Can You Move Out Early by Providing a New Tenant?

Wed 23rd Aug, 2023

In many rental agreements, termination clauses are established, or the lease is of a fixed-term nature. Must these be adhered to even if a replacement tenant is presented?

There are numerous reasons why tenants may seek to vacate their apartment prematurely, unable or unwilling to abide by the statutory notice period or agreed-upon lease term. However, landlords usually have the authority to insist on adhering to the specified timeframes. Often, the question arises whether early departure might be possible if a replacement tenant is introduced to the landlord.

Termination Clauses or Fixed-Term Lease: According to the Tenant Association, Landlords Are Allowed to Choose Contractual Partners

According to the Munich Tenant Association, landlords are generally entitled to choose their contractual partners themselves. "Many tenants harbor the misconception that they need to present the landlord with three replacement tenants and can then exit the lease at any time. That notion is incorrect," asserts Angela Lutz-Plank, Managing Director of the Tenant Association.

Exceptions apply only if this arrangement is explicitly documented in the contract. "It must be in writing that the tenant can terminate the lease prematurely by providing a replacement tenant. However, this is a rare occurrence," adds Lutz-Plank.

Terminating the Lease: Legislators Deem a Three-Month Notice Period Reasonable for Tenants

The legislator considers a three-month notice period reasonable for tenants. As a result, the landlord is not obligated to seek another tenant before this notice period expires. In fact, the landlord may even insist that the existing tenant continue paying rent until the lease term concludes.

"Nevertheless, it's always worthwhile to inquire with the landlord about the possibility of terminating the lease prematurely if a replacement tenant is presented. It's best to have a prospective tenant ready in such cases," advises Angela Lutz-Plank, Head of the Tenant Association.

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