Litigation in Landlord and Tenant Law
There are cases in which a court dispute cannot be avoided, or is necessary to assert your rights. However, it is then of particular importance that all previous steps have been carried out correctly and are not vulnerable to legal complaints.
Example – reasons for termination: When terminating a lease, it is important to make sure that all reasons on which the termination is based are listed in the termination notice. If any are forgotten or left out for other reasons, it is not possible to rely on them later. If the case proceeds to court, this may become a problem. Further, notice periods prescribed by law must be observed. In order to avoid mistakes that could eventually endanger the whole termination and any lawsuit based on it, Dr. Tim Schlun will assist you in our offices in Aachen, Cologne and Düsseldorf, as well as advising on all questions surrounding termination.
The firm Schlun & Elseven represents both landlords and tenants in all tenancy law related issues, including residential and business leases, and flat ownership.
Residential and Commercial Leases
The main objective of residential tenancy law is to protect the socially and economically weaker tenant from arbitrary measures by the landlord. The idea of tenant protection is reflected in the legislative provisions limiting rent increases, as well as termination regulations.
The tenant is further protected by § 536 BGB, which enables him to have his rent reduced if there are defects in the flat. However, there is a condition that the defect must be material enough to indicate a state of the flat which no longer accords with the standard stipulated by the contract. In individual cases, it can often be unclear whether this threshold has been reached, meaning that this is a common source of legal disputes. Further, cosmetic repairs and renovation can be a reason for tenancy law disputes. The question is generally who is under an obligation to carry out these works and who has to bear the cost generated by them. The situation becomes particularly urgent for tenants when the landlord is seeking possession or intending to bring eviction proceedings. In these cases, it is recommended that you immediately seek legal assistance to prevent grave consequences.
In the law of business tenancies, the social element on which tenant protection in residential flats is based is lacking. Therefore, the legal protection available to business tenants is not as strong as that available in residential tenancies. The business tenant instead has to rely to a much greater extent on a well-drafted lease agreement and the rights and obligations arising therefrom. It is therefore recommended that legal assistance be sought when the lease is drafted, so that any contract law mistakes can be prevented, as these may have dramatic consequences. In addition to landlord and tenant law, protection against competition may become relevant for business tenants.