There are situations where the landlord fails to assert claims against the tenant in a timely manner. If this happens, the claims expire and the tenant no longer has to pay. It is important to know the various statutes of limitations for each claim so that both tenants and landlords know what to look out for.

invoice for additional costs

If the landlord misses the billing deadline for the utility bill through his own fault, he can no longer assert any subsequent payment claims against the tenant. After the end of the billing period (usually the calendar year), the landlord has twelve months to bill the operating costs of the billing period. The tenant also has twelve months to express any objections to the utility bill, otherwise the bill is deemed to have been accepted. The period begins when the tenant receives the invoice. The limitation period for additional payments from the utility bill is three years, the same applies to credit balances in favor of the tenant.


The same is true of rent. The statute of limitations here is also three years. If the landlord fails to assert the rent in court within three years, the tenant no longer has to pay the rent arrears. However, this period only begins at the end of the year in which the rent was not paid. Likewise, the tenant has three years to reclaim money that was accidentally overpaid. The entitlement to the money expires if the tenant is not careful and does not sue him in good time. The same deadline also applies to the repayment of the deposit after the end of the tenancy. If the renter fails to reclaim these, the right to claim them also expires after three years. The statute of limitations begins at the end of the year in which the rental agreement ended.

Writs of Execution and Judgments

The longest limitation period applies if a tenant is ordered by the court to pay a certain amount or if a legally binding reminder or enforcement order has been obtained. Such a claim only expires after 30 years. But here, too, the owner of the payment order must be careful and initiate enforcement measures at regular intervals. Otherwise, the legal institution of forfeiture of enforcement applies in favor of the debtor.

Short statute of limitations (six months)

The legislator wants to quickly bring about legal peace between the parties to the terminated rental agreement for claims by the landlord due to changes or deterioration in the rented property as well as for claims by the tenant for toleration of the removal of his equipment. For this reason, the significantly shortened limitation period of just six months applies to these claims. For the landlord, the period begins with the return of the rental property (i.e. possibly well before the end of the contract), for the tenant with the expiry of the rental contract.

After the deadline, the tenant no longer has to meet the landlord's claims for structural changes or failure to paint. Conversely, the landlord no longer has to tolerate the removal of the tenant's equipment that is still in the apartment. The same applies to the tenant's payment claims for painting work he has carried out, but which were not owed under the rental agreement.