On March 27, 2020, the legislature passed the “Law to Mitigate the Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Civil, Insolvency and Criminal Procedure Law”. This law also includes regulations that restrict the landlord in his right to terminate the rental payments in arrears.
Background : According to the currently valid regulations, leases can be terminated without notice by the landlord at the latest if the tenant has accumulated arrears corresponding to an amount of 2 months’ rent.
With its mitigation law, the legislature wants to prevent tenants who are unable to pay their rent as a result of the effects of the pandemic from losing their roof over their heads or their business premises. Therefore, landlords are now not allowed to terminate their tenants under the conditions set out below. The regulation applies to tenants of residential and commercial premises .
- The legal regulation concerns rent arrears that accrue in the period from April 2020 to 30 June 2020 . If the crisis continues, the period of non-performance can be extended to September 30, 2020 at the latest.
- The tenant must make it credible that the arrears in payment can be traced back to the corona crisis The tenant of the living space can provide this proof, e.g. by taking an oath insurance policy or other suitable documents – such as an employer certificate or a certificate from a public body. to lead. Tenants of commercial real estate can make such a connection with the information that they have been prohibited or significantly restricted from operating their company as part of the fight against the pandemic by official order.
- If a tenant of rooms or land does not pay the rent due in the above-mentioned period due to the effects of the Corona crisis, the landlord may not terminate the lease because of these arrears .
- The exclusion from termination refers and limits expressly to circumstances that are related to financial losses due to the current crisis. Thus, it is still possible for the landlord to terminate the tenancy due to rent arrears that have accrued in an earlier period or that will come from a later period than in mentioned above. The landlord can also continue to terminate the lease due to other breaches of contract (e.g. due to improper use) or due to personal use.
- The planned termination restriction does mean that the tenant will refuse to perform – payment of the rent – The tenant has so far been obliged to pay the rent. For landlords, the legal regulation means (only) a restriction in their right to termination.
- According to the previous draft, this protection against dismissal ends on June 30, 2022. After this date, the landlord can terminate the lease due to the arrears in the shelter. Tenants therefore have two years from June 30, 2020 to settle a rental arrears that are entitled to terminate.
The wording of the law
The law provides the following regulation for tenancies:
§ 2 Restriction of the termination of tenancies
(1) The landlord cannot terminate a lease for land or rooms solely for the reason that the tenant in the period from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 despite the due date does not pay the rent if the non-payment is due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The connection between the COVID-19 pandemic and non-performance must be made credible. Other termination rights remain unaffected.
(2) Paragraph 1 cannot be deviated from to the detriment of the tenant.
(3) Paragraphs 1 and 2 apply accordingly to leases.
(4) Paragraphs 1 to 3 are only applicable until June 30, 2022.