My gym is not refunding me for losing time with Corona so if it's possible I would like to get rid of the membership ASAP. I would move out of Germany back to the Netherlands at the end of June. I would then get a confirmation of my 'de-registration' which allows me to cancel my gym membership.

What are the risks of de-registering early? (So I can get the confirmation earlier and get rid of my gym membership earlier?)


The deregistration must be done within a 3 week time frame (§ 17 (2) Bundesmeldegesetz)

  • 1 week before moving out
  • 2 weeks after moving out

§ 54 (3) defines a fine up to € 50.000 when the deregistration is not done within this period.

If you are actually moving out on the 30th of June, but deregister to the 30th April §54 (3) could apply. The lack of the word correctly in § 54 (2)(2) makes this unclear.

Should it apply and it became known that the purpose was solely to get out of a membership contract earlier, assume that the fine will be higher due to the fraudulent intention (of gym contract) and falsification of documents (false date in deregistration).

Section 17
Registration, deregistration
2) Anyone who moves out of a residence and does not move into another residence in Germany shall deregister with the registration authorities within two weeks of moving out. Deregistration shall be possible no more than one week before moving out; the population register shall be updated as of the moving-out date.
Section 54
Provisions on administrative fines
(2) Anyone shall be deemed to have committed an administrative offence who, intentionally or negligently,

  1. fails to register, to register correctly or within the required period, in violation of Section 17 (1), also in conjunction with Section 27 (2), second sentence or Section 28 (1), first or second sentence, in violation of Section 29 (1), first sentence, or subsection 4, second sentence, or Section 32 (1), second sentence;
  2. fails to deregister or to deregister within the required period in violation of Section 17 (2), first sentence;

(3) The administrative offence may be punishable in the cases of subsections 1 and 2 nos. 12 and 13 with a fine of up to fifty thousand euros, and in the other cases with a fine of up to one thousand euros.


  • Thanks for the answer Mark, guess it's not worth it to save a few hundred euro's then. – Jelle Apr 15 '20 at 7:25

In Germany, you should be able to cancel a subscription, like a gym membership, if for any reason the subscription has no value for you anymore.

Not enjoying lifting weights anymore would be your problem, no reason why they would have to allow you to cancel. But complete inability to get any value out of the membership, for example if you can't enter the gym by law, that would be a reason. If the gym operator is clever, they switch to online courses...

  • Nope this is not true sadly. The membership will end in 1.5 years, but de-registration is the only thing that allows me to terminate it early. – Jelle Apr 15 '20 at 7:24
  • The only thing that they say allows you to terminate it. Not the same thing. – gnasher729 Apr 16 '20 at 16:34
  • @gnasher729 You don't live in Germany, do you? It's notoriously difficult to cancel subscriptions here. Deutsche Bahn requires you to cancel a yearly discount BahnCard six weeks prior to its expiration. An online book service I used required cancellation a week prior to expiration. It ought to be as simple as "Just don't pay the next year", but in Germany it's never that simple. – Kyralessa Apr 23 '20 at 8:29
  • @gnasher729 Here's another one for you: After the initial year, I had thought my mobile phone contract was month-to-month. Nope, surprise, it's always for a full year, and if I want to cancel it, I have to cancel it three months before the end of the contract. Miss that deadline by one day, and it's renewed for another full year. I don't understand why German law allows this sort of thing, but clearly it does if so many large companies do it. So your answer is completely off-base. – Kyralessa Apr 26 at 12:39

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