Rent Raises: Reasons to Reject It

Often it is very annoying when an unexpected letter calls for an increase in the rent Rent announces. Just so nicely decorated in your own four walls? And then the landlord suddenly wants more money? This may also be rejected. As a rule, the tenant has two months after receiving such a message to refuse the rent increase. Various circumstances make this possible.

The legal situation: so often may be increased

Rent increases are anchored in the Civil Code (BGB). Here is the & sect; 557 BGB important, which reads "During the lease, the parties can agree to increase the rent. & Ldquo; This wording alone implies that a landlord should not simply decide to increase. It needs the agreement of the renter. However, the & sect; 558 BGB also that the tenant can not escape the consent, if all legal bases are met. Here it says "The landlord may also request the approval of an increase." The consent can be sued in court.

The silence of a renter is legally a refusal. On the other hand, the uncommented payment of the new lease is also valid as approval by the renter.

Reasons for a successful rejection

However, in all cases the landlord does not have to approve of the rent increase. There are also circumstances that justify a refusal and successfully protect the landlord from increasing. These reasons include:

  • Yearly Restricted Period
  • Inventory Capacity Limit
  • Unlawfulness
  • Graduated Rent Already
  • Improper Modernization Costs
  • Non-compliance with Formalities

The Renter has two months statutory period to agree to the requested rent increase or to refuse for any of these reasons. However, the rent increase also allows extraordinary termination. This can be done at the end of the month after next.

The actual living space plays a role in additional payments. Not the agreed living space is decisive, as the Federal Court of Justice ruled in 2014. Thus, the rent increase is a good opportunity to measure the apartment once and to compare the results with the details of the lease.

Annual lock-up period

Often the rent is simply based on the rationale & quot; approximation to the local rent & ldquo; elevated. The landlord often draws rent tables and rental databases for comparison and would like to adjust the rent accordingly. This may be the landlord - but not constantly and constantly. This is ensured by the so-called annual blocking period, which states that the last adjustment to local rents must have been at least twelve months earlier. Was the rent increased last year? Then the rent increase can be declined.

Cap limit

The landlord may not increase the rent indiscriminately. Here, the so-called capping limit is crucial. According to this, a fee for an apartment may only increase by a maximum of 20 percent within three years. Is the claim higher? Is it argued with customary rents? This can not be and can be denied by the tenant confidently.


This reason occurs when the rent increase does not give sufficient time for approval or refusal. A tenant must be able to clarify in the two following months whether the rent increase is justified. Here, tenant associations provide valuable help and show when the increase should be rejected or better accepted.

Even if more money is ultimately paid, the increase in the additional cost allowance is not considered a rent increase. Rising electricity, oil and gas prices are often behind this. The adjustment to these costs is always possible and is usually done after a billing period.

Graduated rent in the lease

If a rent increase arrives in the mailbox, the current lease should be brought out. Because if a season, time or index rental is already agreed upon, the landlord may not further increase. Such rents are already provided with increases over time and can not be burdened with further increases. Also modernization costs may not be transferred to the tenant in this case. Here, the contradiction is simple and a must.

Inadmissible modernization allocations

Some rent increases are justified by reorganization measures. But even here, the landlord can not transfer all the costs to the tenant. Is repair and maintenance listed as a reason? Then the tenant can refuse, because this is inadmissible. Also, only parts of measures for energy-efficient building renovation or for increasing the value of rent may be added. Is the increase greater than eleven percent of the annual rent? Even then, the tenant can refuse. Likewise, with such justification within the eleven percent, living conditions must be sustainably improved or lasting savings in energy costs must be achieved.

Disregard of formalities

A rent increase must also comply with various formalities in order for it to be legally effective. So this can not be pronounced simply orally. The rent increase must be in writing. Did you just receive an e-mail? Then you can also refuse. The letter is required. This is also the case if the rent increase is not justified. Did only you receive a rent increase and your neighbor did not? This is also inadmissible. The rent increase must go to all tenants. In addition, the landlord must be given the opportunity of consent. If this is missing, the rent increase can also be considered as inadmissible.


A rent increase is always annoying for the tenant at first. Hardly anyone likes to pay more for the same thing. But not always the increase must be approved. There are legal limits that limit these increases in time and in height. Similarly, not all construction measures may simply be allocated to the rent. In addition, the landlord must also comply with some formalities. If this is not the case, the renter can refuse the increase.

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