Cancellation of an apartment rental contract

75 posts in this topic

Here's something I found out recently that I thought might be useful for people to know.

 

The laws regarding the termination period (Kündigungsfrist) of a rental contract were changed in 2001. Previously the termination period depended on the length of the tenancy, but now it is fixed at 3 months.

 

More information in German here: Mietrecht FAQ. Click on "Kündigungsfrist" on the menu at the left.

 

Any rental contract that was signed before 2001 may still have clauses stating longer notice periods (see below), but according to the information on the linked page, these clauses are no longer valid and the landlord is legally obliged to accept a 3 month notice of contract termination.

 

There are some caveats, but it looks like for most contracts this will be the case.

 

Old law (for both tenant and landlord):

0-5 years tenancy: 3 Months

5-8 years tenancy: 6 Months

8-10 years tenancy: 9 Months

more than 10 years tenancy: 12 Months

 

New law:

For tenant: always 3 months

For landlord:

0-5 years tenancy: 3 Months

5-8 years tenancy: 6 Months

more than 8 years tenancy: 9 Months

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Yes, but the landlord is not legally obliged to accept any new tenant that the outgoing tenant finds. If he wants to be a git he can make you pay the full notice period, and would be well within his legal rights to do so.

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New law:

For tenant: always 3 months

What I am still wondering is: what is the lease specifies a set time frame for the duration of lease, say, four years? In our lease it says that neither party can terminate the contract before that time is up. I believe we could get out early (3 months) but would then have to find someone who takes our apt. (and so at our expense).

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Question: what happens if you've been given 6 months by your landlord but find somewhere and move out earlier, eg within four months. are you required to pay the rest of the 6 months?

 

Any experience of that?

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What I am still wondering is: what is the lease specifies a set time frame for the duration of lease, say, four years? In our lease it says that neither party can terminate the contract before that time is up. I believe we could get out early (3 months) but would then have to find someone who takes our apt. (and so at our expense).
That seems to be correct according to the info on that page that I linked before. Click "Kündigungsfrist" on the left-hand menu and then look at section "B) Zeitmietvertrag".

 

 

Ein Mietverhältnis kann auch befristet abgeschlossen werden. In diesem Fall endet es mit Ablauf der Frist, eine ordentliche Kündigung ist während der Vertragslaufzeit nicht möglich! Lediglich die außerordentliche Kündigung bleibt beiden Seiten erhalten. Es kann aber u. U. ein Anspruch darauf bestehen, gegen Stellung eines Nachmieters aus dem Vertrag entlassen zu werden, mehr dazu unter Nachmieter

Click "Nachmieter" on the left-hand menu to get more info (in German).

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I seem to recall reading a judgment in a court (hamburg ?) that said that fixed time contracts could be broken by giving 3 months notice, unless there was a good reason for the fixed period.

 

Can anyone shed any light on this. My contract is fixed length and i want to get out a few months early.

 

Thanks

 

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typical over the top Germanness, although under Tony Blair England is moving in the that direction. Article in Todays Tele (couldn't find the link online) Bye Bye DIY talks about how the new reguations are going to mean the of DIY. Basicly any renovations you make to a house will require an inspection, if it fails you can be heavly fined. On the other hand, if you hire a company to do it, than no inspection is required.

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Does anyone know anything about the reduction to 1 month if you are forced to leave Germany for work reasons? I've heard it mentioned, but can't seem to find any details, so am not sure if its true. I heard it described as a 'diplomatic clause'. Anyone heard of it or know any details?

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it looks like i'll be cancelling my apartment for jan. 1, 2007. unfortunately oct. 1 is a sunday (this year). when does the letter have to arrive at his place to make the 3 months notice period valid? i won't be able to mail it off until thursday (am out of town on business) & I'm afraid tehy won't open it until Monday, Oct 2 or since it is a "bridge day", might not open it until Oct. 4.

 

EDIT: i don't have my contract with me so don#t know if there is a stipulation for that arrangement there.

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Scan it in or mail it to me - I can post it today if you like. PM me for my email if you want to do it this way.

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it looks like i'll be cancelling my apartment for jan. 1, 2007. unfortunately oct. 1 is a sunday (this year). when does the letter have to arrive at his place to make the 3 months notice period valid?

postal rule applies according to the BGB, i think. ie you have post it by the deadline. you can either then use a credible witness to prove you have posted or use registered mail. I seem to remember reading that courts had decided that Kündigungen were still valid if recieved within the first 3 working days of the month.

 

edit: here is a better explanation: (summary: the recipient of the letter has to have the chance to read or pick up the letter before it becomes valid. ie if you post at night, the delivery only becomes valid the next morning)

 

Zugang der Kündigung

Für die Wirksamkeit der Kündigung ist darüber hinaus ihr Zugang beim Kündigungsempfänger erforderlich (§ 130 BGB). Der Zugang wird dadurch bewirkt, dass die Kündigung so in den Bereich des Empfängers verbracht wird, dass dieser unter normalen Verhältnissen die Möglichkeit hat, von ihrem Inhalt Kenntnis zu nehmen. Auch nachdem eine Erklärung in den Bereich des Empfängers verbracht wurde, gilt sie erst dann als zugegangen, wenn der Empfänger die Möglichkeit zur Kenntnisnahme hat und diese auch nach der Verkehrsanschauung zu erwarten ist. Wird etwa spät abends ein Brief in den dafür vom Empfänger vorgesehenen Briefkasten eingeworfen, so gilt er erst am nächsten Morgen als zugegangen, da der Empfänger üblicher Weise erst dann mit Post rechnet und diese entnimmt.

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My one experience with this question was that the original signed paper had to be received by the landlord by the 1st. So, here that would be Saturday, 30.9. You would be best off mailing it by DHL or FedEx from whereever you are for delivery by Friday. Spend a little extra € and save a month's rent.

 

My landlord refused to accept the faxed copy that arrived on time or the letter that was mailed, but not received, prior to the 1st. Those I consulted on the issue agreed that she was not required to accept notice until having an original signature.

 

It's irrelevent when they open it, as long as you have proof of when it was delivered to the office.

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Scan it in or mail it to me - I can post it today if you like. PM me for my email if you want to do it this way.

thanks for offerng help UA, i've still got a week and will be back in Munich next Wed so i think i am okay. I'll then send it off certified mail or registered whatever on thursday.

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Double-check the contract. If it says the termination must be delivered by the first Arbeitstag of the month, that would be Monday 2nd October, not Sunday 1st.

 

My former landlord tried to catch me out on that one. Sneaky bastard that he was.

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Hi there, I am planning to vacate the flat that I rent, I understand there is a 3 months notice to leave, which is exactly what I need, however, is this legally binding for the owner and he/she cannot ask me to leave earlier than 3 months :huh: ?

Lastly, legally speaking, when is the owner supposed to return the deposit ?

 

Thks a great deal for your help, many things are so convoluted out here !

 

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They could ask you to leave earlier than the 3 months, but you don't have to accept. You have 3 months, no early kick-out.

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