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German landlord wins right to sunbathe naked despite complaints from tenants

<i>Arne Dedert/picture alliance/Getty Images</i><br/>Frankfurt's Higher Regional Court (pictured) ruled that the landlord was entitled to keep sunbathing in the nude
dpa/picture alliance via Getty I
Arne Dedert/picture alliance/Getty Images
Frankfurt's Higher Regional Court (pictured) ruled that the landlord was entitled to keep sunbathing in the nude

By Nadine Schmidt, CNN

A German landlord has won the right to sunbathe naked in the courtyard of his Frankfurt building, in spite of complaints from his tenants.

The landlord, who has not been named, resorted to taking legal action after a human resources company that rented premises in the building withheld payments because of his fondness for sunbathing nude in a common courtyard area, according to Frankfurt’s highest regional court.

The firm, which has also not been identified, had reduced and partially withheld payments that it owed for its office space in the residential building in an upscale neighborhood of the city.

It claimed the landlord would walk unclothed through the stairwell to the courtyard, so that “a resident or visitor who happened to be on the stairs at that time would be confronted with his nakedness.”

But a legal team who visited the site did not find that to be the case, the court stated. “On the contrary, the plaintiff had credibly stated that he always wore a bathrobe, which he only took off directly in front of the sunbed,” it said.

Finding in the landlord’s favor, the court ruled that the property’s usability was “not impaired by the plaintiff sunning himself naked in the courtyard.”

It added that “aesthetic sensibilities were irrelevant,” and that it had found no “grossly improper act.” In addition, the location where the landlord sunbathed naked was only visible from the office rooms if staff of the HR company “leaned far out of the window,” the ruling said.

Nevertheless, the court found that the tenants were entitled to reduce their payments for three months — but that was due to extensive noisy construction work in the neighborhood. It said the dust and noise meant a 15% reduction was justified — but that this was not because of “offending another’s aesthetic sensibilities.”

Freikoerperkultur, (or FKK), which translates to “free body culture” and dates back to the late 19th century, is popular in Germany, with many people sunbathing in the nude at lakes, beaches and sometimes on their personal balconies.

There are about 600,000 Germans registered in more than 300 private nudist or FKK clubs and a further 14 affiliated clubs in Austria.

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