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In the shadow of recent virus outbreak, I could not help but to think about my landlord’s rights if I happen to die.

I can imagine that the German law has this covered. Can someone please point it out?

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    Rights in regards to what? Recovering rent? Access to the property? Disposal of property?
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 17 '20 at 19:14
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This is covered in §§ 563-564 of the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, specifically for the death of a tenant.

§ 563 BGB:

  • Household members continue your contract in your place, with a hierarchy of spouses before children before other members.

  • They can each declare within a month that they decline to continue the contract.

  • The landlord needs a grave objection against a person to decline continuation within a month after the above month.

§ 563a BGB:

  • The same rules apply to any surviving tenants.

§ 564 BGB:

  • If the contract is not continued with anyone living in or renting, then the contract is continued with the deceased's heirs.

  • But in this case, both sides can equally terminate the contract within a month.

All deadlines from this section appear to start upon the party receiving notice (of the death / the fact that they are continuing the contract).


The death of your landlord has no immediate consequence on your contract.

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Death does not automatically end a contract1

Therefore the landlord’s (and tenant’s through their estate) rights and obligations are unchanged.

I can’t speak for Germany but must jurisdiction’s residential tenancy laws give the landlord and the estate and sometimes co-tenants the right to give notice upon death of a tenant.

1 Except for personal services contracts where the service must be performed by the contracted party personally e.g. employment contracts.

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German law of succession is based on the concept of universal succession.

That means that your heir(s) will become party to any legal relationship which you used to be party to (there are a few exceptions) and your heir(s) will be liable for all of your debt and liabilities without limitation.

This means that your lease will probably be unaffected by your death. The same happens if your landlord dies.

Beware, German law of succession is very different from what you may be used to if you're from a common law jurisdiction. If you want to learn more, I suggest that you read this article which explains the basics of German law of succession:

https://www.crosschannellawyers.co.uk/important-facts-on-german-laws-of-succession-and-german-probate/

And for further reading, I recommend this link:

https://www.crosschannellawyers.co.uk/category/german-succession-inheritance-law/

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