Can Landlords Sue for Future Rent

Normally you can only sue somebody when your claim has matured. In this case, the BGH (re VIII ZR 146/10) decided on May 4, 2011 on a case, where a landlord was so bold to sue for rents maturing in the future. What do you think the court decided?


The tenant did not pay any rent for the months December 2006, October 2007, and September 2008. The landlord then (§543 II no. 3 2nd alternative BGB) without notice, without prior admonishing the tenant in November 2008, applied in court not only for eviction but also for paying the rent until the apartment was returned. In the mean time, outstanding payments matured for December 2008 and January 2009. Again the landlord canceled the contract without notice.

The landlord won the case. At least the notice for December 2008 and January 2009 was legal. Therefore the question whether a prior warning on unpaid rents was necessary remained open. The landlord is permitted to sue for reimbursement of future use. The already open accounts for several months justify the assumption that the tenant will not meet his duties. Disregarding other possible reasons, the court weighed both interests and decided in favor of the landlord (§286 II no. 4 BGB).


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