Berlin An unfortunate investment backlog is often the reality in apartment buildings. Because the owner community can not agree on urgently needed structural measures, then nothing happens for years: no facade insulation, no barrier-free access. Quarrels are also increasingly common in charging stations for electric cars. The first lawsuits are ongoing.
The reason for the stagnation is the Housing Property Act (WEG) of 1951, which determines how owners should coordinate changes in community property. It initially provided a unanimity principle.
In some cases, there is now relief that 75 percent of all voters agree and that they collect more than 50 percent of their property. These are still high hurdles in practice.
But now everything should be easier. The Federal Ministry of Justice is working on a reform of the Housing Property Act. The bill will be ready by the end of the year. By the end of 2020, the new regulations could then come into force.
Already there are first cornerstones: A federal-state working group on the WEG reform has presented its final report this Tuesday. The results should be included in the bill. Accordingly, there will be a legal entitlement to a private e-charging station, barrier-free access and burglar protection in the future.
"Home ownership must be future-proof and workable," said Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD). "In order to improve the capacity of owner meetings, we want to lower the requirements for their quorum."
Tenancy law should be changed
The Bund-Länder report proposes four different measures: On the one hand, measures are "without relevant impairment", in which either no owner is charged or all have agreed. Who brings about structural changes, must pay for the construction and follow-up costs and is then entitled to use the changed community property.
"Privileged measures" include those for which there is a right to be installed, ie lift, burglary protection and e-charging station. "Only with nationwide charging infrastructure will the turnaround to electric mobility succeed," said Lambrecht. The automotive industry had also recently put pressure on this. It urges a faster expansion of the charging infrastructure.
"All who now consider the purchase of an electric car, know that by the end of 2020 to facilitate the charging stations," said Secretary of State Gerd Billen. The current regulations would stand in the way of an expansion of charging stations.
In this point, the tenancy is to be changed. For so far, the landlord can deny the construction of a charging station in a tenement. In the future, every tenant should also have the right to set up an e-charging station in a garage or underground car park. The costs would have to be borne by the respective tenant.
The landlord must bring the request of the tenant then in the community of owners, which must agree. If the landlord refuses, the tenant must sue. If the owners' meeting refuses, the owner would have to appeal against his tenant. How practicable this way for the tenant is, however, remains open. In the future, the same rental rights will apply with regard to elevators and burglary protection.
"Apartment owners need more legal certainty"
According to the Bund-Länder report, home ownership should in future also include "objectively reasonable measures" that are "sensible from the perspective of a reasonable and economically-minded owner". Here, a simple majority of voters should apply in the owners' meeting. The costs would then have to be borne by all owners. The same applies to "other measures".
If it goes by the recommendations of the Bund-Länder report, in many cases modernization will in future make a simple majority in the owners' meeting sufficient. However, this also means that majority owners, who own a majority of apartments in residential complexes, would be disadvantaged. Because then it no longer depends on the quorum of certain ownership interests.
In order to bring in more homeowners in the owners' meeting, there should be new digital forms of participation. A vote could then also be made about a WhatsApp group. "We want to use the possibilities of digitization for participation," said Federal Justice Minister Lambrecht.
"The homeowners need more legal certainty for their investments," said the legal and consumer policy spokeswoman of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group, Elisabeth Winkelmeier-Becker, with a view to the report now presented. "We want to support them in their plans for the modernization and climate-friendly transformation of their property with a clearly worded WEG."
The Union and SPD coalition agreement had already set out to reform and harmonize tenancy law with tenancy law "in order to facilitate the preparation and implementation of homeowners' decisions on construction measures, particularly in the areas of accessibility, energy efficiency, promotion of electric mobility and burglary protection ".
More: Germany is a developing country for charging stations for electric cars.
Housing Construction (t) E-Charging Station (t) E-Auto (t) Tenancy Law (t) Housing Property Law (t) Real Estate Market (t) Car Industry (t) Electric Car (t) Federal Ministry of Justice (t) Quorum AG (t) CSU (t) Christine Lambrecht (t) Charging stations