A landlord can forbid guests

Prohibitions by the landlord - what is actually allowed?

Which clauses in the rental agreement are ineffective?

Sometimes leases contain clauses that are ineffective even after the tenant has signed them. Some examples:

  • termination
    A clause in which the tenant waives the protection against dismissal prescribed in tenancy law is ineffective.
  • Deposit / guarantees
    The deposit can be paid in three monthly installments from the moment you move in, regardless of whether a one-off payment has been specified in the rental agreement. Sometimes a landlord asks for a surety instead of a deposit - but both are not allowed.
  • Subletting
    A general ban on subletting is ineffective.
  • operating cost
    Maintenance costs are already covered with the payment of the rent; they must not be billed as operating costs. If a water meter is installed, this must be used for billing and not the number of people living in the apartment.
  • livestock farming
    A clause that generally prohibits keeping animals is ineffective. Keeping a so-called attack dog, however, must always be approved in writing by the landlord.
  • Smoke
    Smoking in your own four (rental) walls cannot be prohibited, it is part of the contractual use of an apartment - such a prohibition clause in the rental agreement is ineffective. A smoking ban in the stairwell, however, is valid.
  • Minor repairs
    The cost of such work must be borne by a tenant in the case of minor damage up to an amount of approx. 75 to 100 euros if it relates to everyday items in the apartment such as shower heads or light switches, provided that an effective provision has been agreed in the rental agreement. However, if a repair is above the agreed minimum limit, the landlord has to bear the costs completely alone, in this case there is no participation of the tenant despite an effective small repair regulation.
  • Floor coverings
    Floor coverings, parquet, carpet and laminate only have a certain lifespan, depending on the quality - as a rule, after 10 years a tenant does not have to pay any more costs for the repair of a carpet, even if he is responsible for damage, since it no longer has any current value and from the landlord would have to be replaced anyway. With average parquet and laminate, it usually ends after 12 years. The exact measurement of the service life and the current value is, however, a question of the individual case.
  • grilling
    Barbecuing on the balcony or in the garden is common in the summer months in Germany - but if the rental agreement bans barbecuing, this is in many cases valid!

There are landlords who even want to tell their tenants when they can have visitors - and for how long. But here the tenant alone decides: He decides who comes to visit and when, and can also let the guests spend a few nights in their apartment. However, the house rules must always be adhered to when visiting.

What to do in the event of inadmissible clauses?

Tenants who have such clauses in their rental agreement should seek advice from an expert such as a specialist lawyer or, for example, the German Tenants' Association in the event of a conflict. Because even if these clauses are not effective, they can lead to significant problems, which may result in termination. A rental legal protection insurance helps to at least minimize the financial risks.