the next step is an eviction action.

As this can extend over a longer period of time and involve high costs for you, a lawsuit should only be considered in exceptional cases. If the lawsuit is successful, the tenant must pay the costs incurred, but if the tenant is unable to pay, in the worst case you will be left with all the costs.

Payment by the tenant after receipt of the claim

However, there Exceptions from this regulation:

If the tenant has already made use of this Grace period made, he can not claim it again.

If you have also given the tenant notice of termination without notice as well as an ordinary notice of termination due to his rent arrears, then he must still leave the apartment at the end of the statutory notice period despite settling the claims.

Termination of a commercial property

Both parties can by Freedom of contract agree individually on the rental agreement, which is usually geared to longer-term use. Nevertheless, there is a legal deadline to observe when giving notice of termination. This is 6 months, unless otherwise agreed in the contract. The notice of termination must be given to the tenant no later than 3. Working day of the quarter must be present.

Saturday is also considered a working day. However, if the deadline falls on a Saturday, it is postponed to the following Monday.

To be on the safe side, you should send the notice by registered mail. This gives you a legal basis if your tenant claims not to have received the notice in time. Even in the case of commercial use, a termination agreement accepted by both parties can be used instead of an ordinary notice of termination.

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