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I would like to kindly advise you not to exchange the locks. The tenant has the right of admission in the flat, even if the lease has ended. If you would like to evict the tenant, you will need a respective court order.
Should you nevertheless exchange the locks and enter the apartment without the tenant's consent, you will commit trespass, which is a criminal offence subject to section 123 of the German Criminal Code. Further, the tenant will have the right to occupy the apartment again due to the unlawful eviction.
I recommend that you instruct an attorney to send a letter of demand to the tenant requesting him to vacate the premises and to hand over the keys. Should the tenant fail to do so, your attorney should apply for an eviction order with the competent court.
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If the tenant has already abandoned the apartment, the above will not be apply. A tenant who has abandoned the premises is not in possession of the apartment anymore. In this case, you will therefore be allowed to replace the locks and take possession of the apartment.
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