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German Law/Canceling a lease



I have reserved a 'vacation house' for a long stay from 17.11.2012 until 15.5.2013. Although this house was advertised on the website "Home Away From Home", the rental was a regular cold rent type, where I paid for heat, electricity and wood for the wood stove on top of the monthly rent.
My rent was 650 Euros per month plus utilities (utilities came to about 250 per month)
It was furnished, but that's the only benefit about it. I call it a vacation home, as I found it in a vacation rental website, as I mentioned above.
My lease with the owner states only cancellation policy prior to arrival.
I have occupied the vacation house from 17.11.2012 until 1.3.2013.
I notified the owner that I'll leave the house on 1-3-13 and gave her a little more then 2 months advance notice.

She is holding one month deposit and refusing to refund it, claiming that its hers by right.

The contract does not mention anything about cancelation policy if rental is shortened, or anything about advance notice, but I still advised her two months in advance.

Since this is not completely a vacation rental and not a regular rental what are my rights as for canceling the lease?
Can I claim the money she owes me through the court?
Do I have any legal standing? and if I do what means can I use to proceed?

Thank you in advance,


Since you say that the contract does not mention anything about the cancellation if rental is shorted I would say that no cancellation is possible. It does not make if a difference if the leasing object is a vacation home or not. If it is the period is fixed, if not you would have a cancellation period of three months. Maybe it would be best to look for someone on the internet (e.g. on who is willing to take over your contract for the rest of the leasing period.  

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Henning Haarhaus


I can answer questions in English, German and French. Practice in inheritance law, tax, labour and contract law for private clients. Services also rendered in the fields of business & commercial law; e.g. business organizations, contracts, debt collections, leasing law. Representing clients all over Germany. NO CONSULTANCY ON FAMILY AND IMMIGRATION LAW.


Working since 1999 in the forenamed fields. Henning Haarhaus` experience includes services in the legal department of Roedl & partner, the biggest tax consultancy firm of German origin. Appointed Bar Certified Tax Law Practioner in 2007.

Bar Association of Berlin, KIWANIS


German licensed lawyer and bar certified tax specialist

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