Court finds that you need money to pay rent

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected]
Court finds that you need money to pay rent
Man sitting in empty apartment photo: Shutterstock"

Germany's highest court has found that there are definite limits to the excuses you can offer your landlord for not paying your rent.

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They said that a tenant could not contest his landlord's cancelling of his rental contract over several missing monthly payments of €1,100.

The man, from North Rhine-Westphalia, had appealed his case all the way to the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) after his landlord cancelled his rental contract.

His lawyer had argued that the man did technically 'have' the money to pay his rent – “he just couldn't get hold of it”.

When the landlord initially complained that he was behind on his payments, he was engaged in a battle with the social authorities to receive his rent as part of his unemployment benefits.

They said that his rent was too high, and his flat too big, for them to pay for it under the Hartz IV unemployment system.

But judge Karin Milger found that “you have to have money” to pay the rent if you enter into a contract as a tenant.

While she acknowledged that while this was not explicitly stated in the law governing tenancies, she said it was a generally-understood part of renting property.

The landlord's lawyer said that the law was too favourable to tenants and that “people think you have to help the poor tenant at every level”.

He added that it should be the job of the law to arrive at a sensible balance of interests between the parties.

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