I want to represent myself in german court because I don't have money for a lawyer (i am a student international ) and I also don't know anything about german laws at all

I have many evidence(gmails/WhatsApp/recordings/pictures) against someone who files a false lawsuit against me so the guy(my landlord) wants me to pay him an amount of money that I don't owe him I refused of course so he accused me with tons of false stuff without proof this guy is known to be a scammer among students and he abuses the law and he did call the police on other students as well (using vague contracts that he abuses)

let me give you an example: in the contract, it says that "the landlord has the right to bring a cleaning service when it seems fit" so what he does he find a paper or any small amount of salt on the table he takes a picture and he shows us that the house is dirty so he brings a cleaning service for like 3 hours and he charges every student in the house like 90 euros (there is 10 of us in the house) meaning he made 900 euros in one day and he did this like 2 times for no reason although we showed him that the house was clean when we told him and showed him how clean the house was he said "you ARABS will never learn in less we take your money" and there are many other long examples

so long story short anyone who see my evidence will totally agree with me that I got take advantage of, and they will know that my landlord is a huge scammer but the problem that I think Germany is a country that doesn't care about logic but rather laws and the books
meaning they can ignore my evidence in a favor of a contract even if it very vague so all I want to say can I just give my evidence to the court and hope they just accept it?

  • 7
    "I don't know anything about German law" is hardly a good starting point if you want to represent yourself, is it? -- I suggest you consult the local Mieterverein, who can help you and represent you legally (though you will have to become a member and pay membership). -- It is very well possible that the contract clauses are illegal and void. Btw., hiow does tha landlord even manage to find a "small amount of salt on the table" without (most likely illegally) entering your home? Oct 19, 2020 at 15:16
  • @HagenvonEitzen wait !! you mean it's not common in germany for landlord to enter the house ?! because also in the contract it mention he have the right to check the house Oct 19, 2020 at 15:25
  • 4
    The landlord may enter the house (it is still theirs after all) and its "public" parts such as stair-cases, but not your flat - except e.g. after an appointment made with you or in highly restricted reasonable exceptions such as a water pipe broken in your flat causes damage to the flat below. - I know of the opposite: Landlords have practically no way to deal with messy tenants who really spoil their flat with heaps of garbage that attract rats ... so (out of the blue) I'd wager your chances are probably good. Please do ask someone (again, preferably Mieterverein) for help Oct 19, 2020 at 15:36
  • 2
    This sounds very much illegal. Get a lawyer, the landlord will have to pay the process costs if he loses. Talking to the Mieterverein is a good idea. Or talk to your universities Asta, they often provide you with legal counsel as well.
    – user32674
    Oct 19, 2020 at 16:51
  • 2
    Imagine going around and painting some guys fancy white building without asking him and then wondering why you get sued.. I mean come on man. @Studoku Based on how much money you paid him probably. Or alternatively on how good of a party member you are.
    – user32674
    Oct 23, 2020 at 23:20

2 Answers 2


Yes and No

In the lower court (Amtsgericht), yes you can proceed without a lawyer, but for certain cases. In those cases and in the upper courts, you have to have a lawyer. That is called "Anwaltspflicht" or "Anwaltszwang".

You need a lawyer whenever the case is in the layers of Landgericht, Oberlandesgericht, Oberstes Landesgericht, Landesverwaltungsgericht, Bundesverwaltungsgericht, and the Bundesgerichtshof - so any court that is at the state or federal level, as regulated in § 78 ZPO. There's a level of damages that automatically puts the Landesgericht in charge of a case, thus mandating a lawyer.

Atop that, you need a lawyer in front of the Lower Amtsgericht if the case is either about family law, or it is a case including a Verbrechen that requires "Notwendige Verteidigung". This is regulated in § 140 Abs. 1 StPO (Strafprozessordnung ~ Regulations for the conduction of criminal processes). Another case that demands for a lawyer is if you can be banned from your profession as a result of the case (e.g. medical or judicial personal in some cases), if the Staatsanwalt requests Untersuchungshaft (confinement during investigation) and some more. Also, if a criminal lawsuit - even when not about a Verbrechen - contains a person below 18, that one has to have a lawyer in any case.

Verbrechen here is any crime in the StGB that has a minimum punishment of confinement of at least one year as defined in §12 StgB.


While allowable, it is not always advisable to proceed with a case yourself and without a lawyer and alone. Especially in rental cases, the local Mieterverein often can assist with legal advice on how to proceed and might have a lawyer on call for such cases. Also as a student, your ASTA might be able to help you free of charge. Both can also help to find either a lawyer with an affordable rate or even help to renegotiate the contract by the weight they hold as interest groups and their expertise (and the ASTA might remove a bad landlord from the list of landlords they suggest to students).


You should apply for a Beratungshilfeschein at your local court (Amtsgericht), if you cannot afford a lawyer.

See link for list of documents (passport, registration, rent cobtract, financial situation) that you will need to show.

You should collect all relevant information to the case (as you would when bringing this to a lawyer for the first time), which they will then review. You should be accompanied by someone who speaks German.

After reviewing this they will issue Beratungshilfeschein, which will allow you to get advice from a lawyer of your own choice and the court will cover any fees.

The lawyer will then decide how to proceed. Any costs would then be covered by the Beratungshilfeschein.


  • thanks for the help :) Oct 23, 2020 at 11:42

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