Reasons for termination by landlords – what is legal??

In times when living space is scarce, tenants are increasingly afraid of losing their apartment.
The consequence: tenants put up with more and more from landlords: Excessive rents, unjustified rent increases or unrectified rent deficiencies – in view of the tight housing market, tenants often put up with more than they actually have to for fear of termination. Which reasons can really lead to a termination of the lease, you can find out here.

ARTICLE FROM Dr. Daniel Halmer

When may my landlord terminate the apartment??

First of all, it should be noted that tenants in Germany are particularly well protected by law. This is to protect you as a tenant at all times from arbitrary terminations or unjustified rent increases. The legislator assigns great importance to the tenant’s home as the center of his or her life. Therefore, a landlord can only terminate your tenancy agreement if he/she has a justified interest in terminating the tenancy (§ 573 Abs. 1 sentence 1 BGB).

A justified interest is expressly not in the case of a termination for the purpose of rent increase exists (§ 573 para. 1 sentence 2 BGB).

Even if you apply the rent brake and permanently reduce the rent to the legally permitted level, this is not a reason for termination for your landlord.

Reasons for an ordinary termination

If your landlord issues an ordinary notice of termination, he/she must also give you the reason for the termination. The following three reasons are possible (§ 573 Abs. 2 BGB):

  1. You have culpably violated your contractual obligations considerably.
  2. Your landlord declares that he/she needs the apartment for him/herself, family members or members of the household. More on the topic of termination of own use>>
  3. Your* landlord* is prevented from a reasonable economic exploitation of the property by the continuation of the tenancy agreement.

A termination for the purpose of own need (2) or the reasonable economic exploitation (3) are outside the sphere of influence of the tenant. For tenants are therefore particularly interesting, which contractual obligations they can culpably not insignificantly violate (1).

Reasons for termination of the lease without notice

In the case of particularly serious breaches of contract, ordinary notice of termination can be given even after a single breach and, under certain circumstances, without notice. As a rule, however, the landlord should warn you of your misconduct and inform you of the consequences of a possible termination. Common contract violations are:

  • Continuous violation of the applicable house rules
  • Subletting the rental object to a third party without the consent or knowledge of the landlord (e.g. via Airbnb)
  • Delay with the rent payment
  • Operating an unauthorized, outwardly recognizable trade or business
  • Keeping a pet despite existing, lawful prohibition
  • Recurring disturbance of domestic peace
  • The rented property has been intentionally damaged or neglected

In addition to the right reasons, a notice of termination – whether without notice or with notice – must always meet further legal and formal criteria. On less you can have an apartment termination reviewed and defended against.

The brochure
What to do in the event of termination?
as PDF for download.

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