Age protects against resignation

“Old age” is also a hardship reason seniors can refer to when they are dismissed because of personal needs. In its judgment, however, the Berlin regional court left open the age from which this is possible.

For many seniors, moving is too tough in terms of health and finances.

AAccording to a Berlin court ruling, old people in rented apartments have special protection against dismissal. In a decision announced on Tuesday by the Berlin district court in the second instance, it is said that tenants can demand the continuation of the tenancy from the landlord solely on the basis of their old age. (Az 67 S 345/18)

The background to this is a dispute over the evacuation and surrender of an apartment that was rented in 1997 by the defendants, who are now 87 and 84 years old. The plaintiff had announced the termination of the lease in 2015 due to personal use. The defendants objected to the termination with reference to their old age, their impaired health, their long-term roots in the location of the rental property and their limited financial resources for the procurement of replacement living space.

The Mitte district court had already dismissed the eviction action in October 2018 in the first instance. The plaintiff’s appeal against this has now been dismissed. According to the court, the defendant tenants legitimately pleaded that the loss of the apartment – regardless of health or other consequences – meant “hardship” for old tenants within the meaning of the law (Section 574, Paragraph 1, Clause 1 BGB). The provision should be interpreted broadly with a view to the value and respect of old people embodied and guaranteed by the Basic Law Article 1, Paragraph 1, and the principle of the welfare state.

However, the judges left open the age from which tenants can invoke the hardship of “old age”. A balancing of interests in favor of the landlord only comes into consideration “if the landlord can assert particularly serious personal or economic disadvantages in the event of the continuation of the tenancy, which justified an interest in obtaining at least equal priority to the interests of the elderly tenant,” said the judges . The chamber did not allow the appeal to the Federal Court of Justice.