Once you accept rent increases, you can no longer revoke them

The judgment of the BGH should provide relief for landlords. Otherwise, thousands of rent increases over the past few years would have been ineffective. Tenants now need to be even more careful before agreeing to higher rents.

German rental idyll in Berlin-Lichtenberg.

Mieter cannot revoke a given consent to the rent increase. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) decided on Wednesday. “The right of withdrawal is intended to protect consumers from wrong decisions,” said the presiding judge Karin Milger in the verdict on Wednesday. This is particularly true in front door situations or in online trading. In the case of rent increases, however, the tenant has a period of two months for his considerations. An increase must also be precisely justified. Therefore, the right of withdrawal is not applicable here.

The verdict was eagerly awaited. A right of withdrawal would have made thousands of rent increases in the past year ineffective. Because if there is a right of withdrawal, this must be expressly pointed out. If this instruction is not given, the consent can be withdrawn for another year. At least this applies to commercial landlords.

The judgment is final

According to information from Haus und Grund – the community of interests of private house, apartment and property owners – there are more than 16 million rental apartments in Germany. More than a third of these are offered by commercial landlords. However, according to the owners’ organization, the courts draw very different lines between commercial and private rental.

In the case of dispute, a housing company in Berlin had increased the rent in 2015 by around 121 euros per month. The tenant first agreed. But then he revoked it and referred to the Distance Selling Act. It applies to all contracts that were not signed on the company’s premises, including requests for rent increases by letter. In the case of distance sales, the fourteen-day right of withdrawal also applies. The BGH now denied such a right of withdrawal in the case of rent increases. The judgment was issued in the last instance and is final.