By Torsten Volkholz, Otto von Gruben and Maximilian Berenbrok

Under a law passed by parliament today, tenants will be protected against termination by landlords who will in many cases not receive such protection for their financing.

Amendment to German lease law

In view of the regulatory measures of German authorities reacting to the spread of COVID-19, many businesses will suffer significant losses of income. As a consequence, tenants may not be able to meet their rent obligations and will likely have no rights to rent reduction or termination for cause under German law. Only a right to amendment of, or withdrawal from, contract pursuant Section 313 of the German Civil Code (BGB) may potentially apply, however, on a strict case-by-case basis.

Therefore, the German legislator grants tenants protection against termination by their landlords for outstanding rent regarding the months of April through June 2020. The law passed the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) on 25 March 2020, and was approved by the German Federal Council (Bundesrat) today. In essence, the law states that: