BGH judgment: tenants have to bear the costs of tree felling work

Wednesday, 12/22/2021 12:23 PM from


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A judge’s gavel (symbolic image).

KARLSRUHE (dpa-AFX) – If the landlord has a rotten tree felled, he can in principle pass the costs on to the tenants. That was decided by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe, the judgment of November 10th was published on Wednesday. (Az. VIII ZR 107/20)

In the case from Lower Saxony, a housing association had a more than 40 year old birch felled on the property in 2015 because it was no longer stable. The costs of almost 2500 euros were passed on to the tenants with the next operating cost bill. The plaintiff should take on around 415 euros of this. She only paid conditionally and asked for the money back in court.

In fact, the question of whether the cost of felling a dying tree is one of the apportionable “garden maintenance costs” has not yet been clarified by the supreme court – and is controversial: some courts were of the opinion that the landlord was only fulfilling his so-called traffic safety obligation or a deficiency eliminate. He would have to pay for that out of his own pocket.


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