• The tenant is single.

  • The tenant cannot enter the landlord's apartment.

  • The landlord owns the entire house.

  • The agreement was verbal

The apartment has two rooms, but only one is rented out, the other is furnished but empty and locked.

  • Points 1 and 4 are AFAIK irrelevant in German law. What is relevant, though, is whether the landlord lives in that house (seems to be the case according to the question title), and whether the house has more than 2 flats (one where the landlord lives and the tenant's). Dec 18, 2023 at 17:03

3 Answers 3


If the house has only two apartments, the one the landlord lives in and the one the tenant lives in, § 573a BGB is relevant as well:

Section 573a
Eased termination by the lessor

(1) The lessor may also terminate a lease of a dwelling in a building inhabited by the lessor themselves and having no more than two dwellings without this requiring a legitimate interest as defined in section 573. The notice period in this case is extended by three months.
(2) Subsection (1) applies accordingly to residential space inside the dwelling inhabited by the lessor themselves to the extent that the residential space is not exempt from lessee protection under section 549 (2) no. 2.

The usual procedure in §573c (as cited by K-HB) always requires a legitimate interest of the landlord to terminate the contract (§573). The exemption here does not require such an interest, and instead prolongs the notice period.


The relevant norm is § 573c BGB:

Periods of time to be observed in giving notice of termination in accordance with usual procedure

(1) Notice of termination is permissible at the latest on the third working day of a calendar month with effect for the end of the second month thereafter. The notice period for the lessor is extended, by three months in each case, five and eight years after the residential space has been made available to the lessee for the latter’s use.

(2) For residential space that is leased only for temporary use, a shorter notice period may be agreed.

(3) For residential space under section 549 (2) no. 2, notice of termination is permissible at the latest on the fifteenth day of a month with effect for the end of that month.

(4) An agreement deviating from subsections (1) or (3) to the disadvantage of the lessee is ineffective.

In (3) it is referring to the case nvoigt cites in his answer: "residential space that is part of the dwelling inhabited by the lessor themselves and that largely is to be furnished with furniture and fixtures by the lessor, provided that the residential space has not been made available for permanent use to the lessee with their family or with persons with whom the lessee maintains a joint household set up on a long-term basis,".

I don't think the case you describe, is not meant hear: The landlord has an own flat and only lives in the same house. So § 573 (1) is the relevant norm: normally a bit less than 3 months, after some years longer.

A verbal renting contract is highly unusual in Germany, but perfectly legal. Most regulations in the standard contracts only repeat the law, so the difference is not big.

nvoigts answer is not correct. The law has a standard notice period for any case of rent. One has to read the law carefully to find it, but it is there.


There are a lot of laws handling rent in Germany. However, those do not apply to this case, since:

Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB) § 549 Auf Wohnraummietverhältnisse anwendbare Vorschriften says:

(2) The provisions [...] shall not apply to tenancies of

  1. [...]
  2. living space which is part of the dwelling occupied by the landlord himself and which the landlord has to furnish predominantly with fixtures and fittings, provided that the living space is not let to the tenant for permanent use with his family or with persons with whom he has a permanent joint household,

With a verbal contract, it is assumed that the default legal provisions apply. Any deviation from this would need to be proven by the party that claims the verbal contract differed.

But there are no legal defaults, since all the renter laws do not apply in this conditions.

So if you think you have any rights at all, the burden of proof is on you.

The only thing you have going for you is that they cannot kick you out for days you already paid for, without giving you that money back.

A personal note... not having a written contract is highly suspicious in Germany. I have written contracts for vacation homes, hotel stays, dorms... any kind of stay really. I mean they need my bank details, my identification and all those things. Having nothing but a verbal contract smells of planned abuse and possible tax evasion on the landlords part. Especially if you only paid in cash, I cannot think of a normal reason for that, other than tax fraud.

  • 1
    BGB §549(2)2 is for subletting, e.g. you rent a room in the flat/house of someone else that is not separated from the rest of the housing unit - commonly called in german "Untervermietung". OP might have only one room in a whole appartment that is not accessible by the landlord usually, very much akin to a "Monteurswohnung", which usually falls under BGB§549(2)1
    – Trish
    Dec 11, 2023 at 14:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .