Nude landlord does not justify lower rent, German court rules
BERLIN - A German court said Wednesday that a landlord sunbathing naked in the courtyard of his building wasn't a reason for his tenants to reduce their rental payments.
The case involved a building in an upmarket residential district of Frankfurt, which included an office floor, rented by a human resources company. The company withheld rent because it objected, among other things, to the landlord's naked sunbathing. In response, the landlord sued.
The Frankfurt state court rejected the company's reasoning, finding that "the usability of the rented property was not impaired by the plaintiff sunning himself naked in the courtyard."
It said in a statement that it couldn't see an "inadmissible, deliberately improper effect on the property."
Judges were ruling on an appeal against a lower court decision that went in the landlord's favor, and the tenant had only limited success overall. They found that the tenant had been entitled to reduce rental payments for three months only because of noisy construction work in the neighborhood.
The court said that the spot where the landlord sunbathed could only be seen from the rented office by leaning far out of the window.
It also said the tenant failed to prove that he took the stairs to the courtyard unclothed. "On the contrary, the plaintiff stated credibly that he always wore a bathrobe which he only took off just before the sun lounger," it said.