I am very interested in an apartment in Germany.

But the land lords want 3 years contract with me.

They say it is minimum. Is this legal?

  • 3
    Basically yes, the law allows up to 4 years (it's only the “minimum” in the sense that the landlord is not prepared to offer less, of course).
    – Gala
    Oct 5 '16 at 6:52
  • 2
    It is totally legal and up to your landlord, however if you know in advance that you don´t want to stay in there it can be helpful to make some kind of arrangement with the landlord of what happens if you want to quit the contract earlier. This could be that you look for someone taking over the contract etc.
    – Klettseb
    Oct 5 '16 at 11:24
  • 1
    There is some useful information in German here. It's not uncommon to do that. If you don't want to stay that long, you might want to look at places where the contract has a fixed length instead.
    – simbabque
    Oct 9 '16 at 10:16

There is no provision in Germany that a renting contract must cover a certain length. It is entirely possile to agree on a contract for one month or even less. (However, it may be impractical for both parties for a number of reasons.) This is based on freedom of contracts: unless there is another law specifying exceptions you are free to agree on contracts of any terms with any person (and you are free to refuse any contract).

In your case, it seems the landlord wants to rent out the flat for at least three years. They are entirely entitled to do so — as the comments stated, minimum length contracts are legal if the minimum length does not exceed four years. It is their flat and within the legal boundaries they can rent it out as they please.

Note that this is typically indeed a minimal length contract — not to be confused with a fixed-length contract. At the end of the three years the contract automatically extends indefinitely. However, you can terminate it at three month’s notice. This is unless the contract explicitly states that after three years the flat has to be returned.

It can be tough finding flats in Germany but unfortunately that’s the way it is.

  • I know, I already learned that. Jun 14 '17 at 12:02
  • 1
    @HelloWorldGuy I know I’m late answering but of course this site is also there to help future readers. Hence why I decided to supply an answer anyway. If you consider it correct and if you think it would have answered your question had I joined (and posted) earlier, do feel free to upvote and/or accept it — the Stack Exchange way to say Thanks.
    – Jan
    Jun 14 '17 at 17:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.