Long lease

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The long lease was a form of property under German law . It has been abolished in Germany today. After the BGB came into force on January 1, 1900, the long lease was only permitted to a limited extent under state law (especially in Mecklenburg and Schleswig-Holstein ) in accordance with Art. 63 EGBGB . The Control Council Act No. 45 Art. X banned them in 1947, repealing Art. 63 EGBGB. Colloquially, however, the heritable building right on building plots is often referred to as a long lease .


The long lease was the hereditary and salable right to cultivate someone else's property in return for a lease and to draw the fruits from it.

At the start of the annual lease of paid leaseholder to the landowners (Upper owner) a Erbbestandsgeld (also: Erbstandsgeld ). This made him sub-owner.

In principle, the lessee could handle the property like an owner. When the fruit was separated from the property, the lessee became its unlimited owner. Unless otherwise stipulated in the contract or the statutory succession, the leaseholder could freely sell, pledge and bequeath the property . The landlord had to give permission for pledging if the pledging was for the benefit of the property. The estate was inherited undivided by the heirs , who had to pay a laudemium , mortuarium (loan goods) to the owner and obtain a loan letter from him. If the family of the leaseholder died out, the property would revert to the owner.

However, the tenant had some obligations towards the landowner:

  • He was not allowed to "deteriorate" the property, which also included having to cultivate it constantly and not leave it lying idle. If the hereditary lender left the property deserted, the upper owner could relieve the leaseholder ( demolish ).
  • He had to pay the owner an annual rent ( rent , hereditary interest ) in kind ( interest in kind ) or money ( interest in money ). If the lease payments were in arrears for several years, the property owner could move in the property.
  • The sub-owner had to pay for loads that were on the property.
  • The sub-owner had to notify the property owner of a sale of the inheritance and, in this case, grant him a right of first refusal or pay a tax. The latter was extended in the area of common law to every change of ownership, for example also in the case of inheritance . The donation had numerous different names.

Differentiations under national law

The Prussian general land law (similar to Austrian law) differentiated between long leases and lease leases. Such irrevocable land loans against fixed interest were common in German and other countries (in the province of Groningen under the name anklemmrecht ).

The long lease differed from the temporary lease in that it did not expire or could be terminated with the death of the leaseholder ( Schupflehen ) or after a certain period of time ( free pen ), but passed on to the heirs and successors of the leaseholder. Since the long lease was close to the free property, the ratio for the management of the goods was far more beneficial than that of the time lease, in which the tenant mostly only strived for the greatest possible return in the shortest possible time and had little interest in improving the goods.

Subspecies of the leasehold law were the Büdnerrecht , d. H. the right of leasehold on small plots of land that can still be used independently for agriculture, and the right of housekeepers , the right of leasehold on parts of the house (house, yard, garden) mainly intended for the establishment of agricultural workers.


The institute (including its name, which comes from the Greek ) can be traced back to the Eastern Roman Empire .

Via the University of Bologna and the Glossators , this legal institute also found its way into the northern Alpine region in the 12th and 13th centuries.

In the Middle Ages, long leases were a common form of fief, alongside the free pen and the Schupflehen . In particular when the population had declined after famine, wars or epidemics, the landowner could not grant the fallow land at the free pen right that was favorable to him, but only for life or on a long lease. In the Tyrolean state code of 1532, the free pen law was forbidden and inheritance was generally introduced.

Since the end of the 18th century, long leases have been abolished in several countries by declaring all perpetual annuities to be redeemable by law and only permitting the hereditary transfer of full ownership. The re-establishment of leasehold and hereditary interest relationships with the reservation of irrevocable rents in the event of property transfers were forbidden, for example in France in 1789, where, however, a temporary long lease of up to 99 years and leases for three generations were permitted. In Prussia , the edict of Sept. 14, 1811 declared the burdens arising from the long-term lease to be removable; the constitutional deed of 1850 only permitted the transfer of full ownership. A Prussian law of March 2, 1850 regulated the redemption and introduced redemption also in the Prussian parts of the country acquired after 1866. The payment in installments (pension) could also be made in kind . After all, this also happened in Saxony, Bavaria, Württemberg, Oldenburg etc.

In other countries ( Saxe-Altenburg , Saxe-Gotha , Saxe-Weimar , Saxe-Meiningen , Lippe , Braunschweig , Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt etc.) the long lease was allowed to exist. In both parts of the Mecklenburg region it formed the almost exclusive form of rural property until 1918.

After the Civil Code (BGB) came into force on January 1, 1900, Art. 63 of the Introductory Act to the Civil Code upheld the state legal provisions on the right of leasehold, but this provision no longer permitted the establishment of a leasehold.

By the Control Council Act No. 45 Art. X of April 24, 1947, long-term leases were completely abolished in Germany with the repeal of Art. 63 EGBGB . Bond goods still exist today.


  • F. Klein-Bruckschwaiger: Article Erbleihe , in: Handwortbuch zur deutschen Rechtsgeschichte, Vol. I, 1971, Col. 968–971.
  • Christian Reinicke: Lease . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 6, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1993, ISBN 3-7608-8906-9 , Sp. 1607-1609.


  1. Also: Erbzinsleihe , Erbleihe , emphyteusis , Erbstand , Erbbestand , hereditary fief , and many other names.
  2. Also: Erbbeständer , Grundhold , Erbmeier , Erberecht , Erbzinsmann and numerous other names.
  3. Also: hereditary landlords , hereditary tenants .

Individual evidence

  1. Klein-Bruckschwaiger, Col. 968.
  2. Klein-Bruckschwaiger, Col. 968.
  3. Klein-Bruckschwaiger, Col. 969.
  4. Klein-Bruckschwaiger, Col. 968.
  5. Klein-Bruckschwaiger, Col. 969.