Corona-/Covid-19 Pandemic Regulations

On March 27, 2020, the "Law to Mitigate the COVID-19 Pandemic in Civil, Bankruptcy and Criminal Procedure Law" has come into force. In particular, the following applies:

Rental contracts and leases may not be terminated due to rent arrears for the months April to June 2020 if the following conditions are met:

  • 1. Rental arrears are caused by the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. This is the case if sufficient personal or family support is at risk (in case of apartment rentals) or if there is a risk of over-indebtedness (in the case of commercial rentals) and the cause for this is the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2. The tenant must furnish this with prima facie evidence. Under the German Code of Civil Procedure, § 294, for this all evidence is permitted including the tenant's affidavit. The tenant should present proof of income and assets or accounting balances. Helpful may be notifications that the tenant received taking part in a Covid-19-programm or notification about business prohibitions or restrictions (e.g. in the hotel or restaurant industry).

Please note, the rent remains due and payable. However, if the pandemic is the cause for arrears, the tenant may not be held responsible. The rent is only deferred until June 30, 2022, latest. By this date the tenant must catch up on paying the missing rents.

It is important for the tenants to handle these rules carefully because:

  • Not every loss due to Covid-19 may qualify as a financial threat under the law.
  • The Covid 19-related financial threat must be specific and imminent. The tenant need not be broke yet, however, financial difficulties should be likely to occur by end of June 2020.
  • The tenant may also present the evidence later after notifying the landlord. However, the tenant should present the evidence as soon as possible to give the landlord the chance to review and accept that the Covid-19-Law requirement have been met.

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