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Tenancy Law: Enforcement of eviction of a tenant

ENFORCEMENT of eviction of a tenant

By way of eviction enforcement, the eviction and surrender of an immovable object are to be obtained by means of state coercive measures. A classic case is a tenant who does not leave the flat voluntarily after termination and must be evicted by the landlord.

Pursuant to section 885 of the Code of Civil Procedure, eviction is carried out by the bailiff by removing the debtor from possession and placing the creditor in possession. The creditor thus receives an empty object.  Movable property that is not part of the execution is removed by the bailiff and handed over to the debtor. Especially in the case of rented flats, the costs for the creditor are very high in case of doubt. He must first pay for the costs of the removal of the objects and their safekeeping, in addition to the costs of the bailiff. Even if the creditor is basically entitled to reimbursement from the debtor, i.e. the former tenant, the chance of full repayment is rarely given, especially in the case of tenants without means.

So-called “BERLIN MODEL”

In order to reduce costs, the so-called Berlin eviction model has developed. This is because it has become apparent, especially in enforcement practice, that the creditor regularly does not get the costs of enforcement enforced against the debtor because the debtor is not able to pay.

In the case of a Berlin eviction, there is no eviction in the true sense of the word. The debtor can no longer enter the flat because the bailiff changes the lock. Since 2013, the Berlin model of eviction enforcement has been stipulated as a so-called limited enforcement order in section 885a ZPO. Here, the landlord exercises the landlord’s lien stipulated in § 562 BGB. Freely visible objects are to be documented by the bailiff for the purpose of preserving evidence. The costs for the creditor are limited to the advance payment of the bailiff.


The Hamburg model of eviction enforcement takes place in two phases.

In the first phase, the bailiff changes the locks. After setting a deadline of two weeks, the debtor has the opportunity to settle his debts. In the second phase, the eviction hearing takes place. However, the new flat key is not initially handed over to the landlord, but to an employee of a commissioned forwarding company. When the actual eviction takes place, the bailiff inspects the flat and takes a report and photos of the seizable objects. Subsequently, all attachable items are stored by a forwarding agency. If the tenant has found a new flat by then, the items will be delivered there. The landlord only receives the keys when the flat has been completely vacated.


The Frankfurt model of eviction is carried out by the creditor himself, but subject to conditions imposed by the bailiff. This procedure significantly reduces the costs for the creditor. The landlord must store the tenant’s furnishings in rooms that are accessible to the bailiff. If the landlord stores the furniture himself, he will also be liable for any damage. Precise documentation is therefore advantageous in this procedure.