What is a landlord certificate?

Since 2015, the uniform Federal Registration Act has been in force in Germany, which has made the landlord’s certificate (also called landlord’s confirmation or landlord’s confirmation) obligatory. With this certificate, the landlord confirms in writing that the tenant has moved into or out of their flat. Read on to find out how to obtain the landlord’s certificate and what you need it for.

What do I need a landlord certificate for?

According to the current law, the landlord certificate must be presented to the residents’ registration office when you move in or move out. If you are moving within Germany, you not only have to worry about finding a new flat and stacking the moving boxes, but you also have to have a landlord certificate issued, with which you must re-register your residence. 

Since the law changed in 2015, landlords are responsible for signing it. In contrast to a simple notification at the residents’ registration office by the tenant, fraud can be prevented in this way. This is to prevent bogus registrations at a false address. 

How do I get a landlord certificate?

As a tenant, you receive the landlord certificate directly from your landlord. According to Section 19 of the Federal Registration Act (Bundesmeldegesetz, BMG), the landlord is obliged to issue you with a correct certificate. If your landlord has not already issued the certificate to you independently when you moved into the flat, you should ask him for it.  

If the landlord is not in a position to give you the written landlord’s confirmation, he or she has the option of assigning this task to another person. Landlords issue a power of attorney to the third party for this purpose. 

Although a written confirmation is the standard, there is also the option to give a confirmation in electronic form. In this case, the landlord must submit an electronic confirmation of the move-in directly to the registration office. Subsequently, he receives an identification code from the registration authority, which he must communicate to the tenant. The tenant can then present this identification code when re-registering. Especially for landlords who rent out several flats, electronic transmission is usually a convenient alternative. 

Confirmation of accommodation provider also for subletting, moving out and moving into one's own home?

Are you wondering if you only need a landlord certificate in the event of moving in? In fact, there are other circumstances in which such a certificate is necessary. In the following, we highlight the cases in which you also cannot avoid a landlord’s certificate. 

For subletting

The housing provider is not always the landlord. Whether due to a longer trip or for other reasons, in some cases there are tenants who let subtenants live with them. If you move into a flat as a subtenant, the tenant is obliged to issue you with the landlord’s confirmation. So you always need a certificate from the landlord when you move into a new flat – even in the case of subletting. 

When moving out

As already made clear, it is essential to obtain the landlord’s certificate when moving into a rented property. But it is also required when the tenant moves out, should he or she move abroad. If the tenant moves to another flat within Germany, it is sufficient if the new landlord hands over the landlord’s certificate when the tenant moves in. 

When moving into your own home

In fact, even when you move into your own four walls, you need a housing provider confirmation for the re-registration of your residence. In this case, however, the paperwork should be done relatively quickly. If you have bought the property, you can issue the certificate yourself and declare the residential property yourself.

Information that must not be missing from the landlord's certificate

A landlord’s certificate does not follow a set model. It is only important that the following data is included in the document: 

  • Name of the landlord (in case of subletting also the name of the owner).
  • Address of the landlord
  • Move-in date
  • Address of the flat
  • Name of the person required to register

What deadlines you must meet

First of all, you have to register or deregister with the registration office in due time. If you move into a flat, you have two weeks to register with the registration office. If you move out, you also have two weeks to officially deregister. Tenants must remember to bring the landlord’s certificate with them to their appointment at the Residents’ Registration Office. If they fail to certify their new residence within two weeks of moving in, they face fines of up to 1,000 euros. 

Landlords who do not hand over the certificate within two weeks of the tenant moving in face heavy fines. If the certificate is filled out incorrectly, late or not at all, landlords must also be prepared for fines of up to 1,000 euros. The penalties are higher if a so-called bogus registration is made. Landlords who submit a landlord’s confirmation for a person who does not live in the flat can be fined up to 50,000 euros. In this case, there is a misuse of the residential address contrary to the registration law. This is also referred to as a courtesy certificate. 


Both tenants and landlords should therefore pay particular attention to all the formalities involved in moving in or out and ensure that the landlord’s certificate is correct and on time.