I am moving into a new home where landlord is living close by. I paid the rent and when I was about to move in, I came to get the key and the landlord told me that I cannot get it because I did not bring the luggage with me.

The landlord told me that he cannot give me the key because he has to see my luggage. first. To me that sounded like a very weird request, but I had no choice but to accept it. I would not get the keys otherwise. I do not want to move in the exact day when the rent starts, but a bit later though.

What should I do in this case? This sounds very weird to me. I do want to have good relations with my landlord, but when I experienced this I can't help but get suspicious that I will always have troubles with this landlord. Also is it even legal that my landlord is withholding the keys from me?

All this is happening in Germany, so German laws apply here.

  • 1
    Did you sing the rental agreement yet? Is that part of that agreement? If not, you can politely tell the LL to toot it out of a horn, as if he won't give you the keys he will be in breach of contract.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 23:46
  • Yeah, the agreement is signed already, as I said I already paid first rent. Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 8:20
  • 5
    As you've already signed the contract, both of you are now bound by it and it cannot be amended without both parties agreeing to it. So unless landlord put there a point which gives him right to inspect your luggage on move in (you will want to read your agreement carefully and look for how are inspections defined), you can politely refuse. If he will then refuse to give you keys to the property he will be in breach of the agreement you two have signed. And that would be the best for you, as you can get away from that LL who sounds like a lot of problems.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 11:16

2 Answers 2


Once your rental contract starts, your landlord must give you access to the rented flat. If he doesn't do so he is in breach of contract. You could sue him, but that would be a bad start for a longer term contractual agreement. It might be less time and effort to look for a new flat. And do you really want to be in a long term contract with someone who breaches contract right from the start based on arbitrary reasons? In any case, you can and you should cut the rent proportionally for every day without access to the flat.

Your landlord has by no means a right to check your luggage. Even if there would be such a regulation in the contract, it would be void, because of invasion of privacy. It looks to me that you are in for some bad times with such a landlord. I can assure you that most landlords are not like this. Another reason to probably look for a new flat. Legally you are right, but what does that help you if your landlord is trouble?

  • 1
    What do you base the invasion of privacy on? I will admit that I'm not familiar with law in Germany, but I have heard before of move-in inspections before and I'm not sure why would that be void.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 23:01
  • 4
    The landlord is not even allowed to ask questions that he has no business (schutzwürdiges Interesse) of knowing. If you really need to know the exact regulations: § 242 BGB and § 823 II BGB i. V. m. Art 1 I, Art 2 GG
    – Sefe
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 6:59
  • OP here. I consulted with some other people as well. A thing I forgot to mention was that I am a foreign national which means I have less rights. Does anyone have a suggestion what exactly I should do so I am as safe as possible from legal perspective. I will have to move in eventually with my luggage. Rent is only for few months (fortunately) so in case of further legal problems with landlord I need to have some safety net that will assure me that I will not legally lose any money anymore. How should I record this law violation without hurting relations with landlord? Is doing nothing ok? Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 14:15
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    You don't have fewer rights as a foreigner. If the landlord treats you differently than a German, this is discrimnation against you. You can seek advice at a Mieterverein, but I don't know if they give advice to non-members.
    – Sefe
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 15:05
  • I do not think that I get treated differently. From what I hear it is easier to mess up like that with foreigners than with domestics. And I hear that from landlords in other European countries. Anyway, thank you for your help! Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 15:53

If you have signed a rental agreement and have paid your fees the only way the landlord can with hold keys is if the place is occupied awaiting the residence to vacate. If it's been vacated and there are no suitable repairs then no they can not withhold your keys. It is by law your property per the agreement you signed

  • 1
    −1: I have downvoted this answer, too. In its current form it does not answer the question Can the landlord demand seeing luggage? Moreover there is no transfer of title, the tenancy agreement merely grants a right to possess (→ Besitzmittlungsverhältnis) and if the apartment is still occupied, the occupants probably have the keys, so the landlord cannot withhold any keys in the first place. Commented Mar 25 at 14:45

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