Sold House in Germany in empty condition whitout tenants to a builder who wants to demolish and build a new house.

Handover to new owner failed because one tenant still claims to live there.

Residential lease-agreement was cancelled in written but only to Mr. instead of Mr. AND Mrs. Tenant. Therefore the cancellation is invalid. One of the two tenants never moved out.

Didn't pay rent for three years.

German law protects tenants even though they don't pay and it is not allowed to throw them out without correct cancellation letter and a specific amount of time.

Owner can file a law suit and evict the tenant but new owner can't wait and would claim indemnity while this is going on. Can take 3-6 months.

Lawyer suggests a payment to tenant and legal agreement to resolve case so the new owner can take over fast. Tenants furniture was discarded because nobody knew he still came back every now and then.

Tenant knows that he is in the way and asks for a big payment as his lawyer threatens to issue a temporary restraining order for the demolition of the house which would cause additional costs for the builder and new owner.

1 Answer 1


Pay them

When negotiating it is useful to think of your BATNA - Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. Your BATNA is to follow the appropriate legal process to evict them which will cost what it costs and take the time that it takes.

You also need to think of their BATNA which appears to be that they get use of the property rent free until evicted - what is that worth in time and money to them.

The area of successful negotiation lies in the area where both BATNAs are satisfied - if it exists. Sometimes a BATNA is just a BA, a Best Alternative.

If you can negotiate an agreement that will cost you less (in time and/or money) than your BATNA and give them more than their BATNA, you should take it.

  • Yes, this is the way to go.
    – Putvi
    Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 21:45

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