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German Law/Lebenslanges Wohnrecht



My husband and I live in a house that belongs to him however the property previously belonged to his mother and father which they transferred to him 30 + years ago to build his house.However in the Grundbuch it states they have Wohnrechts, his father is deceased but his mother moved out on her own free will last year in April 2013.

We want to be able to sell this house in the near future.So what legal Options would we currently have to get her Wohnrechts terminated? My husband pays her cold rent costs every month as well.

We do not know if she would completely give up her rights and we need to be able to sell the property free and clear.

I hope that you can help.

Thanking you in advance.


Unless the Wohnrecht already includes a clause that it will become void upon moving out (in some rare cases I have seen such clauses), the only way to remove it from the Grundbuch is with the consent of your mother in law.

Because she has already moved out, your husband is paying her rent (and could promise to continue to do so) and considering that if she wanted to make use of the Wohnrecht after your husband sells the house, the old lady would need to live with some strangers, I don't see why she wouldn't give her consent.

If she refuses, you can still sell the house, but you would need to find a buyer who will trust you that the mother in law won't come back. You might also agree on a two-tier purchase price: some payment now, and another payment once the lady has passed away.

Andreas Moser

German Law

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Andreas Moser


Extensive experience in international family law, especially international child abductions and child custody cases. All other areas of German law as well: constitutional law, criminal law, business and contract law, immigration law, inheritance law, and so on.


Lawyer in Germany from 2002 to 2009. Lawyer for US Army JAG Corps before. Bar-certified specialisation in family law and in administrative law. Articles and lectures about international and domestic family law.


2000 Law Degree from University of Regensburg, Germany 2002 admitted to the bar (until 2009) 2013 MA Philosophy at the Open University, UK

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