The Landlord and Tenant Law Team

The members of the landlord and tenant law team are:

Frank Weißenborn
Malte Monjé
Jessica Weißenborn
Philipp J. Scheerans
Florian Kniffert
Thomas Flor

For more details about the areas of responsibility of the landlord and tenant law team, please click here:

Advising Property and Asset Managers

We organize regular training for property managers, e.g. in the form of in-house seminars, optimize their contracts and provide them with templates for their daily use. We also provide quick answers by telephone and via email to urgent questions.

At the same time, we provide strategic support to asset managers. At their request, we make use of online tools to speed up reporting processes and save valuable time. In doing so, we find out what our clients want to achieve, and work with them to critically scrutinize – at the interface between asset manager and property manager as well – which data is actually necessary and meaningful for whom. The processing and collation of unnecessary data creates additional work and costs time – a problem which it is important to prevent. Property managers should primarily devote their time to the property itself, its upkeep and the tenants. Asset managers should be able to process and make use of the data that they need in order to make strategic decisions and meaningful adjustments to the course of business.

Lettings Management for Large Scale Portfolios

Time is money. This is true of landlord and tenant law as well. If a tenant ceases to meet his obligations under the tenancy agreement, or doesn’t meet them in full, the greatest of speed is necessary – practically without exception. The rental of floor space (irrespective of whether it is for commercial or residential purposes) is of profound and fundamental importance to every tenant. If a tenant is no longer meeting his payment obligations, this often means that he has serious economic problems and considerable debts – towards third parties as well. In addition to the risk of insolvency (and, for example, the accompanying risks of statutory suspensions of termination along with challenges to the insolvency by creditors), the risk of the tenant going completely bankrupt is so great that he just gives up. So, it is important to act quickly both in the area of legal declarations of intent (e.g. notices of termination) and in the area of litigation (e.g. taking legal action). Not infrequently, the position of the landlord is carelessly made worse, for example, by procedures for issuing reminders which are legally unnecessary.

With regard to large, nationwide portfolios as well, we have the experience and the personnel to support you in all matters of claims management and litigation. In the interests of acting with the greatest possible speed, it is indispensable for us to optimise procedures for issuing reminders, for debt recovery proceedings in court, for the commencement of legal action and the subsequent compulsory enforcement of the court’s decision. This is the key to the kind of effectiveness in terms of time and money which you are looking for.

In many cases we can deal with these aspects of claims management, litigation and compulsory enforcement on the basis of the statutory fees for these services.

Drafting and Monitoring of Commercial Leases and Tenant Agreements

In addition to the risk that rent developments are difficult to predict, the conclusion of, in particular, longer-term commercial leases involves other general and also sector-specific particularities which, for example, a housing manager or tax adviser who is accompanying this transaction might be unable to gain an overview of in all of their facets. Apart from the requirement of written form – in all of its variations – and the developments in case law at the highest courts, it is possible that a particular intended use and contractual purpose will entail risks that have to be thought through very carefully.

However, the drafting and maintenance of tenancy agreements for residential property also requires that changes in case law at the VIIIth division for civil matters (which saw a change in presiding judge as recently as 2014) of the German Federal Supreme Court be taken into consideration. Changing views need to be monitored as closely as possible and identified at an early stage when it comes to designing these agreements.

In both commercial and residential property lettings it is not infrequently the case that the way in which contractual content is later interpreted and evaluated depends on whether a particular provision was available in advance to both parties and, as an outcome of negotiations, should be seen as an individually stipulated contractual provision or, if the same wording was introduced by one party as a standard contractual provision. It is of great practical significance to know the difference between these two things and to keep a record in case of a later contractual dispute. In this whole area we offer – depending on need, requirements and the agreed consultancy strategy – a range of consultancy services that differ in scope.

In providing our consultancy services, it is possible that in both commercial and residential lettings we conduct all the negotiations with our client’s contractual partners prior to the conclusion of a contract. However, it is also possible to imagine cases in which we stay in the background and find a suitable wording for the outcome of the negotiations and talks held by our client – whether these are new contracts or supplements to contracts.

Frequently, a request from a client for support in the drafting of a contract is preceded by a brief assessment – as part of a monitoring service – of the forms which the client has been using so far. The aim here is to establish what exactly is needed and what will be the economically most meaningful form of cooperation.

The costs for our legal advice in conjunction with the drafting of contracts are set down in a contract before we begin to act for you. The level of our fee depends on the task we are asked to perform, the time needed, the economic significance of the lease or tenancy agreement as well as its duration and the options it offers for termination. The price range in most cases is between EUR 500.00 and EUR 5,000.00. We will be happy to provide you with a cost estimate on request.