Legal protection for tenants

Legal protection guidelines of the German Tenants' Association Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahr e.V. for tenancy disputes in owner-occupied flats


Requirements for the assumption of legal costs from the association's solidarity fund

The costs of the legal dispute will only be covered if the attempt at an amicable settlement has failed, counselling has taken place in the association and the application for assumption of costs is submitted immediately.
According to Section 4 (1) of the association's articles of association, the legal protection guideline states that legal protection will be granted in appropriate cases.
There is no entitlement, legal recourse is excluded. A suitable case is deemed to exist if the lawsuit is of interest to the purpose of the association.
The extrajudicial counselling required for support from the Solidarity Fund is not fulfilled by using the hotline telephone counselling service.
Another prerequisite is that the legal action has a high probability of success.
The Tenants' Association can then assume the following costs, minus the excess of € 200.00, or € 100.00 for longstanding members:

  • Statutory remuneration (excluding travelling and absence costs) of the first lawyer appointed by the member and the lawyer of the opposing party.
  • any court costs incurred; any increase in fees due to membership of all residents of the insured flat in the association.
  • Expert costs up to € 2,000.00 (in the case of moisture damage, an expert assessment must generally be obtained in advance).
  • Legal protection is reimbursed up to a total cost of € 6,000.00. In exceptional cases, the Executive Board may also grant higher Solidarity Fund contributions.
  • In principle, up to three lawsuits within 10 years of membership are granted by the legal protection guideline.


Excluded from Solidarity Fund assistance:

Extrajudicial representation is provided free of charge for members by the association's advisors. Therefore, out-of-court costs/fees that may arise under the Lawyers' Fees Act for lawyers engaged by the member are not covered by our legal protection policy. Legal protection is not granted if the member's contribution obligation has not been fulfilled, the membership has been cancelled during the pending legal dispute or a temporary membership has been concluded. A subsequent payment of contributions or a cancellation of membership after refusal to assume the costs will not result in the refusal being cancelled.

Pre-contractual legal dispute: With regard to the event giving rise to the legal dispute, the waiting period for the granting of legal protection is three months, starting from the date of joining the association. The costs of legal disputes, the causes of which already existed when joining the association or within the waiting period, can therefore not be covered by the Tenants' Association.

The following restrictions also apply:

  1. A basic entitlement to legal aid and the existence of the tenant's own legal expenses insurance take precedence over the Solidarity Fund.
  2. Disputes that are clearly attributable to neighbourhood conflicts are generally excluded from the Solidarity Fund contribution.
  3. Additional costs of a court settlement arising from the inclusion of claims that are not legally pending are generally not covered (always ask your tenants' association advisor first!).
  4. Costs arising from court settlements/settlements are only reimbursed in full if the cost regulation of the settlement corresponds to the result of the main matter (the dispute) and the settlement is initially concluded on revocation and confirmed by the management of the association before approval.
  5. Legal protection can only be granted for the new tenancy if the new tenancy has been cancelled.
  6. In the case of legal action arising from the termination of a tenancy, e.g. due to withheld deposits or cosmetic repairs, the tenants' association will only pay if you were already a member 3 months before the notice of termination was received. In the case of notices of termination and deposit claims, it depends on the earliest event with which the landlord justifies his termination without checking the truth of the allegations.
  7. In the case of shared flats, the full costs are only covered if all residents are members or the case only affects the member concerned. Full costs can be covered if the member of the association takes legal action.
  8. The costs of actions for rent reduction due to defects are only paid if the defects only arose after the waiting period had expired.


The legal protection directive came into force on 1 January 2022.