From a purely law perspective,

If one of the rules in a rental agreement is violated and the agreement doesn't specify what happens in such a case, legally speaking, what is the landlord allowed to do?

Just to give you an example, let's say, in the contract the tenant was supposed to pay the rent on the 1st of each month, the s/he paid (the transaction) it on the 2nd, and there is nothing on the agreement that says what to do in such a case. What can the landlord do?

  • 1
    Be careful with examples here. There is a huge amount of case law regarding the rights and obligations of tenant and landlord in Germany. Generally, it's best to consult a lawyer. For your specific example you can read on the internet: You can issue a formal warning notice ("Abmahnung"). If the tenant continuous paying rent late, you can then terminate the lease (unless specific laws and regulations prevent this). Consult a lawyer.
    – Roland
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 13:31
  • fun fact: in California, if it's not specified when the rent is due, it's actually due at the end of the month, not at the beginning of the month as is stated in virtually every contract.
    – cnst
    Commented Oct 28, 2020 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


The rental contract does not have to cover all eventualities, because it is embedded into a larger legal context. In particular, contracts are governed by the BGB. There is also an incredible wealth of precedent for rental matters.

A temporary failure to fulfil the contract does not invalidate the contract. Instead, the other party can insist of fulfilment. When the tenant doesn't pay their rent, the landlord can send a Mahnung (~ dunning letter) with a reasonable deadline. Nevertheless, the contract can be terminated by either party only through normal cancellation incl the agreed notice periods, or can be terminated for cause because continuing the contract can no longer be reasonably expected. §543 BGB lists which causes are sufficient for termination, for example missing the due date for rent on two consecutive months to a significant amount.

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