‘You can’t pay lower rent just because landlord sunbathes naked in your garden’

It's the age old question – am I entitled to cheaper rent if I'm constantly forced to look at my landlord's knackers?

And unfortunately, the courts in Germany have come up with an official answer for you.


On Wednesday (April 26), a court hearing in Frankfurt delivered the shock legal verdict in a groundbreaking case that will heap more misery on renters around the world with nightmare landlords.

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The court determined that a landlord sunbathing naked in the courtyard of his building wasn’t a reason for his tenants to reduce their rental payments.

The admittedly rather strange case involved a building in an upmarket residential district of Frankfurt, which included an office floor, rented by a human resources company.

That HR firm had tried withholding a portion of its rent because of a series of long-running issues it had with the property – not least of which was the fact the landlord kept getting naked outside their windows.

Not taking that lying down, the nature-loving landlord took them to court – and won.

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The Frankfurt state court rejected the company’s reasoning, finding that “the usability of the rented property was not impaired by the plaintiff sunning himself naked in the courtyard.”

It said in a statement that it couldn’t see an “inadmissible, deliberately improper effect on the property.”

Judges were ruling on an appeal against a lower court decision that went in the landlord’s favor, and the tenant had only limited success overall. They found that the tenant had been entitled to reduce rental payments for three months only because of noisy construction work in the neighbourhood.

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The court said that the spot where the landlord sunbathed could only be seen from the rented office by leaning far out of the window.

It also said the tenant failed to prove that he took the stairs to the courtyard unclothed. “On the contrary, the plaintiff stated credibly that he always wore a bathrobe which he only took off just before the sun lounger,” it said.


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