Invalidity of the termination of a tenancy agreement
In a dispute about the termination of a tenancy agreement because of the signature with "i.A." (on behalf), the Regional Court of Wuppertal ruled that a termination by power of attorney requires the disclosure of the power of attorney, otherwise it is invalid.
The case to be assessed by the Regional Court was based on the following facts: A tenant received a letter of termination both in August and in October 2020. Although the letterhead of the landlord was used for the letter, it was signed by another person with "i.A.". In addition, the text of the letter was written in the "we" form and did not contain any reference to a power of attorney.
The tenant rejected the notices for this reason, among others. However, the landlord considered the notices to be effective and brought an action for eviction. The tenant applied for legal aid for the action, which was rejected by the Wuppertal Local Court. The tenant filed an immediate appeal against this decision.
The Wuppertal Regional Court ruled in favour of the tenant and therefore granted her legal aid.
The court held that the notices of termination were invalid because they did not comply with the legally required written form. Although a landlord may be represented when giving notice, the representation must be disclosed in the notice. It must be clear from the notice letter that the signatory is acting as a representative. However, this was not the case with a signature with "i.A." alone.
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